The ‘post-app era’ and flying cars: Why we are still a long way off both

The ‘post-app era’ and flying cars: Why we are still a long way off both

The ‘post-app era’ and flying cars: Why we are still a long way off both

1 comment 📅06 May 2016, 02:45

The ‘post-app era’ and flying cars: Why we are still a long way off both

According to Gartner, we should be preparing for the ‘post-app’ era. At last year’s Gartner Symposium one of their top 10 predictions was that “by 2020, smart agents will facilitate 40% of mobile interactions, and the post-app era will begin to dominate.”

Last year was also the year depicted in “Back to the Future” which predicted 30 years ago that many of us would have flying cars by now. At the time it seemed quite logical; cars and aeroplanes were commonplace and 30 years seemed like more than enough to combine and commercialise them. Surely it couldn’t be that hard?

For many people, as soon as they step into their work life it is like being in the ‘pre-app’ era

Mobile applications have existed for many years of course, but the term ‘apps’ only became mainstream after the rise of the iPhone and the App Store which started back a little over seven years ago in mid-2008. As consumers, we have seen the explosion of apps and understand all too well how they’ve become an integral part of our daily lives, even if sometimes it means they consume a little too much of it.

For many people, as soon as they step in to their work life, it is like stepping back in time to the pre “app” era. Their work issued devices are dated and so are the applications on them. These applications don’t offer anything like the user experience we’ve come to expect.

It is true the likes of Apple, Google and Microsoft are trying to go beyond the single app experience, but even they are only making slow progress. They are in a privileged position as they control key parts of the technology stack, particularly the Operating System and the App Store. This allows them to go beyond the sandbox of single applications. How much impact this has on the apps we know and love today is yet to be seen, let alone how it will effect our work lives, if at all.

While there has been some progress in bridging the growing divide between the technology experience of our personal lives and that of our work lives, there is still a long way to go. Sadly, for many enterprises, the app era has hardly begun. Some IT departments may like the idea that they can skip the app era altogether, but that seems as unlikely as driving a flying car anytime soon.

Gartner made another prediction last year. “By the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organisations’ capacity to deliver them,” they wrote. If enterprises are going to have any hope of giving their employees the tools they need to do their work effectively, then they are going to have to adopt a lot more off-the-shelf apps rather than allowing their IT departments or external contractors to try to build them custom ones.

While there has been some progress in bridging the gap between technology in our personal and professional lives, there is still a long way to go

For customer facing applications, it probably is a good investment in building something custom so you can differentiate yourself from your competitors but for all the other applications that your employees need on a daily basis, the default choice should be a best of breed off-the-shelf application. It is the only way to meet demand.

Some of the recent surveys on the number of enterprise employees using non-IT authorised applications for work are astounding. This suggests many enterprises are going to have to play catch up and do it fast before it gets out of hand. If there was to going to be a new Back to the Future movie made, they might have to adapt one of the famous quotes. “Apps? Where we’re going, we don’t need apps.”

1 Comment

    09 May 2016, 02:45 spydie

    You are all missing the best tab on the market for $499. The Asus tra1former prime. Pure honeycomb with no branding or crippling

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