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December 22, 2014

Enterprise mobile apps in 2015: 6 expert predictions

Talking to those in the know, CBR gives you the top 6 enterprise mobile app predictions for 2015.

By Ellie Burns

Throughout 2014 we have seen growing adoption of mobile apps in the enterprise. As organisations embrace mobility, what will 2015 bring to enterprise mobile applications?

Talking to those in the know, CBR gives you the top 6 enterprise mobile app predictions for 2015.

1. Software development will be brought in-house

Chris Mills CTO, EMEA at Pivotal predicts: "Historically, enterprises outsourced their software development to places like India, with highly skilled and cost effective workers willing to take on their projects. In response to changing market conditions however, corporations are increasingly bringing software back in-house to create applications that actually respond to their customers’ needs."

"Enterprise computing has transformed dramatically over the last 30 years — from the mainframe to the client-server model and now to the cloud. Much of the disruption has come from agile start-ups who have leveraged cheap infrastructure, storage, networking and open source technology to run their businesses with software at the core."

"Organisations that don’t learn how to manage custom app development – like Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix do – will lose out.

2. The rise of the app store

Mark Bishof, CEO at Flexera Software commented: "As organisations accelerate their adoption of enterprise app stores, the utility of these self-service stores will expand beyond that of simply providing employee access to company apps."

"IT will discover that app stores are an ideal environment to consolidate disparate and separately managed systems, such as mobile and desktop application management."

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"App stores will also be used to enable proactive license management by tying application requests into existing Software License Optimisation processes, and enabling employees to partner with IT in managing application usage, reclaiming unused applications, and minimising waste."

3. Enterprises will embrace native applications

Yorgen Edholm, CEO of Accellion told CBR: "There will be more emphasis on serving the needs of the mobile user this year, which I think will be the year of the enterprise mobile applications."

"The IBM/Apple partnership and HP’s push into the mobility market illustrate just how large this market has the potential to be. So far, the apps created for enterprise use have been a mobile skin on existing desktop solutions. In 2015 enterprises will be looking to develop new, native applications that take true advantage of the mobile device form factor and unique mobile features to create streamlined business processes."

4. Shift towards a more collaborative approach

"Enterprise mobile app development will move towards a more collaborative approach." Cathal McGloin, vice president of Mobile Platforms at Red Hat, told CBR.

"This is partly in response to the increased number and complexity of mobile app projects that will need to be managed by businesses, but is also a reflection of the iterative nature of mobile app development and the need to speed it up and make it more cost-effective."

"A typical mobile app project can involve several different developer skills (from UI/UX front-end coding to back-end services development, analytics, administration, DevOps and more). The adoption of more component-based approaches to app development will create the need to provide more granular access control: locking-down functionality and securing sensitive components."

5. Focus will be on supporting infrastructures and architectures

Red Hat’s Cathal McGloin said: "As organisations mature beyond point solutions, the focus will shift to the underlying architectures that support agility and continuity of mobile projects."

"In addition to increasing adoption of open, cloud-based mobile application platforms, we predict that this maturation will create opportunities for Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) vendors to offer a broad set of enterprise services. PaaS and mobile as traditional middleware could be offered as a true application platform "as-a-Service" that can run across the public cloud, private cloud and the on-premise data centre."

6. Vulnerable apps riskier than vulnerable operating systems

Kevin Mahaffey, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Lookout, told CBR: "As of January 2014, mobile apps (not mobile browsers) replaced desktop web browsers as the primary way people use the Internet. Mobile operating systems have been getting more secure over the past several years; however the attack surface due to mobile apps has increased."

"As developers seek to churn out apps faster than their competitors, security and privacy are often an afterthought. Apps can contain vulnerabilities that put both their data at risk as well as open a hole for a network-based attacker to run arbitrary code on a device."

"For example, with a recent vulnerability (unsafe usage of addJavascriptInterface on Android), Lookout measured over 90,000 apps that were likely vulnerable. This is an impossible patch logistics problem. Operating system patch cycles are still a problem, but the numbers are relatively tractable relative to the huge numbers of mobile apps."

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