Editor’s Note: With 2013 now upon us, RCR Wireless News has gathered predictions from leading industry analysts and executives on what they expect to see in the new year.
J. Gold Associates presents its trends for the next 2 to 3 years, covering the emerging technologies, products and strategies that will be critical to users and organizations.
1. Mobile devices will become the biggest users of “big data” and business intelligence/analytics by 2015/16 as users increasingly look for information to help them be more productive. This requires all the major back office players (e.g., SAP. Oracle. IBM, Microsoft) to create an easy path to activate mobile analytics. Those vendors that are successful will create a major market advantage while those not embracing such capabilities will be severely disadvantaged.
2. Mobile payments will take longer to achieve market penetration than expected, and we do not expect mature markets (e.g., United States) to see major uptake before at least 2015/16. This is a result of the confusion of many users in selecting a “mobile wallet” and the competing brands/vendors in the market (e.g., ISIS, Google Wallet, EBay, future Apple offering).
Despite most current smartphones containing NFC chips, the lack of point of sale-enabled terminals to accept them will also hinder adoption and take 2 to 3 years to achieve critical mass.
3. The role of mobile device management will be fully integrated into existing infrastructure and back office systems vendors in the next 2 to 3 years (e.g., SAP, Cisco, Citrix, Microsoft, IBM). This will cause the market for standalone MDM/MAM solutions to shrink and see most vendors either be acquired or disappear. A small number may “bulk up” by acquiring other players and expanding to other mobile areas (e.g., app development), but will ultimately represent a niche area with limited growth potential.
4. Within the next 2 to 3 years, we expect a new market to emerge for bring-your-own-server solutions, consisting of dedicated function, very low cost, bounded systems that create a specific application environment. Such devices will be driven by the increased popularity of similar products in the consumer space (e.g., Tivo) and the increasing ability of formerly mobile directed chips (e.g., ARM) to create low power, low cost, “disposable” server components. We expect new vendors to appear and/or refocused vendors (e.g., Calxeda, Sea Micro) to take advantage of this emerging opportunity, driven by targeted chip solutions from the major vendors (e.g., Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, Nvidia).
5. The chip wars will continue unabated for low powered and mobile devices, as both the ARM and x86 ecosystems expand their coverage and markets. Within 2 to 3 years, we expect x86 based chips (e.g., Intel’s Atom) to capture 25% of the mobile chip market, as uses expand beyond smartphones and into more feature rich tablets and other mobile devices (e.g., automotive, machine-to-machine). Further, these ecosystems will expand into low power servers that will enlarge the overall market for devices, and will provide an advantage to x86 based systems by extending existing apps and capabilities.
6. By 2015/16, the definition of a mobile device will have changed dramatically and will no longer focus on form factor (e.g., smartphone), but focus more on portability and function. Embedded and/or fixed form factor access points (e.g., “infotainment” units in cars and homes, kiosks, industrial equipment) will become a key user interaction point. We expect these device to represent more than 15% of mobile traffic and content access within the next 2 to 3 years. Further, many will be utilized for business purposes, with organizations creating enterprise apps for competitive advantage.
7. Cloud-based mobile solutions will advance, but will not overtake the need for installed apps on devices. By 2015/16, we expect cloud based solutions to be a supplementary and not replacement strategy for most business users. Indeed, the majority of companies will see a productivity gain by judiciously mixing of public and private cloud, while utilizing the productivity-enhancing apps they already have in place. Infrastructure vendors (e.g., IBM, SAP, Cisco, Citrix, EMC) will provide a “hybrid” approach that enables organizations to transparently utilize a mix of on-premise and cloud-based services.
8. Security considerations driven by the increase in mobility, numerous device types and dispersion of data content into the cloud will force companies to reassess how their corporate information is protected and networks are accessed. Within the next 2 to 3 years, security vendors’ (e.g., McAfee, Symantec, IBM, EMC/RSA) focus will shift from apps on individual devices and centralized servers, to policy-based enforcement enabled by network-based analytics and device enhanced contextual and conceptual enforcement mechanisms. This will enhance security and compliance but make many corporate security installations outmoded and force a fundamental upgrade.
9. Application proliferation will increase over the next 2 to 3 years as multiple schemes for built-your-own apps become commonplace, driven by the maturing of HTML and related Web-based technology in the cloud. However, benefits of native apps will remain, particularly for enterprise-based solutions driven by specialized workflow. Many rapid app development vendors (e.g., Appcelerator, Sencha) will be acquired and/or integrated into existing development environments and enterprise back-office solutions. But organizations will still deploy a substantial portion of their solutions in traditional native apps format.
10. By 2015/16, the mobile device, especially smartphones, will become the new “hub” of personal networking, with specialized peripherals wirelessly connected to these devices that then connect to cloud based services.
Personal health, security, social services, monitoring, etc., will become available from a variety of vendors at increasingly attractive price points. This new peripherals market will dramatically add to the perceived benefits users obtain from their smart devices and increase data usage.
We expect to see a variety of ecosystems emerge as the device vendors (e.g., Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Research In Motion), carriers (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone) and emerging companies attempt to gain advantage in the marketplace.
11. Social network interactions will eclipse email as the preferred cooperative communications for enterprise users by 2015/16. This requires that companies create a social networking strategy to securely and effectively make use of these new and integrated technologies.
Traditional e-mail vendors (e.g., Microsoft, IBM, Google) will create integrated suites/tools to provide complete enterprise-quality solutions, while solution vendors (e.g., Salesforce, Oracle, IBM) add capabilities to their platforms. We expect to see continued acquisitions of social media capabilities by these vendors over the next 3 to 4 years.
12. Computing form factors will continue to proliferate. Despite predictions to the contrary, the personal computer, especially portables/notebooks/ultrabooks, is not dead. Indeed, in the next 2-3 years the “transition” of the traditional PC will continue, and the number of devices will grow by 15%-20% per year.
Emerging form factors (e.g., ultrabooks, all in ones) will comprise the majority of sales in their respective markets. Smartphones will supplement rather than replace the more capable creation capabilities of PCs, and tablet devices will only replace 25% to 35% of PC devices.
13. By 2015/16, cloud based apps will enable no more than 35% to 45% of mobile solutions, as most enterprises will continue to deploy native apps connected to back-office on premises systems. We expect cloud-based solutions to grow slowly as companies are reluctant to create new solutions that replace legacy installations that require a substantial investment. Solutions vendors will maintain their existing preference towards on-premises solutions, while existing cloud-only solutions will add on-premise extensions.
14. Mobile consolidation will continue. By 2015/16, we expect no more than three carriers per major geographic area (e.g., United States, European countries) as acquisitions/consolidation continues. As overall data usage grows, we expect LTE to represent 65% to 75% of the market.
Further, we expect Apple’s share of the smartphone market to decline to 20% to 25%, while Android achieves 40% to 45%. The rest of the smartphone market will consist of RIM BlackBerry (10% to 15%), Windows (10% to 15%) and specialty OS’ (e.g., Bada, Tizen). Finally, we expect Samsung and Apple to remain the leading vendors in mature markets, while emerging markets (e.g., China, India) see a bevy of new entries vying for share.
15. The previously unrestricted philosophy widely enabling bring your own device in most organizations will be curtailed to reduce company costs and app anarchy. By 2015/16, most enterprises will require users to comply with well-defined policies and procedures that safely and securely segregate corporate and personal information. This will be accomplished by most device OS vendors offering a dual persona capability, additionally enforced by corporate information “firewalling” security features.
Manageability, security and policy enforcement will become a key competitive advantage for device vendors looking to impact the enterprise market.