Before we close out the year with holiday feasts and family fun, let’s indulge in another time-honored tradition: making predictions for the year to come. I’ve gazed into my crystal ball (and consulted with some enterprise mobility experts) to give you a list of our predictions for 2013 around mobility.

In 2013, mobile is the main event

The major trend I see running through this list is that mobile strategy in enterprise is no longer a side-stage project. It has become the main event. We’ve reached a point where many businesses already have basic mobility in place: smartphones, data plans, some security, some device protection, compliance policies, and mobile email access for employees.

And, more importantly, almost everyone in the organization – IT, marketing, sales and operations – is thinking about what to do next.

It’s all about the applications that improve productivity, the “Internet of Things” that connects a company’s assets and the security services that keep this information protected. 2013 is going to be the year when we see many more examples of businesses, industries, and eco-systems transforming through the innovative use of mobility.

Predictions for the evolving mobile landscape

Here are the eight ways I see mobility evolving in the coming year:

1. 2013 will be a tipping point for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. With greater standardization throughout the industry and falling costs of key components, I believe that M2M is poised for much more rapid adoption in the coming months.

2. Customers will heighten their focus on end-to-end mobile security –Including devices, data, and networks – in light of increased sensitivity to major breaches that may be looming. Everyone realizes that real innovation will only come if we adequately address security and policy issues.

3. Business mobile users will continue to diversify their mobile operating systems. I think that the Windows mobile platform has a chance to be a surprise hit in the business world.

4. Adoption of mobile applications in business will spread across multiple platforms. Native applications are currently the standard for enterprise apps, but we expect HTML5 and mixed-mode applications to gain more traction in 2013.

5. Businesses will start to layer more “platforms” on top of their basic mobility services. Think solutions like Near Field Communications, Push-to-Talk, and Biometrics.

6. Enterprise app stores (or downloadable enterprise apps) will become more prominent in 2013. And they’ll be integrated with application management, blessed by IT.

7. We’ll start to see more “mobile first” applications. Right now, most companies mobilize apps that already exist as desktop or Web-based software. In 2013, we expect to see a shift toward apps designed originally for mobile platforms. Some potential examples: collaboration software, context-, location- or persona-aware access and mobile-based assistants in business-to-consumer industries.

8. Enterprises will start to develop mobile centers of excellence and mobile IT teams to handle the creation and management of mobile strategies across different lines of business.

We will all be surprised at this time next year by what the industry as a whole was able to accomplish in 2013!

Keeping pace with innovation

Each new year brings exciting opportunities for businesses that want to improve their processes with mobility. And the pace of innovation in the wireless space is so rapid that we’re bound to see more advancements than we could possibly predict. I look forward to revisiting this topic at the end of 2013 to explore just how far we’ve come.

You’ve read my predictions for 2013, and now I’d like to hear from you! What kind of mobile developments do you expect to see next year? And what do you want to see?