Why Mobile Development Will Move into Business Units

Lately we’ve written a lot about mobile technology, where to look for ways into the sector, and the skills you’ll need to succeed there. We’ve also written about how more tech jobs are shifting into business units and away from the centralized IT department. These could be two of the biggest job trends tech we’ll see this year. Which leads me to believe that the growth in mobile isn’t only about good technology, but about solutions that are geared to the rapidly changing environment they’re being used in.

Why Mobile Development Will Move into Business UnitsCharles Rutstein at Forrester Research sees the  environment shifting into “the App Internet,” built on the innovations of the iPod, iPhone or Android. “If I were going to concentrate on a technology,” he says, “that’s what I would do: Learn the development skills for those kinds of platforms.”

You’re not necessarily making a jump into consumer products if you move in that direction. Companies like app development because it allows them to deploy highly customized solutions on a more cost-effective basis. Says Mark Lowenstein on Xconomy Boston:

… in 2011, we will see corporate IT make  significant investments in mobile, driven by the availability of 4G, compelling new products such as smartphones and tablets, a more open and cost-effective application development framework, and a maturing ecosystem of companies to help firms mobilize.

So what’s all that mean? Certainly more opportunities for those well versed in communications, development, and engineering, but also for project managers and analysts – who happen to be two of the most wanted professionals inside business units.

And one more thing: It’s not just about throwing features into the enterprise. Amy Shade of Neilsen Norman Group tells InformationWeek companies need “thoughtful implementation … looking at the information needs within the organization rather than picking the solution first.” In context, she’s talking about intranets. But she hints at the same rule when looking at the coming year:

I hope mobile continues to get stronger for organizations where it makes sense,” she said. “Right now we see a lot of employee directories and bus schedules, which are practical. But I’d like to see a lot more job specific applications coming through.

— Mark Feffer