Mobile: 2017 Surprises and 2018 Predictions

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Mobile: 2017 Surprises and 2018 Predictions

Mobile, IoT, and artificial intelligence for superior customer experiences on mobile devices will help companies differentiate themselves from their competition.

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Given how fast technology is changing, we thought it would be interesting to ask IT executives to share their thoughts on the biggest surprises in 2017 and their predictions for 2018.

Here's what they told us about Mobile:

John Sprunger, Senior Technology Architect, West Monroe Partners

2017 - The most important mobile event during 2017 was the advent of consumer-oriented Augmented Reality (AR) experiences across both the iOS and Android platforms, driven by on-device Machine Learning technologies. Though these AR experiences have been around for a while, the new device capabilities make these experiences more versatile, engaging, and immersive than ever before. We’ve already seen these new technologies driving interesting and powerful new consumer experiences for marketing, e-commerce, and retail. I fully expect we’re just scratching the surface in 2017 in terms of what experiences will be created for end users, not to mention the wide array of internal, disruptive enterprise-focused use cases for AR.

2018 - We’ll start to see an even greater expansion of conversational technologies embedded within mobile experiences, including chatbots and voice assistants. The major mobile players are all ramping up to embed their technologies into the core mobile experiences, with Google pushing Google Assistant on Android devices – and Apple beginning to open up Siri for additional interactions, and beginning a push around Apple Business Chat – their business-focused chatbot technology. Businesses will need to be prepared to take advantage of these new technologies, by bringing customer service and user experiences into the apps that users are spending most of their time in.

Mike Kail, CTO, CYBRIC

2017 – Mobile continued to eat the world in 2017. Upgraded devices from Apple, Samsung, and Google, along with the proliferation of "wearables" helped to drive new, mobile-first solutions. Marketing, through the usage of location-based services and AR/VR, is the area that really made the most gains via mobile.

2018 – Revenue driven by Mobile will continue to soar in 2018. New IoT devices along with mobile payments being the preferred commerce solution will fuel that. The sheer compute power of mobile devices will start to eat into laptop sales and many will choose to become true "mobile road warriors".

Abbas Haider Ali, CTO, xMatters

2018 – The Android ecosystem will scramble to get a FaceID equivalent technology to compete with Apple as consumers realize that it changes the interaction paradigm for authentication on mobile devices and start to demand it.

Eran Kinsbruner, Mobile Technical Evangelist, Perfecto

The biggest event from 2017 was the new iPhone launch. I believe that in the mobile space, Apple, from one hand surprised with “boring” iPhone 8/8+ devices while transforming the smartphone landscape with the new iPhone X that removed the traditional home/touchID button and put a new price tag for the smartphone industry (premium smartphone).

Another surprise in 2017 was the “death” of the Nexus brand – with Pixel being the rising flagship from google with the acquisition of HTC brand.

In 2018 we will see the next wave of smartphones with newer digital engagement interfaces, and other unique characteristics like foldable screen, advanced artificial reality, more context-based capabilities and virtual reality and audio capabilities.

To match the above prediction, we will see the next wave of smarter apps that involve chatbots, location-based scenario’s (see the newest one from BOFA as an example) and more will rise. 2018 will be the year we see more of this happening as organizations are trying to streamline their apps to have the latest digital engagement capabilities, as well as work across all legacy and modern devices and OS versions. Some further thoughts:

  1. It will impact and modernize IVR (call centers). Brands will realize the cost savings (headcount) and increased user satisfaction. Call centers will modernize and become part of the digital strategy
  2. Audio engagement using Alexa/Echo will mature and we will see demand for it

Sandeep Adwankar, Sr. Product Manager, Sencha

2017 - Currently mobile users are downloading less than one app per month on average, but they are visiting over 100+ websites per month on mobile browsers (per Comscore).

2018 - Companies such as Google and Mozilla are leading efforts to overcome the hurdle of downloading apps from an app store with Progressive web app (PWA) enabled web apps. Progressive web app technologies are now supported in multiple browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and coming soon to Edge.

Christopher Dean, CEO, Swrve

2017 - I spoke to a lot of banks this year, and almost every time I did I was surprised by the scale of the digital transformation even within the more conservative financial sector. The consensus is that customer interactions are now split 95/5 in favor of digital platforms, and that 95 is mostly mobile and the mobile app. Entire businesses have been turned upside down and the pace of change to digitization is still catching many by surprise. I spoke to one European bank who delivers more interactions in one minute on the mobile app than their entire branch network in a week. An extreme example, no doubt, but a sign of where we’re headed." -

2018 will be the (beginning of the) end of marketing. As mobile and devices become pervasive in the consumer's life, the old marketing model of interruption is no longer relevant. Consumers are now fully in control of their experiences and largely intolerant of what we used to think of as marketing campaigns. On that basis, successful brands will invest in providing 'help in the moment' - personal, relevant interactions rather than broader one-to-many campaigns. As a result, the way we think about marketing, and the way marketing departments operate, will have to change.

Clare Grant, General Manager, Mobile, Red Hat

In 2018, I expect we will see enterprises more fully embrace the convergence of artificial intelligence, mobile, and IoT. In many regards, mobile is the more mature technology and many of these organizations will find that they face similar challenges in developing applications for IoT and AI as they did with mobile, such as integration and security; however, many of the lessons learned with mobile will be valuable in terms of helping organizations recognize and overcome challenges quicker.

Paul Kopacki, CMO, Realm

2017 - Google officially embracing Kotlin at Google I/O was a surprise -- I expected it would take them a bit longer.

2018 - We’ll see the convergence of Mobile and IoT in 2018, as people realize they are both elements of the same thing.

Dan Juengst, Principal Technology Evangelist, OutSystems

2018 - We will continue to see the convergence of mobile and web applications with a mobile capability being critical for all enterprise applications. Mobile will become the primary interaction mechanism for many B2C services as we are seeing today in financial services with mobile banking applications and in the airlines with mobile check-in and ticketing.

Dean Hager, CEO, Jamf

In 2018, mobile device management will take a step forward. Apple Watch currently doesn’t have management capabilities. This was the same story for Apple TV devices until earlier this year. But with the introduction of tvOS 10.2, IT admins could automate deployment, setup and configurations for their Apple TVs. If Apple Watch wants to go mainstream in an industry, such as healthcare, it will need management. Why? If a doctor were to prescribe an Apple Watch to a patient to closely monitor their health activities, IT needs to be able to put restrictions on the device to ensure security and privacy of the patient’s information, and once the Apple Watch is returned, it must be wiped and reset for the next patient.

ai, android, ios, iot, mobile, wearables

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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