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News Posted on Feb 13

Recap 2015 / Key Priorities for 2016

Introduction: There’s more to Apps than Mobile

Since our white paper was published in 2015 there have been many developments in the mobile application field.  Some were extensions of existing trends but some, discussed below, herald entirely new areas of opportunity and risk for enterprises moving toward a mobile integrated business model.  This report will discuss and explain these developments.

Recap of 2015 Predictions

In our last report we made several predictions about how enterprises needed to adapt to the mobile reality. 
Here’s how we did:

1. Mobile Cybersecurity Priority

Last year we noted that security breaches were on the rise.  We predicted that spending on mobile security would shift from ID and access controls to securing apps and their data. 
Cyber security continues to be a critical issue with breaches across the whole spectrum of targets.  Some of the most notable hacks include:

Ashley Madison Data Breach: In July the adult dating website was hacked taking data for 37 million accounts.  The attack was conducted by “The Impact Team” who objected to the company’s business model.   They subsequently released 30 GB of data to the public.

Office of Personnel Management, US Government: In July of this year Chinese hackers breached the computer system of the OPM resulting in the access of 21.5 million records including security clearance applications, federal employees and biometric information.  The investigation is ongoing but has already resulted in the resignation of the OPM director.

Hanesbrands Inc. revealed a breach of their customer order database resulting in a release of 900,000 customer records.
The spread of data breaches continues and targets every level and kind of internet user.

2. Disruption and Digital Transformation

Last year we noted that Enhanced User Interfaces (EUIs), Virtua Reality (VR), 3D printing provided opportunities for new business models and Next Generation User Experiences (UXs) were key opportunities for business.

Unfortunately, these technologies promise still have not fully met their potential but the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) has made substantial progress and is likely on the brink of creating the kind of disruption we discussed last year.

3. Year of “Mobile Appification”   

Last year we said that businesses could benefit from a mobile application strategy as part of a holistic approach to improving enterprise communications and process improvements.
This prediction was more than fulfilled as enterprises integrate mobile devices. The 2015 IDG Enterprise Building the Mobile Enterprise Survey indicated that mobile was a critical to high priority for 64% of organizations surveyed. The survey also revealed that the primary internal/external factor driving this investment were:

·       Improving internal communication
·       Customer retention
·       Increasing decision making speed
·       Reducing costs

In pursuit of technical innovation to streamline business processes, enterprises have also been trialing non-military drones including remote “drones” aka UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) aka RPA (remotely piloted aircraft) for parcel delivery and assistance in agricultural maintenance.

These practical economic and social benefits include capital-human substitution of laborious roles, reduced costs, disaster recovery, environmental and agricultural assistance and border control.

There is every reason to believe this trend will continue especially with the maturing of IoT enabling technologies.  IoT will likely have a disruptive impact on business models, labor and asset management.

Organizations will be adapting to the deperimeterisation of their organizations and the digitization of their engagement with customers/partners (e.g. thousands of new Web presences (IPs), social channels and use of SaaS technologies etc) and within a complex organizational structure – (e.g. company owned, JVs, licensed partnerships). The question is, how enterprises will ensure alignment of their enterprise architecture and security protocols when IT are rarely involved in the decision making.  There will be increasing need for digital asset management to ensure effective control of and cost effective implementation of the digital enterprise.

Currently less than 1% of enterprises manage their PCs/Macs with an enterprise mobility management system.  Gartner predicts that this will rise to 40% by 2018.

4. Labor Force Management

Last year we highlighted the growth of the “on demand” workforce and the challenges enterprises are having integrating this into their business planning. How can we meet the organizational challenge of maintaining long-term organizational memory? This raises the issue of how we can leverage technologies to capture the “institutional knowledge” of our workforce in workflow systems such as CRM’s and other application technologies.

This year we are also seeing increasing development in this area by firms like Pfizer who is using the “PfizerWorks” program enabling employees to outsource work to selected service firms.  There is every reason to believe that this trend will continue into 2016 as enterprises better define core staffing needs from project staffing requirements.

New Developments

Since last year there have been new developments affecting the IT and mobile environment.  These changes are reviewed below:

1. The IETF has published HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is a backward compatible update to the network protocol that runs the web and was published as RFC 7540 in May of 2015. The new protocol offers performance improvements and the addition of server push technologies. It optimizes TCP connections and allows push data. As of October 2015 only 1.9% of the top 10 million websites support this protocol.

The graph below demonstrates the growth of HTTP/2 use since July of 2015.  The y-axis is the percentage of all websites using HTTP/2.

1. Apple WatchOS 2

This improvement extends the functionality of the device including the ability to define the watch face with apps and the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network without connecting to an iPhone first.  But perhaps more importantly the OS enables developers to access all the sensors and controls of the watch enabling native applications that will run much faster than previously ported apps.

2. Apple iOS 9

This app keeps track of usage, analyzes data, and habits to provide intelligent suggestions.

IOS 9 is the new iPhone operating system released in September of 2015. The new update offers improvements in multi-tasking, a more sophisticated Siri voice recognition software, and 3D Touch.  To enterprise based applications the multi-tasking and 3D Touch features would be of particular interest.

3. Split-screen multi-tasking

One totally new feature is split screen multi-tasking which enables the user to run multiple apps simultaneously.  This feature could be used to develop complex applications that are designed to run simultaneously on a single screen.

4. 3D Touch

This is Apple’s creation of a 3rd dimensional element in its touch sensitive screens.  Currently available on Apple’s new 6S line, this feature enables apps to sense the intensity of their touch and thereby opens an additional element to the development of screen based apps.

5. Civilian Drone Use

Civilian drone use has great potential to disrupt service industries. An adaptation of military technology, drones have enormous potential to disrupt the delivery of services. A wide variety of sensors can be placed within pilotless drones. Drones have been used to inspect storm damage by insurance companies to ensure faster adjustment of claims.  It has been suggested that drones could be used in taking video and the production of movies (in fact some of the footage in the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” was shot by a drone).  In agriculture drones have been or are being suggested for use in taking inventory, crop inspection, and pesticide application.  Drones have been suggested for use in infrastructure inspections. 

In Mesa County, CO an annual survey using manned aircraft cost approximately $10,000; the same survey was performed by unmanned drone for $200.  At the more extreme end of possible usage companies such as Amazon have been exploring delivering small packages by drone.

In more practical terms the drone industry is growing very quickly, the Teal Group, an aerospace research company has estimated that sales of military and civilian drones will reach $89 billion by 2023. In 2010 the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) estimated there would be 15,000 flying drones in the US.  At last look, more than that has been sold every month.

Drone use is not without controversy.  There have been consistent objections relating to air traffic control and privacy.  This is a fast developing issue and government has been sluggish to provide guidance.  It was only last August that the FAA had approved its first thousand commercial drone requests. Germany only recognized drones as aircraft in 2014.  We certainly can expect more developments in usage, and legal requirements around its usage in the years to follow. 

Key Priorities for 2016

As the world’s growth stagnates and Asia’s markets slowdown, there are a number of key priorities for CxO’s to ensure they protect not only their companies license to operate but also their license to grow and innovate in 2016.

Cutting Costs through Enterprise Apps

As the above graphic illustrates real savings can be realized through better management of mobile applications.  The Internet of Things (IoT) will enable even more cost savings in the areas of supply chains, inventory management, and personnel management and especially in a more effective and profitable customer engagement[1]. However, regarding effective customer engagement, the problem with “things” (or automation) vs customers, is that high-value customers often want to interact with humans. i.e. they often want “recognition” of their value to the organization – think Loyalty schemes e.g. frequent flyer Schemes..

This could be pointed out as a challenge for the enterprise. A real-life example is the issue that occurred with high-value frequent flyers in airports being asked to use airport kiosks. They hated it, and that is why airports also have clubs in the airports for business & first class passengers and frequent flyers – they want better service. With better service, comes a more effective and profitable customer engagement. This is simply another challenge that the enterprise should consider.

The internet of things

The Internet of Things, simply put, is the insertion of sensors and other computing devices into almost any object which is then connected to the internet wirelessly, via sensors or by wire.  This offers the capability to enable communication    between previously unconnected devices such as household appliances, medical appliances, and industrial equipment.  The implications for this technology will likely revolutionize how we interact B2B and B2C. Internet of Things.

Download our whitepaper to get more in-depth information about IoT.