Not sure what to expect from mobile technology in 2017? If the research firm Forrester is right, its report “Predictions 2017: Mobile Is The Face Of Digital” portrays a world in which mobile will continue its rapid growth and become the primary way that consumers interact with businesses and the way businesses operate internally. This means that we will see big changes in enterprises’ mobile strategies and the way they develop apps and who will be developing these apps.
Forrester’s Julie Ask notes in her blog about the report that “In 2016 mobile evolved from a stand-alone channel to a baseline for all branded digital experiences. In 2017, mobile will continue to elevate customer expectations as it transforms even non-digital experiences – such as Starbucks ‘order ahead’ functionality.”
That doesn’t mean that mobile apps alone will rule the world. The report says that
Moving Beyond Mobile Apps
Forrester believes that “app fatigue” has set in among many people and that, as a result, companies need to build an entire mobile portfolio rather than simply depend on using apps to reach consumers. Ask says, “Mobile is a gateway to new interactions that are rapidly gaining customers’ mobile moments – such as messaging, services on connected devices, instant messaging apps, chatbots, virtual assistants and beyond.”
That’s already started to happen. As I reported in my blog post, “Why Artificial Intelligence Will Be Big in Mobile App Development in 2017,” artificial intelligence is being used to create bots to help people order online and will use machine learning and input from the sensors to make recommendations to people about what they should be doing next.
Mobile apps are not going away, the report says, and they’ll still remain an important way to reach consumers. But enterprises will need to build out additional mobile platforms. Ask explains, “We call this app-plus, where a company will still have to have an app in many cases, but will also have a portfolio of mobile services like a presence on Facebook Messenger or in various chatbots.”
This focus on multiple ways of reaching people using mobile will put a strain on enterprises, who will hire many more mobile developers in 2017. So, expect 2017 to be the year that enterprises do less outsourcing, and hire more in-house mobile staff, with some Fortune 100 companies growing their mobile staffs to hundreds of developers, the report says. And those developers will have to become experts in multiple mobile channels.