Gartner - Top 10 Mobile Technologies and Capabilities for 2015 and 2016

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Top 10 Mobile Technologies and Capabilities for 2015 and 2016 Tweet 12 February 2014 G00260239 Analyst(s): Nick Jones Free preview of Gartner research Summary We discuss 10 technologies and capabilities that will be critical to organizations wanting to unlock the full potential of mobility as part of their digital business strategy. Overview Key Findings Organizations wishing to unlock the full potential of mobility must master a wide range of technologies and skills, many of which are currently unfamiliar to IT staff. The business and technical opportunities enabled by our "top 10" mobile technologies and skills should be explicitly addressed in corporate mobile strategies. Recommendations Use technology road maps and Hype Cycles and work with Gartner to identify those mobile technologies that will be important to your organization's mobile strategy. Once you have identified key mobile technologies, plan to acquire the skills, tools or partners necessary to exploit them. Many mobile technologies and skills will be rather tactical because of the high rate of commercial and technical evolution in the mobile domain. Therefore, look for rapid return on investment from those technologies, and use agile development processes to ensure you can achieve your goals. Table of Contents Analysis o Multiplatform/Multiarchitecture AD Tools o HTML5 o Advanced Mobile UX Design o High-Precision Location Sensing o Wearable Devices o New Wi-Fi Standards o Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) o Mobile-Connected Smart Objects o LTE and LTE-A o Metrics and Monitoring Tools Gartner Recommended Reading Analysis Through 2016, mobile devices and applications will continue to offer many opportunities for commercial and technical innovation. They will create new ways to improve process efficiency and effectiveness inside the organization and will deliver innovative products, services and customer relationships outside it. Unlocking the full potential of mobility requires the organization to master a wide range of technologies and capabilities. In this research, we discuss 10 that should be on every organization's radar screen. These certainly aren't the only important technologies; we encourage clients to consult Gartner Hype Cycles to identify others they should be tracking. However, we believe these 10 will be important to virtually every organization, so they should be explicitly addressed in their mobile strategies. The items listed were selected based on their potential impact in both consumer and employee-facing mobile contexts with a somewhat greater weight given to employee-facing usage to reflect the needs of many Gartner clients. The impact of a technology or capability is derived from its ability to create more compelling applications, improve application delivery, unlock new business opportunities, create innovative experiences/services or improve mobile/wireless infrastructure performance. Multiplatform/Multiarchitecture AD Tools What are they and why are they important? Most organizations will need application development (AD) tools to support a "3 x 3" future three key platforms (Android, iOS and Windows) and three application architectures (native, hybrid and mobile Web using HTML5). Tool selection will be a complex balancing act trading off many technical and nontechnical issues such as productivity vs. vendor stability and most large organizations will need a portfolio of several tools to deliver to the set of architectures and platforms they require. When? Many multiplatform development tools are already available. The market is very crowded and complex, as illustrated by "Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms." Market evolution and consolidation will continue through 2018. Who will be impacted? All organizations developing mobile applications. Cautions: "Write once, run anywhere" is unachievable for apps with nontrivial user experiences. However, "write 80% once" is achievable for many apps, so such tools have value even if they aren't perfect. Consider most tools as tactical decisions because in 2014 there are far too many mobile development tools over 150 at our last count. Radical market consolidation and rationalization will occur. HTML5 What is it and why is it important? "HTML5" is an umbrella term often used imprecisely to refer to a set of Web specifications including HTML and related standards such as SVG, WebGL, Canvas, CSS3, WebSocket, WebRTC and various technologies for offline data storage within the browser. Modern mobile browsers support a range of these standards, enabling developers to create sophisticated mobile Web experiences that in some cases can approach the quality of native apps (see Note 1). Despite its immaturity and the challenges noted below, HTML5 will be an essential technology for many organizations that deliver apps across multiple platforms, especially for employee-facing situations when the highest quality of user experience isn't essential. When? All smartphones and tablets already support some version of HTML5, although there are many differences of detail depending on browser and OS versions. The various substandards will continue to evolve for the foreseeable future. Who will be impacted? All organizations developing mobile applications or websites. Cautions: HTML5 complements but does not replace native code, although hybrid applications that combine HTML5 with native code allow developers to blend the strengths of both approaches. HTML5 is a moving target and is fragmented with many differences between devices, browsers and OS versions so significant testing will be required. HTML5 experiences may be unsatisfactory on poor-performance smartphones and slow network connections. Advanced Mobile UX Design What is it and why is it important? Leading mobile apps are delivering exceptional user experiences (UXs) achieved with a variety of techniques including motivational design, "quiet" design, "playful" interfaces and new methodological approaches such as HEART (see Notes 2, 3 and 4). Designers are also creating apps that can accommodate mobile challenges, such as partial user attention and interruption, or exploit technologies with novel features or a "wow" factor, such as augmented reality. Many leading apps have been created not by IT staff but by digital marketing agencies that are experts in areas such as psychology and artistic design. When? Now. Leading mobile apps are already setting high user expectations in both employee- and consumer-facing situations, and poor user experience is a common contributor to low app-store ratings. Additionally, new sensors in mobile devices combined with wearable smart accessories will increase the range and richness of interactions through 2018 (see Note 5). Who will be impacted? High-quality UXs will be particularly important for organizations delivering consumer-facing mobile apps that directly impact revenue or customer satisfaction. Cautions: People with the skills required to create a leading mobile UX are scarce, and the most compelling experiences are often expensive to develop. High-Precision Location Sensing What is it and why is it important? Knowing an individual's location to within a few meters is a key enabler for the delivery of highly relevant contextual information and services. Apps exploiting precise indoor location currently use technologies such as Wi-Fi, imaging, ultrasonic beacons and geomagnetics (see Note 6). In 2014, we expect growth in the use of wireless beacons from vendors such as Apple (iBeacon), Qualcomm (Gimbal) and Shopkick (ShopBeacon). In the longer term, technologies such as smart lighting will also become important (see Note 7). Precise indoor location sensing combined with mobile apps will enable a wide range of new location-based services and related information, such as dwell time. When? Several indoor location-sensing technologies are available now, and all will continue to mature through 2018. We expect the use of beacons based on the low-energy Bluetooth Smart standard to grow in 2014 and 2015 as beacon costs fall and increasing numbers of consumers acquire handsets that support the necessary Bluetooth technology. Who will be impacted? High-precision location is likely to be particularly important for organizations that deploy consumer-facing mobile apps and that own facilities with large areas of indoor real estate, such as shops, sports stadiums or malls. Cautions: Precise location sensing raises many privacy concerns that may be addressed using sophisticated "opt-in" approaches. Privacy may be subject to regulation in some countries. Excessive or inappropriate use of location-based alerts can be intrusive. Finding ways to turn location information into increased revenue has been challenging for some early adopters. Wearable Devices What are they and why are they important? The smartphone will become the hub of a personal-area network (PAN) consisting of wearable gadgets such as on-body healthcare sensors, smart jewelry, smart watches, display devices (e.g., Google Glass) and a variety of sensors embedded in clothes and shoes. The sensors in these devices will communicate with mobile apps to provide information and deliver new products and services in areas such as sports, fitness, fashion, hobbies and healthcare. Many of these services will be part of a wider trend Gartner labels the "quantified self," which will create new ways to engage with consumers and employees. When? In 2014, wearables are dominated by sports and fitness sensors. Pilots of smart jewelry, such as pendants with notifier capability, have been demonstrated, as have a few items of smart clothing containing LEDs that can be programmed with a smartphone. This is, however, a market in its very early stages; we expect wearables to grow to be a multibillion-dollar-a-year market by 2016. Who will be impacted? Industries such as healthcare, sports and fashion will manufacture wearable devices and use mobile apps to control the devices and to analyze the information they collect from them. Organizations will find business uses for wearables with their employees; for example, they may use the devices for monitoring, communicating, and assuring health and safety . Cautions: Personal accessories such as smart watches displaying email and messages will pose new security and management challenges for employers. Devices that can record video will raise many privacy concerns, as has been demonstrated by Google Glass. New Wi-Fi Standards What are they and why are they important? Emerging Wi-Fi standards such as 802.11ac (Waves 1 and 2), 11ad, 11aq and 11ah will increase Wi-Fi performance, make Wi-Fi more relevant to applications such as telemetry, and enable Wi-Fi to provide new services (for example, to citizens in public locations). Over the next three years, demands on the Wi-Fi infrastructure will increase as more Wi-Fi-enabled devices appear in organizations, as cellular offloading becomes more popular and as applications such as location sensing demand denser access-point placement. The opportunities enabled by new standards and the performance required by new applications will require many organizations to revise or replace their Wi-Fi infrastructure (see Note 8). When? Prestandard versions of 11ac Wave 1 can be deployed immediately; other standards will emerge in production equipment through 2016. Who will be impacted? Any organization with a Wi-Fi network. Cautions: Identify which standards and capabilities will be required through 2016, and ensure that your equipment vendor commits to support the necessary upgrade paths. Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) What is it and why is it important? "Enterprise mobile management" (EMM) is a term that describes the future evolution and convergence of several current mobile management, security and support technologies. These include mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), application wrapping and containerization, and some elements of enterprise file synchronization and sharing (EFSS). Such tools will mature, grow in scope and eventually address a wide range of mobile management needs across all popular operating systems on smartphones, tablets and PCs. When? There are around 160 MDM tools of various types available today, which, by 2019, will converge into a much smaller number of mature EMM tools. Who will be impacted? All organizations wishing to manage and secure mobile devices. Cautions: Many vendors of today's mobile management and security tools will vanish in the process of market consolidation, so consider current MDM purchases as a 24-month tactical decision. Mobile-Connected Smart Objects What are they and why are they important? By 2020, an affluent household in a mature market will contain several hundred smart objects, including LED light bulbs, toys, domestic appliances, sports equipment, medical devices and controllable power sockets, to name but a few. These domestic smart objects will be a part of the Internet of Things (IoT), and the majority of them will be able to communicate in some way with an app on a smartphone or tablet. Smartphones and tablets will perform many functions, including acting as remote controls, displaying and analyzing information, interfacing to social networks to monitor "things" that can tweet or post, paying for subscription services, ordering replacement consumables and updating object firmware. The combination of smart objects and mobile apps will enable a very wide range of business opportunities (see Recommended Reading). When? A small number of smart objects and appliances are available in 2014. Examples include sensors, thermostats and a few items of larger equipment such as domestic appliances and air-conditioning units. The range of domestic smart objects will continue to grow through 2025, by which time any nontrivial piece of equipment or furniture costing more than $100 will likely contain sensors. Who will be impacted? Any company making equipment or products that could be monitored or controlled by a smartphone owner. Cautions: Privacy and security will be key concerns for individuals, because many domestic smart objects will "know" sensitive information, such as whether a house is occupied. Development of interoperability standards for smart objects will take many years. LTE and LTE-A What are they and why are they important? LTE and its successor LTE-A are cellular technologies that improve spectral efficiency and will push cellular networks to theoretical peak downlink speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Additional benefits include reduced latency. Real-world LTE speeds tend to be under 100 Mbps and early LTE-A trials have peaked at around 300 Mbps in best-case conditions. New features such as LTE Broadcast will enable operators to offer new services. When? LTE is already partially deployed in many countries. A few LTE-A trials have been conducted at the end of 2013, although widespread deployment isn't expected to start before 2015, as few LTE-A client devices are available. Once deployment of a technology such as LTE or LTE-A starts, it typically takes seven to 10 years to achieve nationwide coverage and user adoption. Who will be impacted? All users of cellular data benefit from improved bandwidth, reduced latency and increased capacity. Applications that demand high-speed real-time data such as streaming video will benefit substantially; so, for example, LTE is allowing some cellular networks to compete with satellite data for broadcasting applications. Cautions: Very high-speed networks may encourage some users to consume large amounts of data and so incur very large charges. Some carriers may struggle to satisfy the demand generated by new high-bandwidth applications. Metrics and Monitoring Tools What are they and why are they important? It's very difficult to predict all aspects of mobile application and website usage or performance. The diversity of mobile devices makes comprehensive testing impossible, and the nondeterministic nature of mobile networks and the cloud services that support them can result in performance bottlenecks. Metrics and monitoring tools often known as application performance monitoring (APM) can help. They provide visibility into app behavior and crash diagnostics. They also deliver statistics about which devices and OSs are adopted and monitor user behavior to determine which app features are being successfully exploited. When? Mobile metrics and monitoring tools are widely available for apps and mobile websites from a range of vendors, including Compuware, Crittercism, Keynote and New Relic . Who will be impacted? Any business for which the quality and performance of a mobile app or website are important. Examples include areas such as retail, hospitality, social networking and financial services. Cautions: This is an immature market in 2014. New vendors are emerging regularly. Avoid lock-in to any specific vendor. Additional research contribution and review were provided by Richard Marshall, Bill Menezes and Rob Smith. Gartner Recommended Reading Some documents may not be available as part of your current Gartner subscription. "Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms" "Combining Smart Objects With Mobile Apps Creates a New Frontier in Consumer Innovation" "Bridge the HTML5, Native App Gaps With Hybrid Approach" "Technology Overview: Quantified Self" "Vendor Landscape for Mobile Application Performance Monitoring" "Prepare to Deal With HTML5 Security Risks" Evidence Information sources used in creating this research include Gartner market forecasts; discussions with clients, vendors and colleagues; and internal Gartner estimates for the future number of domestic smart objects. Note 1 The Many Faces of HTML5 HTML5 can be used in many ways by mobile developers wanting to create high-quality experiences that cross a range of devices and form factors. One common approach is responsive Web design (RWD), where Web pages and style sheets are designed to format information appropriately for different devices. A more advanced approach is to use substantial amounts of client-side JavaScript, often in conjunction with a sophisticated JavaScript framework such as Sencha or AngularJS to create what's effectively an app written in JavaScript. This approach is complex, but it can create highly sophisticated experiences. Note 2 Motivational Applications The term "motivational applications" refers to apps designed with the intention of creating a measurable change in some aspect of human behavior. Note 3 "Quiet" Design The term "'quiet' design" refers to a set of principles intended to reduce the digital noise of interfaces to promote a sense of calmness, comfort and control. Note 4 HEART HEART is a framework for mobile design and metrics. The acronym stands for happiness, engagement, adoption, retention and task success. Those are viewed as the key goals of a mobile app; followers of this approach seek to define and optimize metrics in each of those areas when creating mobile experiences. Note 5 Sensors and Ensembles We expect mobile devices to acquire new sensors (such as for temperature and barometric pressure) and to use existing sensors such as the camera in new ways (e.g., gesture control). Wearable accessories will also include various forms of user interface including displays and haptics. Combining capabilities will enable a range of new user experiences including "ensembles," interactions that involve multiple devices (for example, a smartphone and a smart watch) Note 6 Geomagnetic Location Sensing Geomagnetic location sensing uses the e-compass on a high-end smartphone to sense the perturbations in the Earth's magnetic field caused by the structure of a building. It uses this information to deduce where in the building an individual is located. Note 7 Smart Lighting The term "smart lighting" refers to information modulated onto the light emitted by an LED lamp. This information can be sensed by a smartphone app using the camera or ambient light sensor. Note 8 802.11ac Wi-Fi Standards 802.11ac Wave 1 delivers performance levels of up to 1 Gbps. Wave 2 extends this to approximately 3 Gbps. 2014 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Not a Gartner Client? Want more research like this? Learn the benefits of becoming a Gartner client. Contact us online Research More 07 May 2014 Cool Vendors in Mobile Marketing, 2014 Mobile marketing continues to mature as a component of digital marketing strategies. This maturation is driving an emphasis on microlocation, tools and technologies that enable high-quality engagement and analytics. These areas are of great importance to CMOs, and digital and mobile marketers. 10 April 2014 Communications Infrastructure Modernization Key Initiative Overview Modernizing communications infrastructure is a vital part of enabling enterprises to respond faster to changing business needs, as well as support business needs for improved efficiency and process optimization. Enterprises can use this overview when embarking on their modernization initiatives. 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