Mobile Business Strategies Hampered by Cost, Complexity

The survey, conducted by enterprise application and data security firm Mobile Helix, explores how enterprises are making use of mobile technology.

Although 78 percent of enterprises have a mobility strategy, 86 percent are failing to utilize mobility to transform their business or open new revenue streams, according to a survey of 300 IT decision makers in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The survey, conducted by enterprise application and data security specialist Mobile Helix, explores how enterprises are making use of mobile technology.

Results suggest enterprises that fail to see mobility as a tool to transform how they do business and open up new revenue streams are missing out on the enormous potential strategic value of mobility.

The survey indicated many chief information officers (CIOs) are hesitant to fully explore the potential of mobility innovations as they believe the cost to benefit ratio of implementing them to be prohibitive.

"Cost concerns are understandable, given that widespread enterprise mobility is still in its infancy, yet if CIOs make the right long-term choices today, they can generate significant returns for their business," Mobile Helix's president Matt Bancroft, said in a statement. "Mobility has the potential to disrupt business in much the same way as the Internet, but at the moment, cost and complexity challenges lead people to frequently ignore the enormous possibilities available."

Just 14 percent of businesses surveyed said they currently using mobility solutions to transform business processes, drive increased revenues and develop new income streams.

In addition, 87 percent of CIOs believe that a majority of their employees would benefit from increased access to enterprise applications, like customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and SharePoint on mobile devices.

"Take an industry where physical signatures are still needed: why not look at ways to use fingerprint scanning and location awareness on mobile devices as a way to completely change the way the industry works," Bancroft continued. "Ultimately, we see the strategic value of mobility delivered in three phases: mobilizing existing enterprise applications, then adding mobile-specific capabilities to existing applications, and then creating totally new mobile apps where need and business case dictate."

Less than half of enterprises surveyed said they are adding mobile-specific functionality to add value to specific enterprise applications.

In terms of the mobile capabilities that businesses are actually integrating into their existing enterprise applications, secure offline access is the most common, with on-device storage and development tools to push real-time updates to workers, while GPS and location-based capabilities are also becoming more popular.

The results indicated complexity concerns play a role in contributing to the reluctance of CIOs to invest more into mobility. Two-thirds of CIOs say that they think that it’s too complex, and 72 percent say it’s too costly to integrate mobile innovations into legacy applications.

Development, support and security concerns are also factors in limiting mobile initiatives. However, if these issues can be overcome, 70 percent of CIOs stated that there is support from their business to use mobility to drive strategic business value.