Jeanine Sterling's Blog

Mobile Applications: Businesses are Smitten

15 Aug 2012 | by Jeanine Sterling
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Earlier this year, Frost & Sullivan surveyed mobile and wireless purchase decision-makers in the North American business sector. Both Canadian and U.S. companies and organizations were included in this research. Their responses indicated a continuing strong attraction for employee-facing mobile applications.

The mobile enterprise applications market is clearly on a growth trajectory, with at least 68% of the 2012 survey respondents planning to introduce one or more new mobile software solutions on their employees’ mobile handhelds (smartphones, tablets, basic cell phones, and/or ruggedized devices) during the next 12 months.

At the time of the survey (May 2012), the majority of businesses (52%) already had from one to four mobile applications in place for their mobile workers. Another 17% of respondents had between five and ten applications deployed. An additional 13% of businesses had over ten mobile solutions in place, with two-thirds of these heavy users deploying an impressive twenty or more mobile handheld-based applications.

In all, 82% of North American businesses (across all size segments) report having at least one mobile application deployed to their employees’ handheld devices.

When asked to project the volume of new mobile worker software apps to be introduced during the upcoming twelve months (mid-2012 through mid-2013), 68% of businesses planned at least one new introduction. Another 9% of the total respondents expect to introduce more than ten new solutions over that twelve-month period.

This level of mobile software deployment for workers is great news for application developers, mobility platform vendors, and their various channel partners. But it also raises a number of IT and LOB issues, including how to effectively manage the expanding array of solutions. Businesses must also carefully plan how to train employees on these apps. Given the level of cost sensitivity that surfaced with other survey questions, executives must also determine how to measure the business value and benefits of the mobility software.

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