Jeanine Sterling's Blog

Mobile Applications for Business: What's Hot. What's Not.

30 Aug 2012 | by Jeanine Sterling
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In an earlier blog post, we shared survey data that had a full 82% of North American businesses already having at least one mobile application deployed to their employees’ handheld devices. Looking forward over the next twelve months (mid-2012 to mid-2013), 68% of businesses plan to implement one or more additional applications. 9% of the total respondents actually expect to introduce more than ten new solutions during that twelve-month period.

This is obviously a growing market. But just which applications are getting the attention? And which are not?

The research cited was conducted earlier this year by Frost & Sullivan, surveying 300 mobile and wireless decision-makers in the North American business sector. Both Canadian and U.S. companies and organizations were included in this research.

The percentage of respondents reporting that they have already deployed a particular mobile employee-facing software solution (whether as a trial or a full-blown implementation) are as follows:

  • 80% - Wireless email
  • 48% - Access to internal databases
  • 44% - Standalone corporate instant messaging
  • 38% - Mobile sales force automation
  • 37% - Employee-to-employee social media
  • 35% - Mobile workforce management
  • 33% - Machine-to-machine remote monitoring and diagnostics
  • 29% - Mobile asset tracking
  • 27% - Standalone video capture
  • 13% - Fleet tracking and management

Typically, around half of those companies that have already deployed also anticipate expanding their implementations within the following year.

There is also a segment of respondents who are sold on the app’s value proposition, but have not yet gotten around to implementing. These “planners” report that they will be introducing the app for the first time within the next three years. Adding these planner opportunities to those current users who state they will be expanding within the next year, the new deployments opportunity during 2012-2015 can be ranked as follows:

  1. Mobile sales force automation
  2. Access to internal databases
  3. Wireless email
  4. Mobile workforce management
  5. Mobile asset tracking
  6. Standalone corporate instant messaging
  7. Machine-to-machine remote monitoring and diagnostics
  8. Employee-to-employee social media
  9. Standalone video capture
  10. Fleet tracking and management

Additional survey results are included in our upcoming study: “2012 Mobile Enterprise Applications: Opportunities Within Enterprises in North America,” NB68-65.