Mobile Application Deployment Hampered by Cost, Security Concerns

The majority of respondents said the cost of developing or re-engineering enterprise applications for use on mobile devices is currently too high.

Despite a clear understanding of the benefits and drivers from the user community, companies have not mobilized many applications, and a large percentage are delaying full deployment of enterprise apps on mobile devices due to concerns around cost, complexity and security, according to a survey of 300 IT decision makers in the United Kingdom and the United States from enterprise application and data security specialist Mobile Helix.

The survey found that there is a range of factors impeding the deployment and adoption of enterprise applications on mobile devices, with 65 percent of CIOs blaming delays on development costs, 63 percent citing security concerns, and just under half (48 percent) worried about increased cost of support and maintenance.

"Why aren’t more enterprise apps available on any device? We all want apps and data to be available to employees when they need them using the tools that are available at that time," Matt Bancroft, co-founder and COO for Mobile Helix, said in a statement. "Companies need to bridge app silos in the enterprise and ensure applications work in both fixed and mobile to deliver a seamless converged 'app' experience."

In addition, 87 percent of CIOs said their employees want more access to enterprise data and applications on their mobile devices. It also provided evidence that enterprises recognize the efficiency gains that mobile can deliver, with CIOs expecting there would be a 36 percent increase in productivity across the business if key enterprise applications were mobilized.

"Users expect critical data and applications to be available on any device and in any context, both in mobile and fixed environments, in the way that is most familiar and convenient to them," Bancroft continued. "CIOs understand the obvious benefits of empowering employees and making them more productive, yet only a small proportion of enterprise apps and critical data are currently mobilized."

The survey also found 71 percent of companies have taken steps to develop applications for mobile use, with a further 20 percent planning to develop applications for mobile use in the near future. On average, companies had more than 400 custom and packaged applications within their organization.

However, only a small proportion (22 percent) of enterprise applications can actually be accessed from mobile devices despite the fact that 86 percent of companies have developed standard web applications, and over half (53 percent) of enterprise applications are now browser-based, suggesting there is an opportunity to mobilize relatively easily and cost-effectively.

The vast majority of CIOs (81 percent) said they believe that the cost of developing or re-engineering enterprise applications for use on mobile devices is currently too high because of the highly fragmented and complex nature of the mobile market. In fact, 65 percent claimed that mobilizing enterprise applications, such as adding touch and swipe support, is too complex.

"The current approach to mobility is limiting the market–enterprises are now looking for solutions which will allow them to develop and deliver apps to their employees simply and cost effectively," Bancroft said. "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."