Gartner has issued their top strategic technology trends of 2014 and we thought we’d dive into these in a little more depth, over two parts. This first part will focus on mobile trends.

An underlying theme of the mobile trends identified by Gartner is the move to greater connectivity: cheaper mobile devices and data have brought rapid changes to the world that will continue to accelerate moving forwards. With the rise of mobile devices, suddenly everyone is connected in a personalized way. This notion of always being connected wherever you may be, has now transcended into the workplace and the expectations of how people expect to work.

The mobile trends discussed by Gartner are broken down into: Mobile Device Diversity and Management; and Mobile Apps and Applications. Why? Because both these areas are being pushed by the consumerisation of enterprise IT.
Gartner predicts that this year will see a further growth of device-agnostic, HTML5 coded apps pushing into enterprise organizations. As users bring more of their personal experiences to work, these apps will connect them to other people (both in their organisation and external) and to the key information they need to do their work.

It’s not a new idea, but ‘user experience’ is also becoming a larger part of the lexicon of the requirements for enterprise’s IT. Gone are the days when an IT department could offer poor user experience, they now need to combine simplicity, elegance and functionality. A software tool will only get a good level of adoption if people either enjoy, or don’t notice using it. Clunky, slow and bad user experience will simply make these new breed of mobile-enabled users move back to the consumer apps they use at home.

So elegance is the key for the front end of an app. Behind the scenes, these systems have to be secure and easy to manage. As Gartner says: “balance flexibility with confidentiality and privacy requirements” – in other words, give users the experience they are used to, but ensure that they are secure when they do so.

Workshare takes this into consideration with its mobile enterprise solutions; we recognize that people need to work in a secure, yet simple way. What will be interesting to see develop, is how we and other developers take on the challenge of moving from an “application” to an “app” world over the next 12 months and beyond.

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