As employees demand more from their corporate IT systems, mobility will inevitably increase in importance as mobile or remote working becomes the norm in most workplaces. Users will expect to access their applications from wherever they are, whether that is at a coffee shop using public Wi-Fi or in a branch office. Additionally, users will want to dictate the device they use – in the same way that they would access their own personal applications (mobile banking, shopping, TV streaming services) via a range of devices to suit location and accessibility. A recent IDC survey revealed that 40% of devices used to access business applications were personally owned by the user – and this is an increase of 10% from 2010, so we can only assume this will increase.
Mismatch in expectations
Despite the evident trend, this expectation from the user is not matched by the enterprise. In fact, 75% of organisations in the survey have no business applications – or plans to create these applications – designed for smart mobile devices which highlights the disconnect between user expectation and business reality.
The reason for developing mobile versions of enterprise applications is not just to keep the user happy, but is a way for the enterprise to keep its employees connected to customers for 24/7 support and also to reduce the costs associated with purchasing devices. After all, if the user is happy to bring their personal tablet that they know and love to work for certain tasks, then that is one more device that does not have to be purchased by the company. It is important that corporate IT teams are not left behind on this issue, as their lack of involvement could lead to serious security breaches if not managed correctly. According to Gartner, 64% of enterprises said mobility projects forged ahead without the full involvement of the IT teams, with many employees utilising a range of consumer applications, personal data storage accounts and their own devices. Employees were even starting to develop their own applications on cloud infrastructure in order to do their jobs more efficiently. This is a valuable resource that organisations should harness rather than prevent.
Mobility for the sales force
Furthermore, sales and marketing teams are encouraged to spend more face to face time with clients; on the shop floor, in meetings or travelling – and mobile devices better lend themselves to this flexible approach to information delivery. Enterprise software vendors are now having to think about how they can make their apps more consumer-like in a bid to make them more attractive to organisations who are recognising that desktop based applications are not going to work within a flexible and collaborative sales environment.
If you are interested in knowing more about the consumerisation of enterprise applications then read our whitepaper on “The Consumerisation of Enterprise Applications”.