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Debating the Influence of Mobility and the Enterprise

What if the level of influence between mobile apps and enterprise software is exactly the same?

​I recently asked a group of people a question that I thought would raise quite the debate, but it surprisingly (to me) failed to do so. I asked, “Have mobile apps been more influential to enterprise software, or is it the other way around?”

I’d love to say that it was only a slight majority that said, “Mobile apps are absolutely the ones doing the influencing,” especially since I think I disagree, but this was not the case. Every response I received overwhelmingly voted that mobile apps are having a bigger influence on enterprise software than vice versa. Am I crazy for disagreeing and siding with “team enterprise?”

I’ll plead my case, and then, by all means, let me know your opinions in the comments section below.

One of my favorite tech writers, Joe McKendrick, recently wrote a piece titled, “6 ways to bring mobile apps into the enterprise fold,” and his introduction to the article should make those backing mobility as the dominant force take a step back.

A couple of years ago, mobile apps meant weather look-ups and Angry Birds. Now, apps are becoming an essential client interface to the enterprise…

As demand for mobile access grows, and developers build their bases of expertise and toolsets, apps will get more functional as well…. As a result, it becomes much more important and urgent to apply enterprise development approaches to enterprise mobile apps.

I love that McKendrick points out that it’s not only enterprises that need to catch up with the times and needs of today’s mobile device users; mobile apps, and those that build them need to be just as dedicated to serving enterprises’ needs as well.

Both McKendrick, and InformationWeek’s Gregg Ostrowski offer some great suggestions for enterprises that are looking to mobile apps as a new must-have for their business. Many attribute consumerization as the reason that mobility has become such a necessity for businesses around the globe—and it’s this necessity that finally made me take a step back from my position on this debate.

What if the level of influence between mobile apps and enterprise software is exactly the same? Would mobile apps be as important today if they weren’t robust enough to serve the needs of enterprises? Would enterprises be as powerful, or, perhaps one day fail to exist without the added connectivity of mobile technology? I believe the answer is a resounding “no.”

I feel a lot more confident with this position—that the influence between the two is not only massive, but also mutual. Mobile technology and enterprise applications aren’t competitors. And in nearly every case, they’re each made stronger by utilizing the other’s technology. Their level of influence on each other may be debatable, but when they’re combined, their influence on the world around us is immeasurable.

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More Stories By Noel Wurst

I am the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Our solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that companies have within their software development lifecycle. As a result, our customers release better software faster. My aim is to publish engaging, thought provoking stories that revolve around agile enterprise applications and cloud-based development and testing.