The Future of Enterprise Mobility

A pair of mobility experts from 451 Research and Yankee Group talks about what's in store for the enterprise in terms of mobility trends and developments.

Mobile platforms

Chris Marsh, a principal analyst in enterprise mobility with Yankee Group, discusses an ROI specifically for mobility, mobile cloud platforms, application development and what enterprises can expect to see in terms of enterprise mobility in 2014.   

Tell us about your Return on Mobility (RoM) scoreboard and how it calculates current and future RoMs.

Chris Marsh: The Return on Mobility scorecard is a new research methodology that calculates the value enterprises achieve from their investments in the platforms they use to develop, deploy and manage mobile technologies and services. It's an ROI specifically for mobility. With the increasing importance of mobile, social and cloud technologies enabling business success, it’s crucial for companies to make the right, informed decisions concerning the solutions and platforms they use.

The focus of the RoM scorecard goes beyond total cost of ownership to measure ROI for enterprises through benefits such as application integration, employee productivity and customer experience.

Yankee Group independently sourced and surveyed customers of one of 10 different mobile application platforms used to develop, deploy and manage mobile business applications. The current RoM score is composed solely of the data provided by the survey respondents. The future RoM score uses the survey data gathered in this research study and also includes Yankee Group’s own qualitative scoring against a set of blueprint characteristics we believe will characterize the leading platforms in the future.

What changes do you envision for traditional IT departments during the next several years? And what can we expect to see in terms of enterprise mobility in 2014?

Among the changes Yankee Group looks to take place is that mobile applications will move front and center. It’s only in fairly recent times that the tools to help companies affect this shift have been available. Tools that are both enterprise-grade and that offer the type of agility, scalability and flexibility for enterprises to innovate in a truly mobile-world have not long been a reality. They are beginning to emerge, but enterprises are still being sold either the false promise that traditional approaches have all along allowed this capability or the false compromise that you can’t have both.

Another market change is mobile cloud platforms will look to become the new mobile middleware. New mobile cloud development and infrastructure platforms have emerged during the past 18 months with a steely gaze on the enterprise, on the proliferation of internal and customer-facing applications being considered, and on becoming the new mobile enterprise middleware. By abstracting much of the traditional back-end engineering complexity to cloud-based services, these vendors offer a compelling approach, one that will continue to have market-wide impact and be key to helping enterprises scale not only their applications and projects but also their innovation.

We also expect application development options to proliferate. Companies now have plenty of choices when it comes to app development. Besides the above platforms, they can continue to partner with developer agencies or boutique consultancies. Or they can turn to a connectivity platform or to one of the growing backend-as-a-service tools providers, and a wealth of easy-to-use mobile software development kits, or they could look to the growing momentum around responsive development approaches. These are all solid approaches.

About the Author

Jack Rosenberger is the managing editor of CIO Insight. You can follow him on Twitter via @CIOInsight. To read his previous CIO Insight article, “For Most CIOs, 'Life Is Good,' " click here.


This article was originally published on 02-20-2014
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