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A new episode, Apply Consumer App Marketing to Your Enterprise App Store, is now available on the “Life in the Mobile Enterprise (LiME)” podcast. First read about the current state of enterprise mobile app adoption, some of the first ever statistics to be compiled. Then listen to an interview with Christopher Penn, vice president of marketing technology at SHIFT Communications, about how to apply consumer app marketing tactics to your enterprise app store to drive app adoption. Finally, download the Enterprise App Adoption e-Guide for additional ideas an checklists to apply to your organization.

Enterprise Mobile App Adoption Statistics

Enterprise mobile apps are becoming a top priority for businesses. A recent survey of IT professional by 451 Research revealed that over 50% planned to deploy at least 10 enterprise mobile apps over the next two years. Despite the marked uptick in the development and popularity of apps, there is one area where enterprises are lagging behind: visibility. We recently conducted our own survey of IT managers and professionals and found that just over half of respondents have the ability to track which of their enterprise apps are being used. Fewer are able to connect usage to specific users, while just 42% can see how frequently their apps are being used. These responses mean that approximately half of those surveyed have no insight into whether their apps are used or who is using them.

Mobile app adoption rates and ROI

Deploy a consumer app and measuring your Return on Investment, or Return on Mobile Investment (RoMI), will likely be a top priority. Mobile enterprise apps are no different. Just as with customer-facing applications, download rates and usage data are vital in measuring the success and RoMI of your application. Without these critical statistics, it is impossible to evaluate and make improvement upon your mobile initiative.

If you build it, will they come?

From our research we’ve found that the old adage ‘if you build it, they will come’ does not apply in the mobile ecosystem. Simply developing and deploying apps—regardless of how effective they may be—is not enough to guarantee satisfactory mobile app adoption rates. In our survey we asked participants about the strategies they used to drive adoption at their organizations, and from that we saw several trends emerge.

There’s an app for that

Rather than leaving employees to discover enterprise apps on their own, the respondents to our survey who were most satisfied with their mobile initiatives were more likely (32%) to actively promote their apps internally.

MAM® wins out over MDM

Mobility management plays a key role in driving adoption. Of those surveyed, we found that the respondents who were the most satisfied were more likely to be using mobile application management (MAM®) software (15%), which operates at the app level, over legacy device-level MDM software (13%).

Enterprise app stores             

Another trend we saw in respondents satisfied with their mobile app adoption rates was the use of enterprise app stores. Similar in look and feel to the public app stores users are already familiar with, they are capable of supporting a mix of internal and 3rd party apps and facilitate a valuable feedback loop through user ratings and reviews.

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression

According to a study conducted by SAP, 78% of enterprise apps are abandoned after their first use. This points to a sizeable gap between the expectations of the enterprise and users. Through case studies and research we’ve found that in order to drive adoption rates, you have to treat users like customers by ‘selling’ apps to them, tracking usage, and gathering feedback. Enterprise apps need to address business functions or problems and target specific user groups. Before beginning your mobile initiative, develop a work plan and establish metrics, such as download rates and usage frequency, to measure success. Next, develop and promote your apps using a variety of tactics, which can include newsletters, announcements, and ‘lunch and learns’. After the initial release, take a step back and audit your mobile app adoption efforts. Gather usage data, and other statistics to identify what you did right and what areas could use improvement based on the metrics established in your initial work plan. Finally, show users that their voices are being heard by using their feedback to fuel a process of continuous improvement. Tune in every week for “freshly squeezed ideas to make your organization successful on its enterprise mobility journey.”

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