A new year brings new ideas and new priorities for businesses. With the technology available constantly changing and evolving at such a fast pace, 2017 is also expected to bring a number of trends for the mobile enterprise which will continue to sculpt a new set of standards and expectations for how people work.
As leading IT providers such as Salesforce continue to bolster their offerings, and place even more power in the palms of their enterprise customers’ hands to innovate from within, the mobile technologies being leveraged by modern businesses are becoming more exciting, while having a far greater impact on the daily lives of workers.
Just before Christmas we reflected on 10 important statistics from the past 12 months which shed some interesting light on the current role mobile apps are playing for businesses within the Salesforce community. Now we’ve turned our attention to the year ahead, with five predictions regarding trends for the mobile enterprise we believe will take shape throughout the remainder of 2017.
More device power = More complex apps
Paul Tarpey, Chief Technical Officer
As with every year, it’s clear that device hardware will simultaneously become cheaper and more sophisticated in 2017. As a result, mobile devices will run faster and have greater data storage capacity.
All of this will bring a number of demands for developers, consultancies, and solution providers alike. This will include demand for incorporating new plugins for new hardware, demand for greater app performance, and demand for more data to be available locally.
From a MobileCaddy point of view, we’ll be responding to these challenges by further automating much of the build and testing processes of our apps, working hard to improve the performance of our product, and introducing new aspects of our services to support our customers and their apps in any situation.
Important releases are expected
Todd Halfpenny, Senior Mobile Technical Architect
From a developer’s point of view, I think we’ll come to see that the Ionic v2 GA release will be a very important part of 2017. Angular v2 has now been available for some time, and the release candidates for Ionic are coming to a close.
The incredible step up in performance of desktop web apps running Angular 2 over those running Angular 1.x is quite significant. For this improvement to become available, and production ready for mobile and tablets (and desktop) through Ionic, we should finally see an end to the vast majority of performance criticisms when it comes to the ‘native vs hybrid’ discussion.
Once the GA release of Ionic v2 is out, MobileCaddy aims to follow suit with updates to our tooling, workflow, and seed and shell apps to support it. This is overall an effort to ensure that our apps perform to the required enterprise-grade level at all times, and meet the desire of business users for reliability and confidence from their mobile applications. Because of this, it’s looking like 2017 could be a very exciting year.
IoT could finally take centre stage
James Scoble, Salesforce Administrator
This may have been a series regular on annual lists like this for some years now, but I do think that in 2017 we’re going to see far more implementation of the much talked about Internet of Things (IoT), as the hardware, or ‘things’ themselves, become cheaper and easier to integrate for enterprises.
So our devices will become hubs that we can use to control or monitor specific ‘real life’ objects. In the enterprise, the collection of data could be of huge value, as well as providing a more seamless experience for employees and customers.
In fact, analyst firm 451 Research has just said that more than seven in 10 enterprises are now gathering IoT data. The company’s latest survey backs this up. It found that 90% of enterprises will increase IoT spending over the next 12 months, and 42% say they’re using IoT data to develop new products or improve existing products and services.
Mobile apps: Design beyond the devices
Frank Hart, Lead Product Engineer
Thousands of new mobile devices are launched each year by a multitude of different manufacturers, each with their own viewpoint on how they believe their users should be interacting with those devices. These views bring new technologies, interfaces, and form factors to an already huge array of devices available to choose from. When you couple this with an increasingly mobile workforce, who may each have several different devices which they work from, it becomes important that the mobile applications they’re using are developed with this in mind.
It’s infeasible for developers to have to create updates for all the apps they work on to support each latest device resolution precisely, nor is it accurate to lump the mobile devices into the two general categories of either tablet or smartphone. Because of this, in 2017 we will see more developers aiming for a UI that is not only ‘responsive’ but also adaptive. For the user, this will mean that if they have more screen real estate then the apps do not simply stretch within the view to take up this space, but use it to improve their experience and drive their efficiency.
With more developers beginning to approach UI and UX in this way, we’ll see users gain more value out of their apps and become less frustrated, while organisations will receive a greater return on their investment in mobile.
Business critical mobile apps will reach the ‘mainstream’
Robbie Westacott, Content & Marketing Manager
For Salesforce customers, consultancies, and partners, one very important trend which has been developing over the past year or so, and will continue to play a crucial role in the growth of the mobile app market in 2017, is the separation of apps into different ‘classes’ based on their varying capabilities and complexity.
Many businesses have now surpassed the point where gaining just ‘basic productivity’ from apps such as Salesforce1 simply doesn’t deliver enough value, and these organisations have realised the true power of mobility lies in apps which are capable of supporting (and enhancing) critical business processes.
A good example of this is leading fashion and retail brand Diesel. Using the Salesforce platform to build a custom app for a field-based workforce, Diesel was able to push past the damaging limitations of its Salesforce1 app to deploy a solution which achieved an 80% increase in efficiency for its employees.
Results like these are driving far greater demand from end user companies, placing more pressure on consultancies and partners to deliver. This will see the more advanced classes of mobile apps gain significant momentum in 2017, becoming a driver of competitive differentiation and positive change within those businesses which embrace their potential.
To learn more about this important trend, and to understand what it could mean for your business, read on here where we’ve outlined the five classes of Salesforce mobile apps and what’s required to successfully deliver them.