Mobile Apps for Business: Which Have Captured Companies' Attention?

Dec 31, 2013

Which mobile applications seem to be providing real value-add to today’s businesses? How do they rank against each other in terms of current implementation vs. future growth?

Mobile worker apps are everywhere in the U.S. and Canadian business sectors.  According to our 2013 Mobile Enterprise Applications survey responses (from 300+ North American businesses), 73% of today’s companies have deployed at least one mobile software application to their employees’ handheld devices. Looking forward, seventy-one percent of the surveyed companies plan to add one or more new solutions by late 2014.

In the 2013 survey, we focused on eleven specific mobile app categories.  The percentage of surveyed businesses reporting that they have already deployed a particular mobile software solution (whether as a trial or a full-blown implementation) are as follows:

  • 62% - Wireless email
  • 39% - Access to internal corporate database(s)
  • 32% - Standalone corporate instant messaging
  • 32% - Employee-to-employee social media
  • 31% - Mobile sales force automation
  • 30% - Mobile workforce management
  • 27% - Mobile asset tracking
  • 24% - Mobile supply chain management
  • 23% - M2M remote monitoring and diagnostics
  • 23% - Standalone video capture
  • 20% - Fleet management and tracking

The above ranking is roughly consistent with the 2012 “what’s hot, what’s not” listing of a year ago. However, the percentage of companies that report implementing wireless email – the most mature mobile solution included on our list -- is significantly lower this year.

What are the growth opportunities over the near term?

First, current users expect to expand their app(s) to other employees in their firms.  In this year’s survey, approximately one-third of companies that have already deployed a mobile software application also anticipated expanding these implementations during 2013-2014.

There is also a “planners” segment – those companies that seem to be convinced of the application’s value, but are not planning to introduce the solution for another 1-3 years. Adding these planner opportunities to the current users who state they will be expanding within the next year, new sales opportunities during 2013-2016 can be ranked as follows:

Ranking by % of Businesses Planning to Deploy

  1. Wireless email
  2. Access to internal corporate database(s)
  3. Mobile workforce management
  4. Mobile sales force Automation
  5. Standalone corporate instant messaging
  6. Mobile asset tracking
  7. Employee-to-employee social media
  8. M2M remote monitoring and diagnostics
  9. Mobile supply chain management
  10. Fleet management and tracking
  11. Standalone video capture

Additional survey results are included in our upcoming study, “2013 North American Mobile Enterprise Applications: Opportunities Within Enterprises,” NCA0-65.

Jeanine Sterling


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