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2/2/2011
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Mobilizing Enterprise Apps: The Next Big Leap

To give employees and customers what they want, IT needs to build new, powerful links from smartphones to enterprise systems

It's time to take the next step in your strategy for mobilizing enterprise applications--that is, if you have one.

We're not talking about giving e-mail access, instant messaging, or personal contact management to mobile workers. That's the easy stuff. A mobile apps strategy is about connecting employees and customers with core systems and e-commerce capabilities. With the latest generation of smartphones, those interactions can be a wholly different experience, and the pioneers are pushing new boundaries.

Why now? Aided by the typical two-year turnover in mobile phone contracts, smartphones now account for nearly a third of mobile devices in the U.S. And Nielsen estimates that percentage will reach 50% by the end of this year.

So your employees and customers will have this mobile computing power at their fingertips. Mobile sales, service, and consumer applications that were once crude or required costly purpose-built devices can be supported on standard-issue smartphones.

Not everyone shares a sense of urgency--19% of the 693 business technology pros who responded to our Application Mobilization Survey say their companies have no plans to deploy mobile apps on smartphones, and about the same percentage see mobile enterprise apps as a year or two away. But three out of five are deploying or will deploy this year. It's your move.

"If your mobile strategy is stalled because you're looking for the business case and the ROI, put your big-picture hat on and realize that mobile devices are on people all day--they are on, they are connected, and when you press a button they are ready to go," says Baron Concors, CIO and chief digital officer at Pizza Hut. That's a big contrast to the boot-and-wait experience of desktops and laptops, and it means smartphone-equipped consumers and employees are there, waiting for a different experience.

A Rapidly Changing Landscape

Become an InformationWeek Analytics subscriber and get our full report on the rapidly changing landscape of application mobilization.

This report includes 32 pages of analysis by market analyst Peter Rysavy, packed with 19 charts on mobile trends. What you'll find:
  • Data on mobilizing strategies, enterprise apps, security, and choosing Web or native apps
  • Analysis of iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Microsoft platforms
  • A checklist of the most important variables in mobilization
Get This And All Our Reports


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Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
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