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Trends in Enterprise Mobile Use

March 23, 2015

Two years ago Strategic Analytics predicted that the enterprise app market would nearly double by 2018, climbing from $31 billion in 2012 to $61 billion in 2018. A recent CDW survey seems to confirm these predictions, and it highlights the continued appetite both for consumer and custom apps in the enterprise.

Roughly 48 percent of respondents to the CDW survey of enterprise mobile use reported that their mobile app budget had increased in the past year, with 20 percent indicating that their budgets for such apps increased by more than 10 percent. Only 6 percent reported a decline in mobile app budgets. On average, businesses spent about 11 percent of their IT budgets on mobile apps in 2014.

Currently, enterprises are using roughly six off-the-shelf mobile apps and five custom mobile apps, the CDW survey found, with 77 percent of respondents acknowledging that they allow employees to use off-the-shelf apps for work.

Businesses are using custom apps to support daily operations and procedures, with 36 percent using custom apps for communications, 35 percent using it for sales, and 34 percent reporting that they use it for data access. Service support, productivity, businesses processes, presentation use and collaboration also were key uses for custom mobile apps, according to CDW.

Almost every business reported that they benefited from using custom apps, with 46 percent citing increased efficiency as a main benefit. Increased productivity was close behind, at 41 percent, and both the ability to work remotely and cost savings also were key advantages of custom apps.

Security, reliability and end-user needs were some of the most important considerations when purchasing apps for the enterprise.

When preparing for app deployment, 43 percent of those surveyed said beta testing and evaluation were important before an app was approved. Strategic planning also was a major consideration, as were use cases, assessing infrastructure and calculating ROI.

Some of the biggest challenges that enterprises have faced with custom app deployments include user technical support, integration with current network services, supporting a variety of mobile platforms, and designing an effective user interface for these apps.

Roughly 42 percent of those surveyed indicated that they would continue investing in custom mobile apps in the coming year. CDW found that businesses expect one in four mobile app purchases to require some form of customization.

Almost all businesses surveyed reported that they think custom mobile apps save employees time. On average, the survey found that custom mobile apps save the average employee 7.5 hours per week, a significant amount. Roughly 82 percent also said that they believe custom mobile apps generate additional revenue for their company.

While it still is early days in terms of enterprise mobile use, the CDW study highlighted that a mix between off-the-shelf and custom mobile apps continue to make sense in the enterprise. And that mobility makes sense in general for businesses of all types.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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