It’s that time of year again when every analyst, journalist and blogger sits down to pen something around what we have learned in 2012 or what they predict for 2013. I love these articles. A little like Nostradamus, some people get an incredible amount right and some are hilariously wide of the mark. Of course, which falls into which bracket won’t be determined until this time next year.

The prevailing theme of my blogs is the fact that it is impossible to know what the future holds especially when it comes to mobility. The pace of change is so fast that even keeping up is becoming an issue. For that reason I have decided that this year I won’t be making any predictions.

Instead I have been reading lots of fellow bloggers work and have decided to discuss the predictions which seem to combine most with the requests, questions and scenarios I hear when talking to customers, prospects and peers. Those trends, or predictions if you like, are the subject of this blog and highlight the implications they will have on the world of enterprise mobility.

Context king

I have said it before so won’t harp on again but context should play a huge part in every mobile strategy. The implication is that there is no need to be forced into a decision between tablets and mobiles. Companies should choose a device which is right for the job at hand. However, it is also imperative that when the right device type is chosen, the applications that are created are built with the context of how they will be used.

This in turn affects the way any application must be designed. Developers need to design the functionality of the application around its use. For example, with a tablet the user is two handed whereas with the phone everything needs to be done with one hand and even one finger.

We will not all be packing mobile wallets – yet

The vast majority of the major players are looking at mCommerce (Paypal recently launched their offering, Google have Google Wallet and At&T, Verizon and T-Mobile offer Isis Mobile Wallet). Right now in the UK mobile commerce is something of a novelty available at just a few retailers but the combination PayPal’s announcement and the involvement of the major players suggests that mobile commerce is on its way and is something that needs to be included in a mobile strategy, sooner rather than later.

Smartphones will overtake PCs

Sales of PCs in the consumer market have been slumping for a while now whilst the uptake of both Smartphones and tablets has sky rocketed, we now exist in an era where even getting a laptop out and firing it up for information is seen as too much effort. Instead we reach for our phone or swipe the screen on our iPad. This suggests that if you don’t have a mobile strategy right now you better build one and quickly for if you don’t you face being left behind whether you are an enterprise or an ISV mobility is something you must look into and soon.

Business mobile users will continue to diversify their mobile operating systems

This is an inevitable consequence of the speed of changes and uncertainty that exists in the world of enterprise mobility. It seems almost impossible to know which platform to choose and which will be “leading edge” in the future, with the constant updates of Android and Apple and the launch of Windows 8 enterprises are left not knowing which way to turn and so diversification follows in turn meaning mobile strategies must take this into account.

Enterprise app stores (or downloadable enterprise apps) will become more prominent in 2013

The recent launch of the Google app store for enterprises suggest that enterprise is the new battleground for the major players in the smartphone market. The decision by major vendors to open a private app store for enterprise applications is an obvious ploy to help build market share by winning over the hearts and minds of the corporate market.

We’ll start to see more “mobile first” applications

Companies referring to themselves as “mobile first” is certainly become more popular and as the the mobile device is fast becoming a primary revenue source for application developers it seems logical that we’re likely to see the mobile first development trend continue. This strategy requires a new approach to planning and application development and will mean that factors such as context will become increasingly important in optimising the experience for mobile users.

So there it is the prediction blog that wasn’t. None of us possess a crystal ball, if we did we would be incredibly rich but what we do have is the common sense to spot a trend and having spotted that trend the challenge is to decide whether it is one that will affect you and your company. The above trends seem to be the most prevalent right now. Who knows which will still be under discussion next year.