In 2016, IT professionals and web developers alike were astounded at the growth of the mobile web. People were downloading mobile data at a year-over-year growth rate of 125 percent — accounting for a total of 10 billion gigabytes of downloads in a single year — which equaled out to an average of over 31 gigabytes per person in the US.
By 2020, Zenith forecasts that people will consume 28 percent of all media via mobile internet, and this could be an underestimate because of 5G. Qualcomm has a prototype 5G modem chip, and if any of the major players in the 5G race are able to get their networks up and running in 2019, as is predicted, phones with 5G Qualcomm chips will be able to receive data at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.
There will be an unprecedented amount of data zipping to and from mobile phones in 2019. To stay on top of what this means for businesses and individuals, consider the following.
1. Corporate Security Risks Will Increase
For businesses, the mobile trend has been a mixed bag. On one hand, employees and executives can access company email accounts, exchange files on the cloud, and do video conferencing from anywhere service is available. On the other, this opens the door to corporate security challenges unique to mobile devices, including mobile malware attacks, which have been increasing at a rate of 75 percent year over year.
“We do see a general rise in mobile susceptibility driven by increases in mobile computing overall [and] the continued growth of BYOD work environments,” John “Lex” Robinson, information security and anti-phishing strategist at Phish Me, told CSO Online. Over the course of the next two years, companies have a 28 percent chance of experiencing data leakage due to mobile apps, employees who put corporate documents on the public cloud, and accidental disclosures via email and webforms.
Unsecured Wi-Fi networks and out-of-date devices will also be a challenge to corporate security, not to mention social engineering and compromised devices.
2. Analytics Will Capture Tremendous Value
People spend over 5 hours a day on their mobile devices, and apps account for 92 percent of that usage.
There are plenty of fantastic analytics tools to help capture big data revenue in 2019, but the chief issue for companies across many sectors comes down a lack of knowledge on how best to employ these tools. Because people are spending so much time on their mobile devices, by 2020 Zenith estimates the average person will be consuming an average of 492 minutes of media per day.
This generates an enormous amount of data —nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes a day — and companies can make the mistake of analyzing too much or too little. The manufacturing industry, for example, only captures 20-30 percent of big data value with predictive analytics, while retail only captures 30-40 percent. Still, if predictions pan out, big data and analytics revenues should hit $203 billion by 2020. That’s a combined annual growth rate of 11.7 percent since 2016.
3. Google’s AI Will Help Small Businesses
This one might come as a surprise, but small businesses with very little web presence will see a boost from Google in 2019. That’s because more and more people are using voice searches, to the extent that 50 percent of searches will be voice searches by 2020. When people do voice searches, they primarily do them on mobile devices, and there are plenty of times when they’re looking for products or services in their area.
Google is seeing this and is responding with Duplex. This is an AI feature for natural language conversation that will search data about businesses available on Google Maps. Instead of using data on the web, Duplex will crawl the Maps application for information. Then, the user will be able to make reservations at their favorite local restaurant, for example, and Google Assistant will be able to make the phone call for them and even talk to the person on the other end.
This will include a feature called “For You,” which can suggest local businesses that suit your preferences based on your Google search history. Now, Google will integrate your web data with the Maps app. For You employs a machine learning function called “Your Match,” which analyzes what businesses do and predicts the likelihood of whether a business can be of service to you.
While more and more people will consume content on the mobile web and use mobile apps in 2019, corporate cyber security will be especially busy dealing with threats from the proliferation of mobile devices. Ultimately, businesses that develop proprietary apps and put a premium on securing their employees’ mobile devices will come out ahead moving into 2020.