Mobile Enterprise Apps as Business Accelerators

republished from Cvent

Mobile initiatives have popped up in almost every corner of the business—looking to untether the workforce, engage customers more effectively and reshape business-as-usual. This is due in large part to three drivers which are accelerating the demand for access to the enterprise: executive demand, the increasingly mobile workforce, and customer’s demand for real-time information and action. This mixture of internal and external stakeholders is helping to drive innovation and adoption of mobile devices and apps in the enterprise. A report by market research firm Gartner says that worldwide sales of “devices,” a category that combines PCs, tablets, mobile phones and ultramobiles (tiny notebooks, presumably), will approach a combined three billion units by 2017, representing growth of 34 percent from 2012.

How will the increase in “devices” affect enterprise applications? More devices means more apps to control these devices. There has been so much talk about the management and security of devices in the enterprise that we should take a few minutes to discuss the strategic importance of enterprise apps as business accelerators. When the conversation of big data and IT security arises, there is an idea that the enterprise app already exists and that it does what it’s supposed to. However, we have only scratched the surface. An Appcelerator survey of enterprise leaders released in January 2013 reports that 73 percent of enterprises have built fewer than five applications, and 39 percent have built none or just one. There is room to grow.

Additionally, a new report by Canalys’ App Interrogator research shows there has been quite a bit of growth in consumer mobility. Enterprise apps, however, have been largely given the cold shoulder. But, consider that enterprise mobility solutions will generate nearly $40 million in sales for app developers by 2016. Why is this? As parts of companies, specifically the IT department, search for business productivity to get better through the use of their smartphone, they will want to have more of an ‘Apple-like’ experience for reaching their employees as well as customers.  This in turn makes the need for consumer grade experiences more ubiquitous—the idea of mobile experiences that are consumer grade.

The social enterprise will become more mainstream in business applications. Enterprise apps have the ability to help make every employee and external touchpoint more productive. Productive from whose perspective? More productive from both the enterprise and the employee perspective, resulting in a mutually beneficial experience that ultimately results in more customers. Enterprise apps will have the ability for both internal and external stakeholders to increase collaboration, productivity and process while better utilizing the wireless infrastructure already in place in most companies. Regardless of the approach, early adopters now have the opportunity to be at the forefront of this mobile app evolution.

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