Mobile Business Applications: What's Hot in North America

Sep 27, 2017

We know that mobile business applications are popular in North America. Which specific apps are getting top attention from today’s companies?

An impressive 83 percent of North American businesses already have deployed at least one mobile application to their employees’ mobile handheld devices (smartphones, tablets, wearables, etc.). And companies show no signs of stopping, with almost half of them planning to implement 11 or more new mobile business apps during the coming year.

With this product category on a continued growth trajectory, it may be enlightening to understand what types of mobile business apps are most popular in the U.S./Canada market.

Our most recent Frost & Sullivan mobile enterprise apps survey examined the preferences and plans of 313 mobile and wireless purchase decision-makers.  The country samples each divided evenly in terms of company size (<500 vs. 500 employees).

We asked about ten specific solution categories. In terms of the percentage of respondents that reported deploying a particular mobile software solution to at least some degree*, the apps ranked as follows:

  1. Mobile workforce management (aka mobilized field service management)
  2. Mobile asset tracking
  3. Mobilized sales force automation
  4. Mobile supply chain management
  5. Fleet vehicle tracking and management
  6. Mobile access to internal corporate database(s)
  7. Mobile collaboration
  8. Employee-to-employee mobile social media
  9. Mobile conferencing
  10. M2M remote monitoring and diagnostics

(*Note: We did not ask the respondent to quantify the actual extent of their deployments.)

The top five categories tend to be more complex mobile solutions, and typically one-third to one-half of the current user companies plan to expand their implementations within the next 12 months.  Mobile workforce management, mobile asset tracking, and fleet vehicle tracking are all ranked significantly higher than they were in our survey from four years earlier. 

The next four categories are more aptly described as general productivity apps.  Mobile database access and mobile social media rank lower than they did four years before.  Mobile collaboration and conferencing were not included in the earlier survey, so no comparison can be made.

The last -- M2M remote monitoring and diagnostics -- is more specialized and is properly considered part of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio.  It also moved down a few spots in the overall rankings.

Frost & Sullivan will be fielding a new survey in late 2017, with results scheduled to be published during First Quarter 2018.

Jeanine Sterling


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