What mobile trends should enterprises expect in 2017?
2016 will be regarded as the breakthrough year for workplace mobility. With employees leading the smartphone-revolution, businesses are now leveraging mobile (and other) technology to create a more engaged, efficient and connected workforce.
But as the next generation of employees emerge, new products become available on the market and data security threats increase, what should enterprises expect in 2017 and beyond?
Despite 71% of enterprises considering mobility as a priority, this doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily ready for it. Today, the mobile landscape is moving at such a rate that many companies aren’t sure where and how to start planning their internal strategy, making it vital to understand the newest developments and how they can be incorporated.
Millennials, remote working and BYOD
2017 will see the new wave of Generation Z millennials enter the workforce, bringing with them new perspectives on working patterns and mobile technology in general. These workers will be significantly more mobile-savvy than their older counterparts, and will have used smart technology on a daily basis whilst at home, studying and/or in previous employment.
In addition to this, new millennials will be actively pushing new technology and remote working policies upon their employers to help complete tasks outside of the workplace.
2017 is set to see a record amount of organisations allow this, with over 50% offering flexible working as standard, and rising above 70% in 2020.
This means that whilst we head into 2017, enterprises need to find ways of reaching and engaging this new set of employees. This will include addressing their current working-hour structure as well as the digital tools they offer to help staff complete tasks.
Going forward, as employees expect flexibility and demand the software to make their jobs easier, this needs to be placed high on the priority list for all businesses.
2016 was the year when wearable technology made its mark on the consumer market, and has since been adopted by many organisations. As employees get more accustomed with the technology outside of the workplace, more and more businesses are finding ways to integrate wearable technology to facilitate a number of tasks.
Since 2014, the number of businesses doing so has nearly doubled, with more projected next year.
We’ve seen wearable technology being used in many sectors.
In healthcare, the NHS have trialled a wearable wristband device as a ‘digital coach’ for patients for Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. In construction, the Redpoint Safety vest ensures that workers don’t venture into unsafe areas. In manufacturing, the HoloLens smart glasses can give workers on-the-job training on how to fix equipment, saving time and resources.
As the wearable market develops in 2017 and subsequently more employees get used to the technology, businesses need to fully understand how and where wearables should be deployed. This also requires them to pinpoint the possible security risks (outlined in more detail below) and whether employees will actually use them.
IoT and connected technology has revolutionised how we carry out tasks, obtain key data and interact with others, such as the Amazon Dash
. And as IoT becomes a widespread reality amongst all of us, it will undoubtedly impact every facet of how organisations operate in the future. By 2020, 24 billion IoT devices are expected to be connected to the internet and driving an estimated $6 trillion in IoT spending over the next five years.
IoT in the enterprise promises an extreme level of digitisation that will impact how businesses interact with those affiliated with their organisation, such as partners, customers and suppliers.
Construction firms will be able to track their tool inventory, oil & gas companies can leverage IoT to prevent fuel leaks and eventually hospitals will be able to track bed availability.
As the technology rapidly expands in 2017, a lack of involvement in IoT will eventually see businesses lose their competitive advantage to others that have invested in it. IoT has the capability to acquire consumer insights (in retail etc.), reduce costs and increase productivity in all areas, making it a truly exciting time for development.
The data breaches of Three Mobile, Tesco Bank and Sage in 2016 showed that even the largest organisations are vulnerable to attacks. With enterprises now offering more technology to both their employees and customers, there’s a growing need for them to take the necessary safety precautions to safeguard their data.
Yet worryingly not all enterprises have been taking these steps to do so. It’s been reported that only one in three businesses adopting wearable technology are taking the time and resources to actively prevent data leaks, making them exposed to outside intruders and internal problems.
Arguably this could be because businesses don’t fully understand the technology they’re adopting. Although 2017 will see businesses become a lot more cautious, they need to understand where data breaches can occur by analysing previous examples, and most importantly, speaking with industry specialists.
Apps, wearables and IoT have the capability to transform businesses for the better, but only if they aren’t compromised.
2017 promises to be an exciting year as the mobile landscape continues to develop and tailor itself to the enterprise. As employees become more tech-driven, businesses are seeing opportunities arise in front of them to engage their employees and futureproof their organisation.
Therefore with 2017 just around the corner, it’s important that all businesses gear up, ready themselves for the influx of new technology and head into the New Year full of confidence.