As we move from through digital milestones year on year, we are continuously immersing ourselves in the world of technology solutions that redefine boundaries. The rise of smartphones led to a booming market for app development, and the rest of the market seems to have followed suit, allowing users to customise their experiences based on personal preferences.
In a recent survey conducted by Comscore, 50% of all Americans spend their digital ‘screen time’ on a smartphone, supported by the introduction of 4G networks enabling users to carry out a larger range of capabilities, gradually reducing their reliance on desktops and other platforms. When it comes to your daily schedule, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when you consider that your smartphone is often your main source of news, music, navigation, and social updates.
While desktops and tablets will lag behind, they will still play a crucial role in a consumer’s everyday life, and will continue to lean into the world of apps. Google Chrome is supporting a customised ecosystem for their browser, where users have access to a well-stocked library of extensions where they can shape their browser to their own preferences. The best App Stores are open to developers, which means anyone can build a new app, add it to the store and commercialise it.
Even basic functions we took for granted are being replaced before our eyes. WhatsApp and iMessage are mobile apps which offer similar services to built-in messaging functions, yet are proving vastly more popular despite the need of an internet connection, thus reinforcing the fact that we are living in a more connected world where we are not limited to where we are to communicate with others. Think back 10 years ago when data plans and mobile browsers were non-existent, and how reliant people were on ‘built-in’ functionality. Now, if you don’t have something, you choose a solution and install it, end of story.
From a business perspective, we are already seeing an increase in the number of organisations who are adjusting their portfolios to have new app products and are planning their enterprise digital strategies to keep up with worldwide trends before they are left behind in the days of the open web. While initial adoption was slow, the motion has gained significant traction over the last few years as organisations realise the value from moving some of their critical applications to cloud-based technology. This creates more incentive for developers to provide solutions, and as a result better solutions for your business.
Chinese telecommunications provider Huawei is among the many corporate tech giants who have taken steps to adapt to this trend, with the company predicting that by 2025, all enterprise IT app solutions will be available via the cloud and approximately 85% of all enterprise applications will be cloud-based. By investing in strategic areas including devices and networks, the company aims to become an enabler of cloud IT solutions and encourage other vendors to follow the trend.
“Every company will integrate its core business with the cloud, and will be on the look-out for cloud solutions that best suit them” – Ken Hu, CEO of Huawei
Currently, the biggest driver of the enterprise app market is accounted for by private cloud workloads and software as a service (SaaS), controlling approximately 28% of the market. However, it is new technology solutions via infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that hold the highest growth expectations according to 451 Research, who believe that the service offers the ability to fit ever changing business needs and offer more efficient use of technology for businesses and will offer significant revenue potential for vendors. While initial adoption was slow, the motion has gained significant traction over the last few years as organisations realise the value from moving some of their critical applications to cloud-based technology.
The growth of enterprise applications is also being pushed by the availability of open source information and resources. As applications are usually designed to complete a small set of microservices, they are relatively simple to create. This has led to a rapid progression of users looking to create their own solutions as vendors may not offer products that are a perfect fit for their organisation. With this comes growing awareness of security and data storage, but the underlying message is clear – people are tired of waiting and have realised that they can get the solutions they need using IT-sanctioned development software.
Looking forward, we will continue to see a trend towards front-end web based app technology that will rival native applications and enterprise all-in-one software in functionality. Smaller, reactive applications will begin to dominate. Shortcomings in behemoth software solutions that have frustrated users will finally be solved by nimble solutions that help organisations to build up their enterprise solution architecture the way they want to.