The 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games are in full swing and despite the nay-sayers they seem to be running successfully. There have been no major glitches or controversies and alongside record Winter Games temperatures we have seen many new sporting records set.
Many of the technology and business stories about the Winter Olympics comment on these being the most ‘connected’ games ever with spectators and competitors alike tweeting, posting, face-timing etc., non-stop. I read that even the competitors have brought three connected devices each to Sochi and are busy downloading apps and sending selfies and the like home.
It seems that BYOD is now as much a part of our lives, in and out of work, as the internet is. In fact, according to research from Egnyte, 65 percent of employees identify their mobile phones as their most relied-upon device for work.
This uptake of BYOD should be having a massive knock-on effect on mobile enterprise apps. However while smartphones, tablets, and the like do improve user productivity, existing software is still largely focused on delivering information, rather than enabling users to perform tasks more complex than emailing and web surfing, that business users require like CRM analysis.
For their part, business users are shouting for mobile versions of more enterprise applications, yet the availability of such apps remains very limited. It seems that the organisations these business users work for are often slow to adopt or create them.
However, I believe that this will soon change. Manufacturers, enterprise app providers, and mobile app developers are beginning to work together with the goal of creating devices that have popular enterprise mobile apps factory-installed.
It also seems that working with device and network providers, enterprise application companies are beginning to provide easier access to their application marketplace. This too will result in employees being able buy and download mobile business applications on their own devices.
As I have written previously, enterprises app stores are also growing in popularity, and will continue to do so as they fill two gaps in the market: employees who want custom-built or tailored business applications that they cannot find on a public app store and IT departments who are not comfortable with the public distribution model of certain applications.
BYOD is having another interesting impact on IT departments. Employees are demanding the same capabilities, flexibility and personalisation they get on their mobile devices for the desktop devices, putting IT departments under increasing pressure to further customize their business software.
So, as BYOD matures it is becoming another driver of demand for mobile application development. Enterprise apps now have to work with many, many different devices inside and outside the corporate network and this is fuelling growth in global class computing.