4 Mobile Technology Trends Impacting the Enterprise in 2020

Companies with more than a thousand employees have an estimated 428 petabytes (428 million gigabytes) of data within their organizations, spread across applications like video, video conferencing, voice over IP (VoIP), machine-to-machine communications, the Internet of Things, and other connected business applications.

All of this data travels between networks, apps, office employees and customers across the globe each day — and it continues to grow. By 2025, it’s estimated there will be an 800% increase in data from new and current devices — driven in part by these four mobile technology trends.

5G is finally here. The long-awaited fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity has promised more reliable connections and faster download and upload speeds. With some of the biggest names in telecom (AT&T, Qualcomm, Verizon, Nokia and others) keeping global deployments on pace, 2020 will be the year 5G proliferates.

Its value won’t be limited to traditional mobile devices; it also is poised to accelerate mobile advancements in industrial IoT (IIoT) — autonomous driving, smart cities, Industry 4.0 and other bandwidth-hungry applications.

As 5G comes online, this more complex digital ecosystem will require enterprises to maintain control and visibility over their inventory. Additionally, enterprises will need a strategy for identifying and replacing unnecessary/redundant 4G devices and circuits to find cost savings across their organizations. New hardware and connections will be required to take full advantage of 5G, presenting an opportunity for enterprises to refresh their technology to bring it up to speed.

IoT leads to an explosion of endpoints and the urgency for centralized management. The total installed base of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices is projected to amount to 75.44 billion worldwide by 2025 — a fivefold increase in 10 years. Many of these will be in the enterprise, with more types of devices entering the mobile conversation — moving beyond current standards of tablets, smartphones and laptops to tech like wearables, connected machines and VR devices.

Both the quantity and the types of devices will add complexity to how an organization manages all the endpoints on its network, leading to the potential for security, spending and inventory gaps. Any “thing” with connectivity can be classified as mobile device and therefore needs to be managed and treated in line with these endpoints, which will change the principles of IT management.

Companies will need to implement more robust cybersecurity policies and mobility management strategies to ensure the safety of business-critical processes and data. Centralized endpoint management will be a critical part of connected enterprises as they strive to be more efficient, connected and personalized. 

Mobile devices in the IoT create better experiences for organizations and their customers. In 2020, organizations will find new ways to boost their customers’ experiences by connecting devices and maximizing the benefits of mobility. Some of this is already occurring in places like retail, where sales associates walking the floor with tablets can cash out customers on the spot, or point them to the exact location of an item without having to walk them to a desktop computer or customer service.

Organizations, too, stand to benefit, with the caveat that billed usage of IoT on mobile carrier networks must be managed and controlled — especially as IoT moves to NB-IoT, LTE-M and 5G networks.

The role of automation in enterprise solutions will expand. Automation remains on almost every enterprise mobile agenda. There is a variety of drivers for organizations to deploy intelligent automation, which indicates the technology has a breadth of applications across industries and business types. However, for large enterprises, productivity and costs are bigger drivers, while SMBs want better visibility and to eliminate manual tasks.

The ROI from intelligent automation is strong: Three out of four enterprises say they are seeing positive ROI. When asked how they would bet on future technology for enterprise mobility strategy, AI-driven automation was No. 1 – even ahead of security.

As technology continues to improve and organizations are becoming more comfortable weaving automation strategies into human operations, 2020 will be a watershed year in automation-driven enterprise solutions (think advanced virtual assistants, dynamic support experiences, and more).

Bonus: Three Enterprise Mobility Predictions for 2020

  1. More than half of Fortune 1000 companies will build AI/machine learning tech into their enterprise mobile strategy in 2020.
  2. In 2020, two out of every five knowledge workers will complete the majority of their work with something other than a laptop/desktop.

In 2020, more than half of knowledge workers will use at least three devices for business purposes.