Chances are you’re reading this blog on your smartphone or other mobile device, maybe even when you shouldn’t be – like over that romantic Valentine’s Day dinner you’re supposed to be enjoying with your significant other.
The reality is it’s a mobile world – one that has changed the way we think about everything we do. Here are my top predictions for the hottest mobile trends of 2015:
- The “Internet of Things” (IoT): As Wikipedia defines it, IoT is “the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure. Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications.” This obviously holds great significance for the mobile world, and we’re seeing it pop up in places that are truly revolutionizing the way we work and live. For example, in the Telehealth arena, wearable devices are becoming increasingly common, taking advancements in healthcare to places we could have never dreamed of even five years ago. And in the not too distant future, the transportation cloud will transform traffic patterns in urban areas, change the car insurance industry, allow us to legally make all the phone calls and check out the latest puppy hanging off a Tiger’s ear, all while going 55 MPH. Unleashing the data is what the IoT is all about, and the primary delivery mechanism is mobile.
- The User is Always Right: You’ve heard the old adage that the customer is always right. In creating the optimal user experience (UX) and user interface (UI), the user is always right. While many organizations understand the mobile-first construct, it only takes a few bad reviews on Yelp for businesses to realize that a “user-first” plan is much more important. In other words, organizations have to develop based on their business objectives, but as importantly, develop for who’s holding it.
- Millennial Security Marshalls: The demand for cybersecurity expertise has never been greater. It’s so great, in fact, that we are seeing this becoming a growing vocational focus. This development is driven by everything from the need for a continual increase in government security across all the alphabet agencies, to retail outlets that are struggling to keep pace. As we take things out of the traditional enterprise environment, we have to be even more cognizant of security; access to sensitive personal and business data is constantly being pushed out to mobile devices, and hackers are rapidly developing more and more clever ways to get to it. Embed security into the DNA of your mobile solutions…your customers will know if you are not.
- Games – They Aren’t Just for Kids: We’re all competitors at heart. Gamification is taking our competitive spirit and turning it into a business strategy. Everyone from marketing to sales to HR is jumping on the gamification bandwagon. If you own a Fitbit, for example, you know what this is all about. Or, if you signed up for a rewards program with Starbucks on your phone, you’ve experienced the immediate gratification that these types of games can provide. It’s happening today, but in smaller market vertical segments. It’s only a matter of time before organizations will be deploying gamification tools en masse across their enterprise and out into the mobile world for all kinds of work-related activities, including things like recruiting (the Army already does this), training, enhancing the customer brand/loyalty, and enhancing the company’s cyber posture. Get your game on!
- Mobile Analytics: You might think I saved the boring stuff for last, but wait a minute – since when is ROI boring? We just talked about gamification and how we all feel empowered when we “win.” It’s no different for an organization, be it government or commercial. At the end of each transaction that occurs on a mobile device, an organization needs to understand how it positively impacted their mission or bottom line. While the user is always right, the organization also needs to have a strong business case to invest in that user. Analytics are at the core of what make the mobile experience defendable, and there is an entire set of data tools being developed to support it.
Now get back to your dinner. Put your phone away, relax, and ignore that buzz signaling that it’s your turn at trivia. It will still be waiting for you after dessert.