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February 17, 2017updated 28 Mar 2017 5:35pm

Mobility predictions for 2017

For #genmobile a phone is not really technology, it is just how you get things done. For enterprises this means that mobile strategy is not about technology it is about providing staff with what they expect.

By John Oates

This means providing a network and a bring-your-own-device policy which won’t get in the way of them doing their jobs.

They need safe and secure access to company systems regardless of the device they’re using. That requires secure networks, but it also needs staff to know and understand the security and privacy requirements of using company resources via third party networks.

The same is true for your customers. It is not about ‘mobile first’ any more – it is mobile or nothing.

The time we spend using our mobile devices shows no sign of reducing.

One big predicted change for the year ahead is in how we use applications. The trend is expected to be towards ‘instant apps’ rather than traditional downloaded software. An old cynic might suggest these sound a bit like websites – they’ll allow instant access to the services and data you need without an annoying trip to the app store.

2017 might be the year that artificial intelligence and mobile devices come together. It does seem more sensible to talk to your phone than your desktop computer so it could be that AI assistants conquer the world of mobile before other areas of our lives.

For most of us these services still do not work seamlessly enough, or with enough privacy, to be truly embraced. But several big players, and start-ups, are betting on 2017 the year we start to trust them.

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Other technologies predicted to make it big this year include location-based services and mobile payments, both of which have been available for some time but this might just be their year.

Location-based services have useful enterprise functions in terms of security and logistics tracking. But for consumers we’re still waiting for the application which gives genuine benefits to the user, not just the advertisers.

Mobile payments make perfect sense but the figures should be considered with care. Many analysts put together online mobile payments with payments made to real world retailers and service providers.

With the majority of web use now via mobile devices it is not surprising that consumers are using their existing Amazon or eBay accounts to make purchases on the move.

The more interesting area is people using their mobile phones instead of credit or debit cards. It is this area which is expected to show good growth this year.

Other new technologies which are moving into the mobile sphere include the Internet of Things. While there is an ongoing battle between companies aiming to provide the platform for controlling IoT devices the likelihood is that a big mobile player will end up dominating the consumer market.

Business IoT use will also start to use mobile devices to run and manage IoT networks.

Our final prediction for 2017 is that all this increasing reliance of mobile devices mean that mobile security will become a key issue for both enterprises and consumers.

Hackers go where the data and the access is. Increasingly that means mobile.

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