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Beyond BYOD: Enterprises Develop Apps For An Advantage

According to a Zenprise study, companies are developing mobile apps more strategically to increase revenue, reduce costs, and gain a competitive advantage.

With BYOD initiatives firmly under their belts, enterprises are shifting their approach and are now focusing on using mobile apps more strategically to increase revenue, reduce costs, and gain a competitive advantage.

Eighty-one percent of enterprises are planning to deploy custom enterprise mobile apps and 75 percent are planning to deploy mobile line-of-business apps, all in the next 12 months, according to a new survey by MDM provider Zenprise. Of those mobile apps deployed, 52 percent will be for mission critical functions, the firm found.

"Typically what we've seen in the last couple of years are organizations using MDM solutions to mobilize email and enable BYOD for employees and hook them up to the corporate network in a simpler use case to make employees happy and productive," said Amit Pandey, the CEO and president of Zenprise.

Among the other findings, 41 percent of the more than 500 IT professionals surveyed said they will develop custom mobile apps internally, while 40 percent plan to will use a third party to develop them. While currently 57 percent of organizations deploy apps that are downloadable from a third-party apps store that number will drop to 45 percent in the next year.

Pandey said examples of companies that have already deployed next-generation mobile apps include an air freight logistics company doing global scheduling on Samsung Galaxy tablets; a restaurant chain that has deployed several apps on iPads to optimizing seating and conduct training; and a home health care company that runs its mobile workforce on Galaxies to capture information about patient visits. In some cases, mobile apps are replacing internal apps. In other cases, they are supplementing traditional software, Pandey said.

The survey also revealed that 23 percent of respondents reported generating a return on their investment for their mobile initiatives, according to Zenprise. Of those who said they saw monetary ROI, on average, every dollar spent on mobile returned $1.67, the company said. Competitive differentiation was cited most frequently (almost 32 percent) as the main benefit of mobile initiatives while 19 percent of respondents cited an increase in revenue.

"Some of the comments were pointing to the fact that they're using mobile for business benefit; they talk about differentiation in the sales process and bringing the business closer to customers, which I found very telling," Pandey said.

Not surprisingly, even while mindsets are shifting toward how mobile initiatives can increase the bottom line, organizations still view security as the most important capability in an app. Other providers in this space include MobileIron, Airwatch, and Symantec.

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