Mobility Seen by CIOs as Key Revenue Generator: MWC

Over the next year, nearly half of CIOs said they plan to make workflow changes to better incorporate mobility into the business.

BARCELONA, Spain — CIOs worldwide view mobility as a key revenue generator, and most will invest 31 to 40 percent of their discretionary budgets on mobility, according to a survey of 413 IT professionals in 14 countries by management and technology consulting specialist Accenture.

The vast majority of respondents (79 percent) cited mobility as a revenue generator and said it would significantly improve customer interactions (84 percent) as well as significantly affect their businesses (83 percent), according to the study, which Accenture released at Mobile World Congress here. The survey also revealed that mobility is a top priority in the coming year for more than one-third (34 percent) of CIOs, and 42 percent of CIOs ranked mobility as one of their top-five priorities.

"It's encouraging that companies are embracing the importance of mobility, but they need to go further by identifying the top areas for mobile deployment," Jin Lee, Accenture Mobility senior managing director, said in a statement. "In particular, they should look at areas that will grow, such as connected devices, and conduct a 'gap analysis' to determine how to catch up, or even better, get ahead of the curve. Other critical considerations include investments, budget allocation, retraining staff, hiring mobile expertise, and leveraging external experts to help develop or implement mobility strategies."

The survey found that mobile-device management (27 percent), collaboration (25 percent) and knowledge sharing (23 percent) are the top-three most important features to a developed mobile strategy. More than half the companies surveyed (58 percent) said they have a moderately developed formal mobile strategy, and about one-quarter (23 percent) have an extensively developed formal mobile strategy, down from 31 percent from last year.

Over the next year, nearly half (46 percent) of CIOs said they plan to make workflow changes to better incorporate mobility into the business. Additionally, 73 percent believe mobility will affect their businesses as much or more than the Web revolution of the late 1990s, compared with 67 percent who felt this way, according to a similar Accenture survey conducted last year.

Security is still a significant concern, and interoperability has risen as an issue, indicating that existing systems were not all built for mobile and must be transformed for adoption to continue. The study found that security (45 percent), budget concerns (41 percent) and lack of interoperability with legacy systems (31 percent) are still the main barriers cited by companies as impacting their mobile priorities. More than half the enterprises surveyed (59 percent) provide only limited bring your own device (BYOD) support to their employees while 28 percent offer full support.

"CIOs must find ways to support the myriad mobile devices entering the work environment," Lee continued. "They should also address the need to focus intensely on people and expertise. Almost twice as many companies—40 percent in 2013, versus 27 percent in 2012—plan to leverage external experts to develop and refine their strategy, indicating that mobile usage is growing faster than the market can provide in terms of skilled and available talent."