Stronger Customer Interest in More Complex Mobile Worker Apps

Apr 30, 2015

North American businesses are enthusiastically deploying mobile applications to their employees … and they’re voicing strong interest in more than simple personal productivity apps.

We know that overall engagement is high when it comes to employee mobile solutions.  According to the most recent Frost & Sullivan Mobile Enterprise Applications survey, an impressive 82 percent of today’s businesses have deployed at least one mobile employee-facing application solution.  An equally notable 79 percent of North American businesses reported that they plan to add one or more new mobile worker apps within 12 months.

Now, given the wording of these initial questions, the apps referred to could be anything from a simple smartphone mapping solution to highly complex custom mobile software.

To drill deeper, our survey listed 13 specific apps that are moderately complex and asked all sizes of businesses about current and planned implementations.  The percentage of companies reporting that they have already deployed (whether as a trial or a full-blown implementation) are as follows:

  • 68% - Wireless email
  • 61% - Mobile collaboration
  • 58% - Standalone mobile corporate instant messaging
  • 54% - Mobile sales force automation
  • 54% - Mobile access to internal corporate database(s)
  • 53% - Employee-to-employee mobile social media
  • 53% - Mobile workforce management
  • 52% - Mobile supply chain management
  • 51% - M2M remote monitoring and diagnostics
  • 49% - Local fleet tracking and management
  • 49% - Mobile asset tracking
  • 41% - Long-haul fleet tracking and management

These figures are substantially higher than (almost double) those reported in our 2013 survey.  The exception is wireless email, which has essentially reached saturation. Clearly, the value proposition of these mobile business apps is being more effectively communicated than in previous years.

When asked about future plans, two types of sales prospects appear: 

  • First, approximately half of those companies that are currently using mobile apps stated that they would expand their implementations of these apps within the coming year.  This figure is up from the one-third of current users that emerged in the 2013 research.
  • Second, another 20-25% of the survey sample has not introduced the mobile app but is planning to within one to three years. They seem to see the value of the solution, but just are not ready to deploy quite yet.

Adding these two opportunities together reveals that new sales opportunities during 2014-2017 can be ranked as follows:

Ranking by % of Businesses Planning to Deploy/Expand

  1. Wireless email
  2. Mobile workforce management
  3. Mobile access to internal database(s)
  4. Mobile conferencing
  5. Mobile collaboration
  6. Mobile sales force automation
  7. Mobile asset tracking
  8. M2M remote monitoring and diagnostics
  9. Mobile supply chain management
  10. Local fleet tracking and management
  11. Standalone mobile corporate instant messaging
  12. Employee-to-employee mobile social media
  13. Long-haul fleet tracking and management

New 2015 survey results will be made available later this year.


Jeanine Sterling

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