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Mobility in 2020


We have just released a new chapter in our Enterprise 2020, crowd-sourced vision of the future.


The key theme of this chapter is that, by 2020, mobility will offer us “engaging experiences” that “help humans”.


“Engaging experiences” comes from the Geoffrey Moore idea that we need to move from “systems of record” where our interaction is simply a way of filling out the data forms that computerized forms, to an interaction that engages humans.


And “helping humans” is about knowing what the humans want to achieve and helping them.  I’ve talked more about this in a previous blog post.


And how are these “engaging experiences” that “help humans” achieved?


Engaging applications that help humans

Consider the diagram below.


 mobility big animal picture.png


The first thing to think about is the engaging application with which the human is interacting.


Whenever we think of mobility today, we always think smartphone or tablet. But by 2020, there will be something like 50 billion smart devices, all with applications on them. So, think smart cooker, or smart shopping trolley, or smart TV, or smart heating system.


I believe that “mobile apps” will be multi-device (the most useful mobile apps like Evernote and Spotify already are).


We also believe that, by 2020, you’ll be able to “throw context” from app to. For example, you might “throw” the context from the app controlling your electric motorbike onto your tablet where you could analyze the bike’s performance and adjust it to suit your specific needs, “throwing” context back to the e-bike once you were done.


Engagement Delivering Cloud

I think, however, it’s very unlikely that any device can deliver an engaging experience that helps humans all by itself. Which apps on your smartphone or tablet do you find really useful? Are they totally self-contained, or do they talk to a back-end service? We believe that by 2020, most of the engaging, helpful apps on smart devices will be calling upon an “engagement delivering cloud service”.


We already see “engagement delivering cloud services” with our smartphone apps. My personal favorites are Spotify, Evernote, Workflowy, email, calendar, TripAdvisor and TripIt – all very much “back-end cloud service powered”.


By 2020, there will be many more “engagement delivering cloud services”, serving smartphones, tablets and 50 billion smart devices.


Information to create knowledge and insights

And how does this “engagement delivering cloud” know about the human’s habits, their needs and their current state?


One of the key feeders to the engagement-delivering cloud will be analysis of information. Analysis of transaction data (much of which we throw away today because we don’t have the “big data” infrastructure to store and analyze it), of unstructured data like twitter traffic and of sensor data.


I’ve already written about the type of analysis we will do to all this data. We will use it to understand habits, preferences, current state and current desires of the humans being served.


Security and Privacy

By 2020, we will have a much larger “attack surface”. There will be something like 50 billion smart devices that can be attacked.


All this analysis on huge amounts of data will result in a juicy “pot of gold” for anyone who gets thru to our data stores.


And there will be 2 billion more Internet users – more attackers and more targets to attack.


It’s very likely that our “engagement delivering cloud” will not be solely our own effort. It may well be what we call a “mosaic application or business process”, in which case it will call out to other cloud services do perform some of its tasks. We need to ensure we manage the security across this whole mosaic. For example, should someone be “terminated” from Enterprise employment, we need to synch this across the whole mosaic quickly.



The “mobility logic” goes something like this…


  • Mobility in 2020 will really help humans. It do so thru an experience that engages humans
  • It’s unlikely that a mobile app will be able to help humans unless it’s talking to a back-end server that has previous knowledge about the human and current knowledge about the humans state and desires
  • The back-end server has to get its knowledge and insights from somewhere. It gets this from analysis of data. A lot more data than in 2013, much of it sensor data from mobile devices
  • Great though this vision is, if the back-end knowledge, the mobile device or the comms can be hacked, we won’t be able to rely on the help we receive

Author : Mike Shaw

Mike Shaw
Director Strategic Marketing

linkedin.gifMike Shaw

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About the Author


Mike has been with HPE for 30 years. Half of that time was in research and development, mainly as an architect. The other 15 years has been spent in product management, product marketing, and now, strategic marketing. .

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