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Emerging Trends in Mobility

23 Jul 2015
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It’s that time of the year again where we at IDC Asia/Pacific dig through the results of our annual Enterprise Mobility survey. This year we expanded the sample size to over 3,500 companies across 13 countries in Asia. While there will be more detailed reports to follow, including the 2015 Enterprise Mobility MaturityScape Benchmarks for APeJ and country Benchmarks for Australia, China and India, I thought I would share the Top 3 Emerging Trends. To quote Bob Dylan, the times, they are a changin’…

Trend 1: Here Come the Tablets – The most interesting result from the survey! We asked the respondents to rank their 2015 mobility initiatives and APeJ’s #1 ranked initiative is deploying iOS or Android tablets and the #4 ranked initiative is deploying Windows 8 tablets (sorry Microsoft, Windows 10 wasn’t launched yet). For iOS and Android tablets, the driver is mobilising the business process, and for Windows 8 it’s all about laptop replacement. This proves customer demand exists; however we are not seeing vendors pushing the tablet/business process message as much as they should to address this emerging opportunity.

Trend 2: Vendors Beware! The Year of the Switch – When customers begin their mobility journey, they have limited budget and resources, lack clearly defined roadmaps and strategies, and tend to select vendors that meet only their early stage mobility requirements, regardless of whether it is the best long-term solution. In the developed markets of Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, much of the initial vendor selection would have been two years ago – and now we can see the results of those selections and it doesn’t look good for the incumbent vendors. In Australia and Singapore, over 50% of the customers surveyed say they have either “reached the limit” or are “dissatisfied” with their current vendors and are looking to switch, with New Zealand close behind at 45%. Vendors need to adjust their go-to-market and customer retention strategies to address this worrying trend.

Trend 3: It’s all about the Apps – For years, enterprises have focused too much on the mobile devices and not on mobilising the business process. If you focus solely on the device, whether through company-issues smartphones or via BYOD, it is a cost to your organization. To drive a positive ROI, enterprises must mobilise the processes that support their internal operations and customer interactions as this can deliver tangible business benefits (increase revenues, decrease costs, streamline operations). The survey results show that enterprises now understand this, with the Top 5 Mobility Initiatives being:

  1. Deploy iOS/Android tablets
  2. Launch horizontal applications (e.g. CRM, SFA, business intelligence
  3. Increase company-issues smartphones
  4. Deploy Windows 8 tablets
  5. Launch line of business applications (e.g. workflow management)

Each of these initiatives will support the mobilisation of the enterprise, including the renewed focus on company-issued smartphones which demonstrates that enterprises have realised the complexity of trying to get applications to work effectively on the dozens or hundreds of device variants brought into the organization through BYOD.

The good news is the market is maturing and Enterprise Mobility is no longer just a side project – it is fast becoming central to driving business strategy.

There will be much more to come, but if you want to discuss any of these trends or our upcoming research, please feel free to reach out to me.