6. Enterprise addresses the wearable opportunity

Over the next 12 months, over 50% of technology decision makers have said having a strategy in place to support wearable devices is a priority, with an additional 32% replying that wearables are a “critical” or “high” priority, according to Forrester.

In 2014, Virgin Atlantic experimented with Google Glass for its Upper Class Wing concierge team, to offer a higher level of service by providing staff with passenger information at a glance. Elsewhere, Evena Medical’s Eyes-On Glasses system lets phlebotomists employ Moverio glasses and augmented reality technology to easily locate patients’ veins and reduce failed attempts at injections. The Moverio smartglasses are also being used by field technicians to view models of machinery or systems as they repair them.

When it comes to smartwatches, UBS predicts that 10% of iOS users will buy the Apple Watch, equating to 24 million throughout the course of 2015. As happened with the iPhone, demand for support will be driven by the C-level suite which IT will have to accomodate. As with smartphones and tablets before, the market is watching Apple to see the impact its device has on the uptake of their own offerings.

The challenge that many businesses will face is not just around how to support wearables, but also how to utilise them effectively. Some clever businesses could start to utilise the technology to reduce workplace illness by being able to identify when employees are susceptible to illness, others will use them to improve efficiencies with field teams.

7. Mobiles become personal remotes

The Internet of Things, driven by beacon technology and connected assets, has seen the role of mobile devices transform into personal remotes for the world around us. Now with a mobile device, a facilities manager can control different parts of a building just with their mobile phone. A field engineer can run diagnostic tests on equipment or control it with their phone, bypassing the need to call a control centre. With the rise of connected devices in homes, better inter-device connectivity, connected cars and in the enterprise, connected-assets; mobile devices are fast becoming remote controls for our personal environment.

This trend will continue to rise during 2015, with security becoming a high priority to ensure systems can’t be broken into. The unique qualities of mobile can be utilised to add layers of security, such as geo-location verification, biometric security and SMS authentication.

8. Roles relating to big data will increase dramatically

According to IDC, the big data and analytics market will reach $125 billion worldwide in 2015. IDC predicts that 2015 will also see Data-as-a-service driving new Big Data supply chains focused on commercial and open data sets.

Though some companies are data heroes, the majority are struggling to understand how to manage, segment and utilise the data they collect to maximum gain. Currently, companies need to utilise data analysts who can process, interpret and act on the data collected. Apps are able to produce a large amount of data which can help organisations across their business.

It’s important that data is properly segmented and analysed through algorithms or backend systems that can process the data or outputting data in a way that allows employees to act on the move.

9. Mobile payments become the norm

When Apple Pay launched in 2014, one million credit cards were registered in just 72 hours. Following the early success of Apple Pay, Google noted that transactions with Google Wallet increased by 50%, with the number of users doubling in the month following Apple Pay’s release.

Within two months of launching, Apple announced that it supports cards that represent around 90% of credit card purchases in the United States. Despite only being available on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple has already caused disruption to payments in the US and helped to bolster other mobile contactless payment systems. During 2015, Apple Pay is expected to be enabled in other countries around the world, further pushing mobile payments.

One sticking point for retailers, however, is that Apple Pay doesn’t also cover their own loyalty programs as it is only linked to secure payments and would need integration with different loyalty schemes. This is a question that remains to be answered – for now, with iOS devices at least, users will still need to launch a retailers’ app for loyalty schemes, or have it in Passbook. Google Wallet doesn’t have the same restrictions, so it’s possible to add cards easily there.

Apple and Google aren’t the only players in the mobile payments market, PayPal, Zappar, Current C and others are all vying for market leadership. It’s unclear as to who will win out at the moment.

10. Apple and IBM trigger huge demand for mobile in enterprise

Announced in 2014, the partnership will see over 100 industry specific apps being created for key job roles. Apple’s iOS devices are already a go-to device for businesses across the UK. By having access to apps that have been designed to help employees be more productive, Apple and IBM’s partnership should see the use of iPads and iPhones go well beyond helping employees manage their emails and calendars on the move.

According to stats, released by Apple at its developer conference this year, 98% of the FTSE 500 has tested or deployed iOS devices. Though these deployments won’t always be company wide, it indicates that enterprise has embraced iOS as a platform.

IBM clients that are already taking advantage of the IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions include Citi, Air Canada, Sprint and Banorte.

However, going for IBM and Apple’s offering requires companies to sign up for IBM’s services, which could prove prohibitive for many companies. It also ties companies in to a single platform which may not be desirable to all companies. Whilst this won’t apply to all companies, it will demonstrate what is possible with mobile to a wider cross section of companies. We expect to see other companies follow in the footsteps being taken and investigate the benefits of mobility across different internal and external groups.

Click here to find out the first five predictions.

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