When it comes to mobile applications in the enterprise, there's a disconnect between what CIOs say they know their employees want and what they're actually offering, says a new report from Mobile Helix.
The company, an enterprise application and data security platform provider, hired market research firm Vanson Bourne to survey 300 IT decision makers in the United States and the United Kingdom. The latter found, it said in a July 31 report, "Despite a clear understanding of the benefits and drivers from the end-user community, companies have not mobilized many applications—and a larger percentage are delaying full deployment of enterprise apps on mobile devices due to concerns around cost, complexity and security."
Of the CIOs surveyed, 87 percent said their employees want more access to data and apps on devices. They also estimated that a 36 percent increase in productivity would likely result from mobilizing key applications.
On average, the CIOs reported having 400 custom and packaged apps within their organizations, but that only 22 percent of these were accessible from mobile devices.
Moving in the right direction, however slowly, 71 percent said their companies were taking steps toward developing apps for mobile use, while 20 percent said they were planning to, eventually.
Why the hold up?
Development costs were blamed by 65 percent of the CIOs; security costs were pointed to by 63 percent; and 48 percent also said they were also nervous about the increased support and maintenance costs that would come with new apps.
Participants also said that they worried about mobilizing legacy enterprise apps that don't include support for touch or swipe, for fear of offering a sub-par user experience on devices with these capabilities.
Further, only 32 percent of those surveyed said they believe they have the skills to develop native apps, while nearly 50 percent said they already had developed a native app but would hesitate to do it again, given the time, cost and complexity of the project.
"The current approach to mobility is limiting the market," Matt Bancroft, co-founder and chief operating officer of Mobile Helix, said in a statement. "Enterprises are now looking for solutions that allow them to develop and deliver apps to their employees simply and cost effectively."
He added, "Companies already have the infrastructure and skills to mobilize, deliver and support enterprise applications in a cost-effective way, while still ensuring enterprise-grade security. Every device platform on the market today has a high-performance, HTML5-compliant engine."
With an HTML5-based approach, he said, IT can build an app platform for all kinds of devices, "without compromise in functionality, performance or security."
Mobile Helix, you won't be surprised to learn, offers HTML5-based solutions.
Research firm Gartner expects more than half of all mobile apps deployed by 2016 will be an HTML5-native hybrid.
"To address the need for mobile applications, enterprises are looking to leverage applications across multiple platforms," Gartner said in a February report.
"The advantages of the hybrid architecture, which combines the portability of HTML5 Web apps with a native container [such as an iOS or Android environment] that facilitates access to native device features, will appeal to many enterprises."