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Study: Enterprises Slow to Leverage Mobile Apps

A new study from Accenture indicates that executives are aware of the importance of enterprise mobile apps, but few organizations are following through to take full advantage of their mobile investments.

Accenture, a management consultant and technical services company, found that the large majority of 1,925 decision-makers surveyed "recognize the value of mobile apps for their business (87 percent), but very few are well prepared to successfully deploy and maintain those apps." The "Growing the Digital Business: Spotlight on Mobile Apps" report was based on online and phone interviews conducted in December 2014 and January 2015. The survey mirrored some findings of a recent Telerik survey that found a surprisingly slow adoption of mobile development.

Security of data was the chief problem cited by executives in realizing enterprise mobility initiatives on the app development and management front, the Accenture survey found, listed by 49 percent of respondents. Other challenges associated with app development included performance issues such as crashes and bugs (37 percent); operational issues such as difficulty in efficiently building and updating apps (33 percent); fragmentation of devices and OSes (30 percent); and the perennial problem of a lack of adequate internal skills (27 percent).

Testing and app analytics were also cited as problem areas. "During the design and build stages of app development, only 52 percent employ a testing program that includes user feedback," Accenture said. "Only 48 percent carry out usage reporting or analytics to understand any user pain points in live apps."

Main Challenges Faced when Developing and Managing Mobile Apps
[Click on image for larger view.] Main Challenges Faced when Developing and Managing Mobile Apps (source: Accenture)

The disconnect between executive awareness of mobile value and failure to capitalize on mobile investments was all the more surprising as Accenture reported a distinct "correlation between a company's profitability (relative to competitors in its industry) and its approach to and perspectives on mobile apps."

Other findings in the survey included:

  • 82 percent of respondents see apps as integral to their organization.
  • 85 percent believe that apps are the dominant user interface of the future.
  • Productivity apps were the main type in use (46 percent), followed by sales, customer service and information (44 percent), management (43 percent) and operational (43 percent).
  • Reliability/consistent performance was the most crucial step for successful mobile application adoption (43 percent), followed by security of enterprise data used and accessed (42 percent) and a positive user experience (41 percent).
  • The most popular post-implementation app service used was bug fixing/tracking (55 percent), followed by quality assurance tests (54 percent) and usage reporting/analytics (48 percent).

Accenture offered several guidelines for companies to enhance the business value of their apps, including:

  • Create a robust mobile strategy as the first order of business.
  • Understand what changes are needed to enhance data accessibility and usability.
  • Treat security as ongoing priority in app development and management.
  • Constantly monitor and adapt for a better experience.

"For companies that get mobile right, the return on that investment in the form of greater growth, profitability and competitiveness will be significant," the company concluded.

About the Author

David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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