April 21, 2015
A few years ago, mobile usage was only just beginning.
In early 2013, worldwide smartphone sales totaled about 225 million units; in 2014, 1.3 billion smartphones were sold in the U.S. according to The Wireless Association (CTIA).* A few years ago, tablets were not considered essential for business; today, worldwide tablet sales are expected to skyrocket and double in the next several years, starting with projected growth of 28 percent in 2015.
Back then, businesses were focused on BYOD programs and building apps on at least one mobile operating system (OS). Today, BYOD is in full effect and becoming more established every day (see Learn from Recent BYOD Lawsuits); meanwhile, business apps are expected to operate on any OS for optimal quality (see Tips for Mobile Business Development).
And a few years ago, cloud computing was simply referred to as “the next big thing” – and now, it has become a vital business strategy (see 4 Cloud Computing Tips for Business and Avoid Pitfalls in Cloud for Business).
These days, businesses must understand that the key to enhanced mobility is not only a proactive attitude toward new capabilities, but also a focus on integrating cloud to facilitate these innovations (think simple innovations like file sync and sharing, to more advanced capabilities like mobility management and SaaS).*
In short, to take the next step with mobile, businesses must also embrace and integrate cloud.
In addition to building a combined mobile and cloud strategy, businesses should also consider the differences between mobile-cloud and the existing PC landscape.
With this in mind, Forbes points out that any business apps and services must meet the following criteria:*
Although carriers have made leaps and bounds in nationwide network performance and expect to continue making progress (see Carriers Will Improve Network Performance for 2015), many areas throughout the country still suffer from inconsistent network connectivity.
As a result, any mobile business app or service must be able to operate correctly despite a weak signal or unreliable connectivity. At the very least, the company must understand and make users aware of how the app/service will react to a dropped connection or sluggish network.
Smart device usage is growing rapidly (see Analyzing LTE Device Growth in 2014), with more different devices available every year. Due to this wide array of devices in the market, it’s important to understand the many variables in device features.
For example, establish what features each device offers (e.g. voice navigation, touch, gesture), and explore how you can incorporate these into your creation. And don’t forget about the basics, like the variety of different screen sizes (e.g. Will my app/service look good on all screens?) as well as ensuring that every device has sufficient computing power to effectively run your software.
With mobility comes the ability to get data from a user’s device (e.g. motion, orientation, location and environmental/weather conditions). Think about how you might be able to incorporate this when planning and building your creation.
Mobile security (and cyber-security overall) have become a hugely important and popular issue, as viruses and other threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated. In a world of instant sharing and storing information in the cloud, getting complacent with security is more dangerous than ever (see Making the Case for Enhanced Mobile Security and Fortify Your Security in 6 Steps).
Think beyond just securing the device; it’s imperative to also secure access to users’ applications and content in the event of a cyberattack. According to Forbes, “the same identity and access management services must work seamlessly for both cloud SaaS services and custom mobile applications.”*