Mobile technologies: Your 2018 digital transformation roadmap

By Will Kelly

A businessman uses mobile technologies to improve his organization

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If 2018 is the year you intend for mobile technologies to power your digital transformation — or maybe you just want to make good on some of your New Year’s BYOD resolutions — then it’s time to create a mobile technologies roadmap.

The best roadmaps serve as a framework for technology innovation. It can also be a visionary document about the future technologies you are planning to deploy to support the business needs of your user community.

Here are some technologies to consider:

Blockchain for mobile security

Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, can enter your mobility roadmap by supporting mobile payments, the IoT and enabling a remote workforce. The technology eliminates the middleman, enabling two parties to conduct mobile transactions while reducing the attack footprint.

Industry leaders and government entities are exploring the technology for a range of security purposes, particularly around access management. Expect to see more Blockchain-based mobile security solutions as potential competitors to today’s identity and access management solutions, and consider this technology as part of a longer ranging roadmap.

Geofencing to reinforce mobile workforce security

As TechTarget reports, geofencing technology is already integrated into some mobile device management and enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions. It uses GPS or RFID to create a virtual geographic boundary for mobile devices. Geofencing solutions can trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area, making them useful to secure systems access or send notifications about device location.

For example, a hospital can issue its doctors smartphones capable of accessing patient health information (PHI) when they are on rounds. The hospital IT staff implements geofencing with their EMM platform to block access to PHI from the doctors’ mobile devices when they leave the hospital facility at the end of their shift. If the device is lost or stolen, PHI remains secure.

Mobile sales enablement for the field salespeople

Current and potential customers often find today’s sales enablement tools to be very impressive. Salespeople can run full-color, interactive presentations, videos and demos right from their mobile device, impressing current customers and potential new clients alike.

Depending on the sales enablement tool you choose, your roadmap may also need to reflect tool integration with your customer relationship management system and cloud storage — so make sure to include those contingencies in your roadmap, too.

Augmented reality to support engineering and sales

Using augmented reality (AR) — a technology for superimposing a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world — might be the most innovative presentation for workers in the engineering and products industries, Think Mobiles reports.

There is currently quite a hype cycle for AR, and it’s gaining popularity in workplaces by reducing the need for physical prototypes and speeding up the design process, as the Society for Human Resource Management reports.

Think of AR augmenting sales enablement tools so a salesperson can show a 3-D rendering of a complex piece of machinery to a client on their tablet during a sales call. That’s way more impressive to a customer than a binder of drawings or photos.

Mobile business intelligence and analytics

Data requirements are only growing as more enterprises move to SaaS applications and the cloud. It’s time for your roadmap to have mobile tools for your executives and workers to gain actionable data. The value of the mobile business intelligence (BI) market is due to grow to $11.13 billion by 2021, according to MarketsandMarkets, as more startups and established companies launch mobile BI tools.

Right along with mobile BI apps, startups and analytics vendors are giving their customers mobile access to cloud-based big data and analytics applications. Another reason these tools deserve a spot on your mobility roadmap is that they don’t require a data scientist to operate effectively — most laymen will find them simple enough to navigate.

Low-code app development tools for digital transformation

If your roadmap is in development to support the digital transformation of your enterprise, low-code app development tools could be an economic necessity.

The citizen developer trend, which sees staff with few programming skills creating mobile apps using low-code development tools, is on the rise, reports DevOps. Some of the best citizen developers are business users who want to build apps to improve their workflows and solve business problems, improving their own productivity in the process. Often these projects are too low in priority to assign an already busy software developer, but citizen developers with low-code tools can grow into a force for digital transformation, mobilizing business processes that can benefit the entire enterprise.

Mobile technologies roadmap: The path to success

Creating a roadmap should balance direct business requirements, security and productivity. It should also be a bit forward thinking, aiding your mobile first efforts to keep pace with your competitors. Here are some examples of how the technology mix can influence your mobility roadmap:

  • Blockchain adds a new level of security over mobile device user identity, helping to secure back-end systems.
  • Dynamic content delivered to mobile devices and updated through Wi-Fi can help increase sales.
  • Real-time access to corporate data through mobile devices enables managers and other stakeholders to make critical business decisions.
  • Low- or no-code mobile app development tools allow your business users to develop mobile apps themselves and solve business problems.

Never before have mobile technologies had such an opportunity to serve as a differentiator between best-of-breed organizations and those that are fine with the status quo. Which one will you be? The decision is yours.

Written By

Will Kelly

Technical Writer & Content Creator

Will Kelly is a technical writer and content creator focusing on cloud computing, software-as-a-service, and enterprise mobility. He started his writing career writing technical documentation for commercial and federal government clients but now focuses on thought leadership content.…

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