In 2014, the stage was set for mobile to become a driving force in the enterprise. From the rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT), to new approaches to app development and collaboration, and even the growing acceptance and adoption of a two-track approach to IT that promotes both speed and agility – in my view, mobility is poised to set a new precedent in the enterprise in 2015. Here, we look at some of these forces to better understand what they are and how they are driving change in the enterprise.
It’s no secret that we live in an ultra-connected world today. The Internet of Things has exploded in the consumer market, not only showing that it is viable but also valuable. For instance, in 2014 Google (News - Alert), acquired smart thermostat and smoke alarm company Nest for $3.2 billion, and devices such as the Fitbit, connecting to the cloud, are hot among consumers. In the year ahead, the IoT is likely to become more significant for the enterprise as well.
According to Gartner: “From an industry perspective, manufacturing, utilities and transportation will be the top three verticals using IoT in 2015 – all together they will have 736 million connected things in use. By 2020, the ranking will change with utilities in the No. 1 spot, manufacturing will be second and government will be third, totaling 1.7 billion IoT units installed.”
This means organizations will be integrating IoT into the business more than ever before. To date, enterprise mobility solutions have been delivered via smartphones and tablets. We expect that, this year, these devices will continue to dominate, but that organizations will begin to plan for more sensor-enabled machines and wearable devices. We expect to see a shift from traditional IT assets to more non-traditional connected assets (e.g., machinery and buildings), especially within vertical industries.
With the integration of IoT and a broader variety of connected devices, IT teams will need to address issues pertaining to the management of data connectivity, software applications, and security. Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) and mobile application platforms have the potential to address some of these challenges and play a pivotal role in shaping IoT architectures by providing secure connections to back-end data sources.
Collaboration Will Set A New Precedent
Research firm Ovum states that enterprise mobility will be a primary concern for CIOs this year – something we confirmed in our own research, with more than 69 percent of respondents in a recent survey of Red Hat (News - Alert) customers indicating that mobility would be a key initiative for 2015. With mobility marked as a high priority, app projects are increasing in both number and complexity. As organizations develop suites of apps, many will need to access the same back-end systems. As a result, we expect that app development will see an increased emphasis on microservices and APIs, which different mobile projects can share and reuse.
The increased implementation of microservices and API-based frameworks can act as a catalyst for team-based and collaborative development. User interface (UI), back-end integration, front-end coding, administration, analytics, and DevOps are all skills demanded by most app projects. By enabling developers to discover and access components that align with their role, they gain greater freedom to focus on their area of expertise and access critical components that can be reused across many projects. Overall, collaboration can set a new precedent within enterprise mobility helping mobile app development become more seamless, skills-driven and agile.
Enterprise mobility is moving full speed ahead. Last year, we continued to see the adoption of agile approaches by developers and DevOps. In 2015, we expect that agility will remain a sharp focus, but IT organizations cannot abandon some traditional IT practices that provide a stable foundation for the future IT organization. This combination will lead to a two-track approach that promotes both stability and speed. Alongside methods that accelerate mobile projects, IT will continue to maintain and manage existing legacy systems and provide for continuity in key areas including infrastructure, governance and security. Coupled with team-based collaboration and the rise of IoT influence, we anticipate that this will make for an active mobile enterprise.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino