In our ever-changing, technology-evolving world, there are a few constants. People need to work and collaborate and want to do it as conveniently as possible. These three elements (work, collaboration and mobility), according to a new report by Forrester, make up what the research company calls a mobile app Internet.
What is a Mobile App Internet?
Forrester defines the term “mobile app internet” as
…an application architecture of native apps on smart mobile devices linked to cloud-based services that provide a context-rich experience anytime, anywhere."
With an ability to store or cache data close to the device that needs it, this application architecture uses all of the processing power, hardware and sensors available on the device, whether it be computer, smartphone, tablet, television, vehicle or appliance, essentially making it possible for employees to run any number of mobile platforms and devices that gain access to both enterprise and professional consumer-grade collaboration services.
According to the report's main author, Ted Schadler, who also brought us the empowered employee, says that three forces fueled the need for mobile collaboration solutions.
- Work is something you do, not where you go: 41% of the information workforce is highly mobile and it’s still growing.
- Personal devices become professional tools: Nearly half the smartphones and 70% of the iPads used for work are purchased by employees.
- Mobile apps are worthwhile investments: New mobile apps and services are not just well-funded, affordable and easy to use -- they also help us become more productive and connected.
What Does it Mean?
A mobile app Internet isn’t just another web 2.0 word that the enterprise will have to integrate into its vocabulary. Rather, it’s a mindset they must adopt to mobilize the collaboration tools designed to keep employees connected while achieving low latency on a wireless network.
Forrester predicts that eight applications will emerge at the top of many companies' mobile collaboration must-have list.
- Email and calendars
- Document-based collaboration
- Web conferencing
- Activity streams
- Presence and chat
- Social collaboration
- Expertise location
- Video conferencing
These apps capitalize on the popularity of tools being used by general smartphone users. Not only are they popular, but by integrating them into enterprise collaboration management, companies can be assured that many employees are already familiar with them and are already using them for personal and professional tasks. While companies are encouraged to shift their collaboration mindset, vendors as well are urged to offer these types of applications so they can remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace.
Without a doubt, the mobile workforce influences, affects and improves the types of applications needed to help increase productivity, while making it efficient for everyone involved -- even the infrastructure upon which these services are made possible.