Mobile Initiatives Transforming The Enterprise in 2013

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We just released Appcelerator’s first Mobile Enterprise Report and it is packed full of insights about mobile priorities and investments in businesses in 2013.

We surveyed 770 enterprise leaders about their mobile development priorities and their perceptions of emerging trends in mobility. This report enables enterprises to compare their mobile initiatives with those of their peers, and to understand major mobile trends emerging in the enterprise. Our mission with this survey is to provide a report on the state of the mobile enterprise and to identify the most important mobile investments that are transforming businesses in 2013.

To view a full version of the report, click here. The report’s key findings include:

  • 2013 will be the year when the number of new mobile applications will surpass the number of new desktop applications.
  • Enterprises view mobile as transformative and believe it will have substantive impact on top line revenue growth, customer and employee relationships, the enterprise’s ability to compete, and bottom line asset efficiency. However, many enterprises are struggling with decentralized mobile application strategies and a lack of internal mobile leadership.
  • Most enterprises have cleared the hurdle of the first mobile app, and the majority of enterprises are targeting to build 5 or more mobile apps in 2013.
  • None of the major traditional IT and software vendors are showing leadership in mobile, leaving the enterprise to take the reins themselves. However, few enterprises have made the organizational investments necessary to be successful.
  • Enterprises state that they are planning to build employee-facing mobile apps in 2013, and also believe that user experience matters as much for B2E/ B2B as it does for B2C apps.

The report indicates that enterprises believe that mobile provides the opportunity to change everything for their businesses: including new ways to enable employees, new ways to communicate with customers, and new business models. Appcelerator has seen repeatedly that those companies that make the organizational and technology investments to support a mobile-first approach receive highly positive results.

Mobile App Development More Important Than Desktop and Will Outpace It, Yet Mega-Vendors Unprepared:

While traditional enterprise application development has been focused on the desktop and the web, 72% of enterprises surveyed think it is “likely to very likely” that mobile development will outpace web and desktop development in 2013. Moreover, 87% of respondents state that more mobile apps will be delivered than desktop apps in the next year.

However, respondents stated that none of the major IT vendors are showing leadership in the mobility space. In fact, of the top five vendors, Microsoft (as a company, not just its OS) was viewed as demonstrating the most leadership, but still only a meager 28.3% of respondents stated that Microsoft is showing leadership in mobile. The other four mega-vendors have even worse leadership perceptions in mobile, being viewed as leaders only by 15.8% for SAP, 10.8% for Oracle, 7.3% for IBM, and 4.6% for HP.

The Mobile App Floodgates Are Opening

The majority of companies surveyed have passed the first mobile application hurdle, with 61.5% stating that they have built and launched over 2 apps already. Furthermore, a few companies are investing heavily in mobile, with 10.8% of those surveyed stating that their company plans to build more than 20 apps in 2013.

Mobile Is Important To Enterprises, But Few Are Staffing For Top Mobile Leadership

Respondents recognize the transformative power of mobile with 80% of enterprise leaders predicting that mobile-first companies will disrupt mature industries in 2013. In addition, 55% of companies rank mobility at the top or near the top of their list of strategic priorities.

However, despite this high prioritization of mobility and the recognition of the impact it will have on the bottom line, very few companies are actually treating it as a strategic priority. Few have established a centralized body for ideation and oversight of mobile projects. Even fewer are adding senior mobile-specific job titles to their payrolls.

iOS and Android Reign As Top Enterprise Platforms

Enterprises are most interested in developing applications for the iOS and Android platforms. Apple’s iOS reigns as the top platform of choice, with 80.1% of respondents “very interested” in developing for the iPhone and 79% “very interested” in developing for iPad tablets. Interest in developing for the Android platform is also high, with 64.4% “very interested” in developing applications for Android phones and 52.4% for Android tablets.

User Experience is a Top Requirement

A resounding 85.6% of respondents stated that user experience is just as important for B2E and B2B apps as it is for B2C apps. This heralds the fact that we now live in a user-experience-centric world where beauty, functionality, and user delight triumph, whether for mobilizing internal enterprise processes or for transforming consumer relationships.

Employee-Facing Mobile Apps Starting to Take Off

66% of respondents stated that their companies are planning to build employee-facing apps in 2013. This has a significant impact not only on the connectivity of the application and the complexity of its integrations, but also on how the enterprise will administer and secure those connections.

Do Enterprises Have A Comprehensive Mobile Strategy?

Less than half the companies surveyed have a comprehensive mobile strategy, despite their above-mentioned reasons for investing in mobility. 44% have a comprehensive mobile strategy; 22% are unclear on the business case for one; 30% lack the time or resources.

We asked those enterprises what the biggest obstacles are to creating and implementing a mobile strategy. The responses were not surprising: 54% Resources; 41% Lack of tech standards; 26.5% Lack of clear direction or strategy.

Please download Appcelerator’s Q1 2013 Mobile Enterprise Report to read the detailed findings, and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Lyla Kuriyan McInerney is Appcelerator’s Vice President of Marketing