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Jan 12, 2015

What's next for Enterprise Mobile App Development?

cim2There are many reasons to be optimistic about the outlook for enterprise mobile app development in 2015 and looking ahead. A growing number of companies are recognizing the productivity benefits of extending mobile apps to employees. And according to a CompTIA study, 70 percent of companies have invested in building mobility solutions. Meanwhile, a study conducted by Vision Mobile reveals that Apple’s iOS environment is used by 98% of Fortune 500 companies. Still, growth rates for enterprise mobile apps haven’t necessarily translated into robust app adoption rates among companies. Here, we explore the key factors impacting mobile in the enterprise.

1. Why is enterprise mobile app development slow to be embraced?

The enterprise app development community has hardly been one in which a “build-it-and-they-will-come” approach has gained any traction. In most cases, companies started by developing or deploying mobile apps for their customers, which was front and center for brand visibility, customer satisfaction, and incremental revenue streams. It's taken a while for organizations to turn mobility inward and realize the benefits of providing enterprise apps to internal users -- i.e. employees, contractors, and business partners. This is due to a number of factors, chief among them being the absence of a mobile strategy, the difficulty in quantifying the value or ROI of internal projects, as well as security concerns for BYOD users. According to a study conducted by Mobile Helix and Vanson Bourne, the top factors delaying the deployment of enterprise mobile apps are development costs (65%) and security concerns (63%). As mobile management has matured, early adopters have continued building and deploying apps and seeing success in terms of productivity and financial gains. As a result, this has placed pressure on other companies to get in the game. With better tools and effective ways to ensure app and data security (such as mobile application management), the barriers are lowered, and more companies are realizing that the mobile enterprise is not only possible but critical to their success.

2. What are the biggest factors holding back enterprise mobile app adoption?

A key challenge is the ownership of mobile, especially in larger organizations. Should IT be responsible for overseeing mobile? Or does it belong to each line of business (LOB)? Smart companies have recognized that building an efficient, cross-functional team with LOB, IT, security, and users can lead to success and ensure that everyone's concerns are addressed. Some companies have established a Mobile Center of Excellence  for managing mobility across the enterprise. However it is structured, the key to success is involving people who are passionate about enterprise mobility. A mobile center of excellence that is focused, iterates quickly, and learns from users is critical to continued success.

3. How will enterprise mobile app development improve in the short term?

Companies look to their peers, and when they see success they want to emulate it. Enterprise and midsized companies in all areas including financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing are seeing significant ROI as they mobilize workflow tasks, or create their own "killer apps" to solve problems unique to their businesses. The word is spreading, and we’ve seen explosive growth in the deployment of in-house apps in 2014. Through the use of mobile app management solutions, the ability to not only build apps but to ensure that every workers can easily and securely install, use, and provide feedback is accelerating the adoption process.


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