Mobile Predictions for 2018

2018 is going to be huge for mobile in the enterprise.

What’s going to happen for enterprise mobile in 2018? We polled some of Sitrion’s experts for their top trends for the new year. Here’s five predictions they made for the next year and why.
 

Brian Kellner, CTO

A mobile-first relationship between company and employee becomes ubiquitous.


We’re already seeing a surge of companies try to interact more with employees via mobile, but I think it becomes a paradigm shift in 2018. The proliferation and use of mobile devices is so great that companies won’t really have a choice; many are already doing corporate communications and basic information access through mobile. I think how people use their phone for work won’t change much – quick tasks and communications will still be the focus of enterprise mobile. 

For heavy information work, mobile devices still have a long way to go. But the innovations in user identification (like touch and face ID) can really help with getting the right balance of security and ease of use. We’re already using face ID with Sitrion ONE, and you can see companies are more comfortable with the security arrangement we’ve created.
 

Mobile addiction becomes a hot story; we look for solutions to inefficiency created by attention-switching.

Young adults look at their phone every six minutes. Constant interruptions costs a lot of productivity. 

In personal use of devices, I already see a bit of a backlash building to the overuse of mobile. This article is a good summary of the current issues we see today. The stat that jumps out to me is “Young adults (age 15–24) check their smartphones an average of 150 times per day (or every six minutes).” 

While the implications for personal use are development issues, antisocial disorders, sleep disorders, etc, the implication for the professional use is a decrease in effectiveness. Attention-switching is very expensive for human brains. The people who are looking at their phones every six minutes are never going to be able to focus effectively enough to solve really challenging problems. So I think 2018 may be the year that we start to realize that this pattern needs to change. Much like the problem of excess sugar in the American diet, I don’t think there will be a quick and easy fix, but at least I’m hoping the problem is recognized this year.

So how do we combat too much attention-switching while accommodating the rise of the mobile employee experience? We need a benevolent next-generation of Google Now that basically filters out notifications that really aren’t worth interrupting you for, prioritizing information for the times you do look at your phone, and (maybe) helping people to limit looking at their phone when they should be concentrating on other things. 

James Casagrande, Marketing Director

The "notification layer" is recognized as highly important and becomes a battleground.

 

With the advent of wearable devices, it became clear that there is a layer of information that you always want readily available or consider important enough to interrupt you at any time. The apple watch is basically a vehicle for this kind of hyper-important, time-sensitive information. We’re calling this the ‘notification layer’ because it’s anything that a user would like to get a push notification for. 

Choosing what information is interruption-worthy at work will have a big impact on engagement and productivity.

Since mobile addiction and attention-splitting are becoming more important topics, deciding what makes it into the notification layer is paramount. So what information gets privileges to make it onto a smart watch or a push notification from a company to an employee? An office closure? Sure. A warning about low vacation days remaining? Maybe. A reminder that benefits enrollment is ending? Ok… maybe. An announcement about a new charity initiative from the CEO? Probably not. An announcement about pizza Fridays? Hell no. For enterprise employee apps, deciding what is important enough for the notification layer is a critical exercise. Poor governance will lead to a loss of productivity and readership.

More intranets are shut down than “rebooted,” replaced with a mobile-first solution.


Too often we’ve seen the hopeless endeavor of ‘rebooting’ or ‘relaunching’ an intranet to try and get employees to use and read intranet content in greater numbers. While it’s nice to think an updated and more intuitive user interface may produce better results, these projects ignore the inherent flaws of the intranet concept that prevent greater adoption. An Intranet is a destination that is unnecessarily inaccessible and is restricted in its ability to curate what content gets curated, personalized, and pushed to each unique user.

The workforce is clamoring for mobile-first information that brings them only what they need. The majority of companies know this; in 2018, they’ll finally act on it.

Ronnie Gilbertson, VP Customer Success

The end of the wallet draws near.


About a month ago I ditched my wallet in favor of one of those card holder attachments for your phone. I love it. Most of the information and utility I carried in a full wallet has been transferred to services on my phone. So I started to think: what’s left to move from physical world to the phone?

The only two things I have in my wallet are a credit card and my driver’s license. Mobile credit services like ApplePay will become ubiquitous in 2018 and allow me to ditch the card. Thanks to secure access like PIN and face ID biometrics, I could see government start to move towards a digital identification option. So by the end of 2018, I think I’m fully wallet-less.

So what’s left to get rid of in my pocket? My keys? We already have an option for mobile locking and unlocking of your home via IoT. If I upgrade my car I’ll probably have a choice for keyless entry. So yeah, pockets will seem pretty pointless next year. Thus my 2019 fashion prediction: the rise of pocketless slacks.
 
Getting predictions right is hard, but we’ve got one easy prediction from our whole team: 2018 will see a record number of companies leverage mobile for a better employee experience. That’s an easy one.
From our team to yours, have an awesome new year!

James Casagrande

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