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Mobile apps are crucial piece for customer engagement in 2015

Mobile applications are the future, and it's important for enterprises to plan their business strategies with mobile in mind so they do not fall short in how they engage with customers and employees. By Charles Tang, program marketing manager, middleware, Red Hat Asia Pacific

Forrester Analyst Julie Ask recently wrote in her blog that most companies will fall short in their attempts to engage customers in what she describes as their "mobile moments," which she attributes to having a myopic view of mobile. She views mobile as a technology that continues to transform the way we do business--a belief that is echoed by many of the CIOs surveyed by Red Hat's Enterprisers Project. I believe mobile applications are the future, and it's important for enterprises to plan their business strategies with mobile in mind so they do not fall short in how they engage with customers and employees.

Mobile on a global growth path
The mobile device market has experienced strong growth over the past few years, due in part to the fact that the technologies can enable greater business outreach and improve communications. The worldwide smartphone market in particular is continuing to grow substantially, according to analytical firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Despite signs of a potential slowdown, in December 2014 the organization predicted that 1.3 billion smartphones will have shipped by the end of 2014, representing an increase of 26.3 per cent over 2013.

Red Hat recently polled its customers on their priorities for 2015, and the top answer was "mobility (and mobile apps)." Clearly, mobility has the attention of many Fortune 500 organizations today, and when it comes to mobile in the enterprise, things like agility, security, and integration are likely to be top-of-mind considerations to get the most out of these "mobile moments".

A look at FeedHenry
Recently, we've observed a wave of consolidation in the mobile enterprise platform market, and last year, Red Hat accelerated its move into the enterprise mobile market with the acquisition of FeedHenry, a mobile development platform designed to help organizations transition into a world focused on mobility. As my colleague, Steve O'Keefe, recently observed, FeedHenry has long embraced the idea that mobile will help drive business success and that open and cloud technologies are fundamental to mobile-first strategies.

Expect mobility to grow in 2015
I predict that the overall enterprise mobile market will continue to heat up as organizations prioritize and act on mobility and mobile application development as key IT initiatives. The time has come for companies to stop treating mobility and mobile application development as an alternative option and incorporate it as part of their overall IT strategy, with an eye toward agile application development, greater interoperability, and a more streamlined application deployment process in order to fully engage this mobile generation of customers.

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