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By 15 January 2014 | Categories: news

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Well regarded research company Gartner has let loose a few surprising if not downright shocking predictions with regards to mobility.

The first of these is that  app development apparently has a dim future for mobile application developers hoping to strike it rich. Indeed, despite the proliferation of app-friendly mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, generating outstanding revenues from creating and selling apps is on its way to becoming an exception to the norm.

Gartner elaborated that, by 2018, less than 0.01% of consumer mobile apps are expected to be considered a financial success by their developers, hardly a heartening statistic.

"The vast number of mobile apps may imply that mobile is a new revenue stream that will bring riches to many," explained Ken Dulaney, Gartner’s vice president. "However, our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits and that many mobile apps are not designed to generate revenue, but rather are used to build brand recognition and product awareness or are just for fun. Application designers who do not recognise this may find profits elusive," he warned.

Victim of its own success?

The problem, at least for app developers, is apparently that the mobile application market is "hyperactive." Exacerbating matters is that the plethora of good, free mobile apps has further raised the bar what should be paid for, and presumably how much these apps should cost.

"There are so many applications that are free and that will never directly generate revenue. Gartner is forecasting that, by 2017, 94.5% of downloads will be for free apps," added Dulaney.

A dim view of app development’s future is not the only bleak forecast from Gartner with regards to mobility. The company also predicted within the next two years, 20% of enterprise Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs will fail due to enterprise deployment of mobile device management measures that are too restrictive.

Once again, it is general users themselves that contribute to BYOD’s predicted failure rate. Dulaney explained that whether via formal BYOD programs, or just via devices coming in the back door and being configured to access corporate systems, the use of consumer technologies in the work environment “presents a threat to IT control of endpoint computing resources.”

In other words, a company’s control of the computing devices being used on its network will likely only become more tenuous. This, of course, and as we have heard numerous times, only brings with it a raft of security concerns as well, including security breaches, infections of a network and the possible compromising of sensitive data.

Just one more…

The final prediction coming out of Gartner was neither negative nor positive. The company foresees that, within the next three years, the browser on mobile endpoint devices will be used as a sophisticated application delivery platform.

Dulaney also had some optimism for mobile platforms, namely, Android, iOS and Windows, which he expects will “gain significant market share in the smartphone, tablet and PC space.” This, he continued, would require many organisations to support multiple platforms for both consumer- and employee-facing applications.

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