Mobile-first solutions are starting to dominate the enterprise sector. This is according to Cassie Lessing, CEO, Strato IT Group, developers of mobile business applications.

Lessing says that more businesses are realising that a mobile-first business – in which employees rely on their mobile devices to conduct business – is better set for long-term success.

Globally, enterprise mobility strategies, which focus on mobile device use for business purposes, are already a top priority as most seek to better engage with customers and create a more efficient workforce.

“Two years ago, when we launched, South African businesses were slowly starting to adopt limited-scope mobile applications. Most were looking to streamline their processes, boost efficiency and gain a competitive edge.

While the uptake was slow, these businesses did enjoy a significant enough lead over competitors and experienced the immediate benefits of a mobile-first approach, but this is starting to change.

Adoption and innovation are increasing in parallel, closing the initial gap fast,” says Lessing.

Not only are more businesses looking to an enterprise mobility strategy, but Lessing says that the mobile apps being developed are becoming more complex and feature-rich: “We are noticing a much deeper level of development within mobile apps, with businesses starting to push the limits of what these can do across the entire company.

We have evolved our flagship StratoPOD from a pure logistics delivery app into a fully functional mobile business app with tailored and bespoke tools specifically designed for a vertical sector.”

Sitting behind this innovation and growth is the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT). The total number of IoT devices is predicted to surpass mobile phones worldwide by the end of 2018, making it the largest group of connected devices.

Exacerbating this phenomenon is that by 2021, there will be 7.7 billion mobile broadband subscriptions, 9 billion mobile subscriptions, and 6.3 billion smartphone subscriptions.

“This makes mobile-first an inevitable enterprise strategy within the next five years,” says Lessing.

While enterprise adoption of IoT and its implementation is growing at a rapid rate globally, the South African time to market is still very slow.

There is a mix of businesses still delaying the overall decision to develop and implement a mobile business strategy, while others are trying to fit a mobile strategy into a five-year IT strategy, which negates the immediate benefits that can be realised with Mobile application adoption,” says Lessing.

Despite this, growth and continued development of enterprise apps are inevitable.

Machine learning (ML), Augmented Reality (AR) together with IoT will continue to bolster enterprise mobility and the increased use of mobile apps:

“These technologies together with a cloud strategy will unleash immense potential for mobile app development. It is a very exciting time and we are looking forward to seeing what this disruption can do for an emerging market such as South Africa,” says Lessing.