By 2015, most mobile applications will synchronize, collect and analyze deep data about users and their social graphs, but most IT leaders are failing to consider the impact that mobile apps have on their information infrastructure, according to Gartner Inc.
The research firm also predicts that by 2017 wearable devices will drive 50 percent of total application interactions. That includes desktop-based interactions and mobile apps, with mobile apps making up the majority of these interactions.
"IT leaders should ensure they have infrastructure in place that takes into account data collected, not only via mobile apps, but also from apps running on wearable devices," Roxane Edjlali, research director at Gartner, said in a statement.
To date, most applications have been developed to support specific business-to-consumer interactions. For instance, some use location data to offer contextually relevant information and some collect other information about their users to further refine the interaction.
"Personal data is often collected solely in support of a mobile app's requirements and not considered an asset within an organization's overall information infrastructure," Edjlali said. "Consequently, although this data is accessed and potentially stored in support of an app, it is not managed as a full 'citizen' of an enterprise's information infrastructure."
The line between acceptable and unacceptable use of consumer data can be thin, Gartner says, and it gets even thinner as the data collected becomes more detailed and personal. For example, organizations that collect biometric data through mobile apps linked to wearable devices could be tempted to monetize this data by reselling it.
"Even if personal or biometric data is anonymous, it could have a major impact on a person's ability to get adequate health insurance, if they are identified as belonging to a risk category," Edjlali said. "In addition, mobile apps that use third parties for authentication deliver data on customer behavior to those third parties."
These risks related to data collected from mobile apps require organizations to rethink their governance policies and adjust their information infrastructure.