This post is part four in a five-part series on the lifecycle of mobile application management. For previous posts in the series, see: Part I, IntroductionPart II, The Landscape; Part III, Getting On Board.

We’ve covered a lot in our series on the lifecycle of mobile app management. Starting with our introduction, we framed up the idea that there are many good things in store for MAM. We then compared MAM to other key mobility technologies, and talked about why it’s so important to invest in MAM today.

While no one can predict the future with 100% certainty, evaluating MAM’s place amongst other mobility technologies gives hints as to what’s in store. Recent trends and observations (from our experience and from others) only serve to reinforce predictions about MAM.

Which brings us to part four in our series: what’s on the horizon. We see a few key things emerging: 

  • There will be more devices than ever in the enterprise: We mentioned this last week, but it’s worth mentioning again: Citrix estimates that the average number of devices per knowledge worker will reach almost 6 devices by 2020. And it’s not like all of these will be iPhones, either. This growing number of devices—all of different types—will require robust mobility solutions that aren’t tied to one platform or use case.
  • Core activities will become a main mobilization priority: Both because of limited internal capabilities and because of ease of startup, many companies have to date focused most of their mobilization efforts around non-core activities. These do have some value, but the true value comes when mobilizing core functions. As more of the workforce goes mobile, companies that hope to stay on the cutting-edge must ensure that all core functions are ready for mobile, too.
  • EMM will become even more important: No matter how you develop your apps, you also need to be able to manage and track them. With more devices and apps in play, it will be absolutely essential for mobile-first (and mobile-only, and mobile-sometimes) enterprises to build or purchase solutions to help them manage mobility.
  • Tracking ROI will be the norm, not the exception: As is the case with other technologies throughout their lifecycles, mobile app management started out in the abstract; it was implemented in many organizations, and it wasn’t until it had been in use for a while that those organizations began to track ROI. Enterprises everywhere are just starting to catch up. Now that MAM is more mature—and now that technologies for tracking ROI exist—we also expect detailed tracking of return on investment to be a bigger priority moving forward.

With a perfect storm gathering around enterprise mobility, there’s nowhere to go but up for companies that make the jump and invest in mobile app management today. As mobile app management becomes more mature and sees more widespread adoption, its utility in the enterprise will only continue to grow.

In one word, the future of mobile app management in the enterprise is: bright.

With our final post in the series next week, we’ll wrap up with key takeaways for mobile app management in today’s enterprises. Don’t miss the highlights in our wrap-up!

In the meantime, if you have any questions about this post or any other posts in the series, reach out to us in the comments or on Twitter @App47!