Five Forces Driving Costs and Complexity of Enterprise Mobility Programs
1. Application proliferation
As organizations begin to realize the flexibility and functionality that enterprise mobility programs offer, the race to develop and release programs will intensify. By the end of 2013, it is predicted that more than 40% of organizations will have deployed five or more enterprise mobile apps. Despite the pressure to release applications quickly and the complexities of integrating them into existing business functions, enterprises should first take the time to define a mobile business case and strategy to maximize their ROI, ensure long term robustness and scalability, and achieve high levels of employee adoption.
2. Application variety
The mobile development landscape is evolving so rapidly that it is difficult to maintain a grasp on all the viable options. Given the variety of devices on the market, the popularity of BYOD (bring your own device), and variations in user preferences, enterprises are faced with a tough decision when deciding how to develop their applications. Current options include developing applications natively for each major platform, creating hybrid apps, HTML5 apps, or web applications. Each comes with a unique set of features, though recent research by Gartner suggests that HTML5 applications are growing in popularity, predicting that it will be used by 70% of businesses in just three years.
In a competitive marketplace, time is a very valuable commodity. In order to gain a competitive edge, there is increasing pressure among enterprises to rapidly scale app deployment and application updates. This is especially true in the realm of sales, where mobile devices are beginning to play a major role in customer interaction, training sales representatives, and launching new products. When up-to-date apps translate into higher sales, the development cycle for updates inevitably shrinks. Handy tools including Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAP’s) and developing configurable applications can help keep enterprises up to speed.
4. Device variety
With BYOD so widespread, enterprise mobile apps must be developed to support all the major commercially available mobile platforms, including Android, Apple, Microsoft, and Blackberry. Variations in device screen sizes and the recent explosion in tablet sales only adds to the complexity faced by enterprises. Mobility trends show that the device market is only getting more and more varied, so enterprises need to develop a rugged and scalable mobile infrastructure that accounts for smartphones, tablets, convertible tablets, PCs, and wearable devices.
5. Employee adoption
Without high levels of employee adoption, an organization has little hope of getting a positive ROI on its mobile applications. Employees have already shown that they’re on board with BYOD, but getting them to adopt enterprise mobility programs often takes a little more effort. The key to getting employees to use company-provided apps is to provide them with a high quality user interface to ensure high levels of “mindshare”. B2E and B2B applications are no different than B2C applications in this regard.