2015 has been a year of rapid change in the IT industry. Earlier in the year we conducted a survey of IT professionals and decision-makers to understand how SMBs and larger organizations are approaching enterprise mobility and productivity. The results of the survey were illuminating and highlighted how far today’s business professionals have come to rely on having multiple devices at their disposal. The general picture was of increasing mobilization, with organizations focusing on delivering a more holistic approach to streamline employees’ workflows, increase satisfaction and boost productivity.

This is an approach we understand at Kensington. We’re always working with organizations and their employees to enable them to get more from their devices, and we recognize that this kind of change is vital for businesses seeking to embrace the shift to a more digital, data-driven economy. In such an environment, the focus on improving security, mobile device management and enterprise mobility can deliver real returns for businesses by giving them a competitive advantage over their rivals.

Our study, then, found that the way businesses work is changing, with a more and more employees relying on their mobile devices for work in a gradual process of work-life integration. Over 80% of those surveyed were routinely sending files back and forth between a mobile device and desktop computer, most often using Google Drive or Email to do so. In this environment, mobile security and interoperability are critically important, with organizations changing their architecture to provide a desktop experience that both secures information and adapts to users’ changing needs.

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Over the last few years, however, app development has been a problem for businesses. While consumer apps have developed rapidly, it hasn’t always been possible for enterprise to keep up with the rate of change and rising employee expectations. The cost of development is the biggest single obstacle. Put simply, demand for app development has outstripped the ability of businesses to supply secure solutions in a simple, effective and affordable way.

Microsoft’s EMEA Convergence conference was held in Barcelona on 30 November – 2 December, with IT experts meeting to discuss the trends that were going to shape the IT and technology industries in 2016 and beyond.  It is not surprising, then, to find that enterprise mobility was at the top of the agenda. It was here that Microsoft announced the launch of its new PowerApps service, a new tool that’s designed to address the problem of affordable and secure app development. Microsoft promise it will let employees design apps they need and to share these with their colleagues. These employee-facing apps might range from simple surveys to complex tools designed to sync with cloud services or connect different arms of the business.

It will be very interesting to see what impact PowerApps has on how businesses go about developing mobile apps and how employees integrate multiple devices into their workflows. It’s indicative of an IT environment in which mobile is increasingly being put first and in which enterprise will need to plan for rising demand, while also find ways of increasing capacity, security and productivity.

Do you have experience of developing employee-facing apps? Which IT trend do you think will have the biggest impact on you and your business in 2016? Let us know over on LinkedIn.

Image by Intel Free Press via Flickr