The fourth quarter always delivers a whirlwind of activity for organizations around the world. The holiday peak season, quarter and/or year-end activities, and the general “rising tide” of global economies offer a trifecta of reasons this quarter will race by. So, what are you basing your 2018 plans on? Are you hedging bets against an inevitable recession, or expecting the bull market to run for another year? What geographies are you planning to invest in? Are you expecting an uptick in budget to invest in emerging technology, or eyeing only projects that minimize risk to existing infrastructure? From conversations we have with our customers, partners, and industry analysts, here are a couple of predictions worth considering:

  • santa talking to 2 kids
    On-time delivery matters to Santa...and customers!

    Android continues its climb. In 2016, Android market share among rugged mobile computers increased 50% over 2015 according to VDC Research. At 37% share, it’s poised to climb even further, faster – considering the number of new Android devices introduced this year. Predictions suggesting 50% share in 2017 isn’t out of the question. What does this mean? The looming end of support for various Windows Mobile/CE operating systems is drawing nearer. If you haven’t built a migration plan, tick-tock…

  • IoT, yes, THAT IoT, touches your supply chain. 2017 has been a great year for IoT, as the shift from concept illustrations to tangible demonstrations has begun. But, IoT means different things to different businesses. Where does IoT have a place in your supply chain? By no means will 2018 be the year IoT becomes well understood. It is, however, likely the year we start seeing more real-life experiences with it, and how to manage all the connected devices within it.
  • Always “more with less”. Is anyone not frustrated by this phrase? Well, in 2018, this continues to have multiple meanings: First, your customers are going to continue to pressure you for faster delivery (surprise!). In retail, this is aimed at same-day. Up the chain, this is on-target delivery (because sometimes early delivery can actually be disruptive), and order accuracy is crucial for both. Second,  with global economies reporting strong results, inflation will continue to put pressure on labor costs. And that’s where supply chain mobility becomes a fulcrum for increasing worker productivity. And tracking KPI's is becoming a more common focus.
  • Keep an eye to the East. But take a wider look. If you’re looking at China as the benchmark for all of your Asia market, you may be missing some additional opportunities. Throughout Southeast Asia – from Thailand, through the straits, all the way to Australia and New Zealand, companies are seeing great growth as well. It’s going to be important to choose technology partners who can deliver regional support, with products that deliver in local languages.

It’s never too early to start planning for a productive next year. We’ll continue to monitor these predictions and other exciting trends in the months ahead. In the meantime, cheers to a successful peak season. It’s our pleasure to be your partner for mobile productivity!