When I talk about mobile I find that I regularly switch between personas — that of the enterprise employee1, the enterprise partner (think B2B), and the enterprise customer (think B2C).
What’s going on in the consumer space seems to be driving a lot of mobile in the enterprise. However, I don’t believe there’s nearly as much “innovation” in the enterprise as there is outside of it.
This year’s WWDC announcements will be exciting as a consumer. However, they’ll further fragment consumer mobile from wide-scale enterprise mobile capabilities.
I don’t believe IT is ready for the sort of mobile adoption/use that we encounter in our daily lives outside of work. And IT are losing ground.
Why is it easier to get an Über cab than it is to reserve a conference room? Why?!
I have had an interesting twitter conversation about HTML 5 vs native apps. I really believe HTML5 is a stop-gap measure, and not solely sufficient for a mobile strategy. However, I have been convinced that well written HTML 5 apps can be as good as native apps performance-wise. Unfortunately, HTML5 apps will never measure up to native apps when it comes to native device capabilities.
I believe we’re going to see some interesting stuff that might qualify as Internet of Things from Apple on Monday. Here’s a great post that sums it up. Look for the part about the role of Apple TV in home automation, and iWatch in medical/health automation. Apple’s strategy will further drive native device capabilities as differentiation, making HTML 5 apps even less compelling and user-friendly (not from a UI perspective necessarily, but from a device capability perspective).
As I think about WWDC it’s easy to get excited by the consumer impacts of Apple’s plans, but also easy to forget the impact they have on enterprise mobile technology. Enterprises are not ready for a broad-based native mobile app strategy, but the more native device capabilities are used to drive innovation, the further behind non-native app strategies become.
You see, I believe very strongly that BYOD is a proxy for BYOE — Bring Your Own Experience2. As Apple’s IoT platform plans drive consumer behavior, they change people’s experiences with technology which they in turn bring back into the enterprise.
IT is simply not ready.
As a proof point, lets look at two of the largest financial companies — Bank of America & Fidelity. In the last week they both rolled out updated mobile banking apps. Both finally incorporated iOS 7 look-and-feel. Let’s all take a minute to point out that iOS 8 will absolutely be announced next week. They have only one mobile app, and yet still they’re a year behind on a product that has a yearly update-cycle.
I get it that this is just one data point. But it’s illustrative of the larger challenge.
- I believe that at a fundamental level employers compete for employees, and younger more technical savvy employees will start to choose companies that enable them to work the way they live which will in turn put a lot of pressure on IT to innovate. As such, employees make for a very important persona to consider when it comes to mobile, UX, and the way we incorporate technology into our daily lives. [↩]
- I wish I could trademark BYOE. [↩]