News Feature | March 15, 2016

Trends, Challenges, & Strategies For Adoption Of Enterprise Mobile Apps

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Adoption Of Enterprise Mobile Apps

Over Half Of Organizations Are Deploying Mobile Apps For Extended Enterprise Workers

Enterprise Mobility (EM) support offered by businesses is incomplete at best, according to findings from the 2016 Executive Enterprise Mobility Report. The report is an analysis of results of Apperian’s third annual mobility survey and examines the key mobile trends, describes drivers of success, and concludes with recommendations for expanding enterprise mobility programs.

Only 17 percent of respondent companies had fully deployed EM, 53 percent had partially implemented EM, and 27 percent were still in the planning phase. According to the analysis, companies that are lagging with EM adoption are losing a competitive edge in a quantifiable way, costing respondent organizations an average $36 million annually.

The report surveyed a random sample of executives from a wide variety of industries on key challenges and opportunities of enterprise mobility programs and found the number of enterprise mobile apps continues to grow as a means to fuel business strategy with 57 percent of all organizations surveyed offering two to 10 custom enterprise apps. Twenty-three percent of large organizations (10,000+ employees) are deploying more than 20.

“Our research and experience suggests broadening the types of end users that are supported by apps – beyond full-time, in-office workers — produces the highest ROI for businesses,” said Brian Day, President and CEO of Apperian. “This often requires a different approach than legacy EMM and MDM-based systems, which weren’t built to accommodate BYOD and unmanaged devices. In these cases, securing and managing the app itself instead of the device is critical to enabling the wide range of workers who can benefit from these apps.”

The study found that, while 91 percent of organizations are targeting corporate employees, 51 percent of all companies also currently provide apps to at least one type of “extended enterprise” worker — hourly workers, contracted employees, and business partners. And while significant business benefits can be gained by providing mobile apps that access critical backend enterprise systems, doing so presents a formidable security challenge, especially when IT must enable workers who are not using corporate owned or managed devices.

The report also found, “Companies deploying custom apps to such large bodies of workers is important, and it suggests they recognize that mobile apps can be transformational to a wide segment of their user base.”

Some significant roadblocks to expanding apps exist, including the complexity of the mobile landscape, security issues, and visibility. Yet, despite the roadblocks, improving business processes (30 percent), improved productivity (23 percent), and competitive advantage (20 percent) were cited as the key benefits of enterprise apps.

The research also revealed companies are supporting businesses processes that are unique to their organizations by creating custom apps that interact with enterprise systems, and more than one-third report having an enterprise app store, up from 23 percent in 2015.

In addition, the survey found adoption strategies drive satisfaction, with nearly 60 percent of businesses currently mobilizing access to critical enterprise systems. And productivity apps and field service apps ranked highest in terms of impact.