Shape of mobility to come isn’t clear

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The way businesses architect their operations to take best advantage of mobile technology, and the way they manage those mobile devices, are likely to evolve in the near future – but the precise nature of that evolution is far from obvious, according to an expert panel at the M-Enterprise event held Tuesday in Boston.

Mark Troester is vice president of product marketing, app development and deployment at Telerik, a mobile app development platform owned by Progress Software. He said that part of the reason for the uncertainty around the shape of enterprise mobility to come is the uneven rate at which businesses have adopted the technology.

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“We see people all over the map in terms of their maturity level in terms of mobile,” Troester told the audience.

According to Joe Reece, a mobility strategist at cloud services and software company MOBI Wireless Management, it’s a much more complicated landscape out there, particularly in BYOD environments – no longer are work email accounts and maybe a custom app or two the limit of business ambitions.

“We’re starting to hear from our customers [about] the value of data, more or less, and being able to use that data – whether it’s to build out customer-facing apps or end-user-facing apps as well that essentially make business more efficient, and it’s good for the end user to have that capability,” he said.

This means that there’s a lot more work to go around for app developers, Troester noted.

“I’ve never met an IT organization that had developers sitting on the bench, because there’s just too much to do,” he said.

Nor is it just the developers who have extra work in store, added Reece. As mobile deployments become more complex, operational support becomes more involved.

“It’s one thing to secure the device and build out the custom apps … [but] then how do you manage the day-to-day of those devices?” he asked.

One saving grace, according to the panelists, is likely to be data. Advanced mobile apps and technologies can provide a wealth of information likely to be actionable by both the IT department and line of business. The same principle that, Troester said, lets marketers track customers through the entirety of the sales process could easily be applied to technical troubleshooting.

The possibilities have raised expectations, he added.

“I think all of us can kind of relate to the fact that we probably do business with organizations that digitally work with us very effectively, and clearly, all of us working outside of the office are using these engaging applications, so people are bringing that same expectation,” Troester stated.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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