Blog | January 18, 2017

Mobility Trends To Watch In 2017

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By Brian Albright, Field Technologies

Field Mobility Trends

The analysts at VDC Research have released their 2017 Enterprise Mobility Predictions. According to VDC, the overall mobile market is forecast to grow by 2.5 percent in 2017. The smartphone market will outpace that slightly, growing 3.2 percent and reaching 1.55 billion unit shipments this year. Enterprise smartphone shipments will reach 460 million units.

The enterprise mobility management software segment will also remain strong, growing by a full 25 percent this year and reaching $2.2 billion. Mobile application development platforms and tools will also grow by more than 26 percent this year.

Among the other predictions from VDC:

Google will face more pressure to improve Android security. VDC expects Android’s share of the corporate-owned, single-use (COSU) device market to reach 30 percent this year, but end users still voice concerns about the platform’s ability to keep corporate data secure.

“According to VDC’s research the leading factor determining OS selection by enterprise decision makers is security,” the report states. “With Google and its partners still battling the market’s perception of Android as a less secure platform, the ability to point to and articulate specific security capabilities – if just through marketing and sales collateral – can be valuable for Google’s eco-system.”

Enterprise mobility systems will have their greatest opportunities in retail, healthcare, parcel delivery. and public safety. In retail, mobile investment will be driven by the need for inventory accuracy within stores and the improvements that mobile computing can make.

A number of large post/parcel organizations made new mobile investments last year. This year, VDC says that activity will shift to courier and express delivery companies that are updating their installed base of devices and migrating to new platforms.

In the healthcare space, location, workflow, secure messaging, and business intelligence applications will drive mobile investments. Providers will also look for converged mobile solutions that can integrate paging, telephony, data access, patient/drug barcode scanning, and other systems.

Public safety organizations, emboldened by greater access to broadband wireless networks, will investigate wearable systems and other solutions to improve situational awareness for first responders.

Companies will develop breach responses plans for their mobile solutions. VDC says that since there is no real 100 percent protection for mobile data, organizations are looking for flexibility and are developing response plans and protocols. Mobility requires a layered approach to security threats, including educating employees about how to minimize the threats that mobile enablement can introduce.

According to VDC: “With the growing risk of security breaches, implementation of security best practices will represent a competitive differentiator for organizations moving forward. This means not only implementing a layered approach to security from the ground up. In addition – and perhaps even more important – is ensuring that if (or when) a breach occurs, the response is proactive and well managed.”

Enterprise-focused MVNOs will expand their business. VDC sees an opportunity for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to offer targeted and bundled enterprise mobility solutions. These MVNOs can differentiate themselves from the mobile carriers by packaging mobile services that are specifically designed for their vertical market customers.

While enterprises will continue to investigate and pilot augmented reality/mixed reality solutions, there are not likely to be any full-scale deployment any time soon because of significant cost and technology challenges.

Big data and analytics tools will be more important as companies turn to respond to mobility challenges. One way they will do that is by leveraging machine learning in the IT department to improve service delivery.