Mobile App Investment Continues to be Strong

March, 2017

Mobile devices promise a more agile and responsive workforce that has access to a wide variety of enterprise applications regardless of where they are. But data from our annual survey of technology trends suggests that the dream of the fully mobile enterprise is not yet here. Nevertheless, investment in mobile applications continues to rise at a healthy rate.

Just over half (51%) of respondents reported deploying mobile applications, and investment is rising quickly. In 2013, 31% of organizations reported investing in mobile apps. This year, that percentage has risen to 49%—a strong increase. We expect that rate of investment to continue to rise as already ubiquitous mobile devices get more sophisticated and more powerful.

Figure 2 from our full study, Mobile Apps Adoption and Customer Experience, shows the percentage of organizations at five adoption stages. Thirty-five percent report that they have some mobile applications in place and intend to increase investment. Sixteen percent report having mobile apps in place but plan no further investment, and 14% report that they are currently implementing mobile apps. Thirteen percent are considering mobile apps, and 22% report no activity at all.

MobileApps fig 2 - Mobile App Investment Continues to be Strong

For the purposes of this report, we consider only the adoption of business applications that run on smartphones, tablets, and handheld devices. We include new implementations or retrofitting of existing business applications (such as CRM, field service, or time reporting) for access on smartphones, tablets, or special-purpose handhelds. We do not count laptops as a mobile device or email as a mobile application.

“Consumerization has driven mobile applications for some time,” said David Wagner, vice president for research at Computer Economics, an IT research firm based in Irvine, Calif., “but as user interfaces improve and core enterprise apps get the mobile treatment, mobile apps are moving beyond their early consumer roots. As work productivity improves from mobile devices, investment will follow.”

The full study provides metrics for mobile application adoption and investment and reports on customer satisfaction and customer experience with return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TOC). It also examines what applications enterprises are adapting to the mobile experience as well as the platforms on which they are choosing to develop those applications. Finally, we assess which sectors are adopting mobile applications, and whether those organizations are developing mobile applications in-house, outsourcing the task, or relying on commercial software vendors.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Mobile Apps Adoption and Customer Experience. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).