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Businesses too slow to deploy mobile apps, but there’s hope for the future: study

by Doug Drinkwater

January 25 2013

The study suggests that most businesses would rather outsource app development to a proven vendor
The study suggests that most businesses would rather outsource app development to a proven vendor

The explosion of smartphones and tablets in business may have its pitfalls, with one research claiming that most companies are currently not moving fast enough to deploy mobile apps to their staff, customers and partners.

Independent market research firm Vanson Bourne conducted the global study on behalf of Progress Software between December 2012 and January 2013 and encouragingly found that 95% of the surveyed 600 organizations have employees that use mobile devices and apps for work.

More than 9 in 10 of respondents (92%) said that using mobile apps put their company at a competitive advantage, with roughly half using apps to interact with employees (51%) and customers (45%). Despite this, the researcher expressed concern when it came to companies rolling out and managing these applications.

Vanson Bourne discovered that just over a quarter (29%) have initiated a formal mobility project to deal with the mobile apps being used, with another 42% intending to take this course of action next year.

The research claims that this results in an “App Gap”, with most companies seemingly indecisive when it comes to committing on a formal mobility strategy because of security concerns (54%), the additional investment required (48%) or the necessity of providing on-going support.

Another 56% expressed concern at having the right skills to develop applications, a figure which would seem to explain the desire of 62% of decision makers to outsource mobile app development to an established vendor. Complexity was another issue, with only 15% saying that their entire software portfolio could be easily tailored for mobile devices.

“The research shows that enterprises are embracing the concept of mobility, but there are significant risks in doing so,” said Graham Opie, director at Vanson Bourne.

“There are many challenges in ensuring that existing applications are mobile-compatible, compounded by the fact that so few of those applications were designed to allow easy mobile access.

“This explains why most are looking to fill the “app gap” with either external providers or software platforms to help them easily design, develop, and implement the mobile facilities they offer to customers, staff and partners.”

It wasn’t all bad news for mobile devices in business however, with over 90% of respondents reckoning mobile operating systems like iOS and Android will eventually become more dominant than their desktop counterparts.

Approximately 95% of business decision makers also expect the increased need for mobility to lead to greater adoption of enterprise collaboration tools, like document management and customer experience management applications.

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