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Why are so many companies launching mobile applications?

The next topic in the Mobile Sense series will dive into the topic of Mobile Applications.  This is a topic that I am very excited to talk about – specifically because SAP has been launching our own expanding series of enterprise mobile apps to solve many key business needs. If you are thinking about apps (and who isn’t!) then I encourage you to read on – and also register now for the “Key Strategies for Enterprise Mobile Apps” webinar being held November 1st. A whitepaper on this topic was written for SAP by Chris Marsh, Senior Analyst for Yankee Group. I think you’ll enjoy the content – it provides a great introduction into many important aspects around deploying enterprise mobile apps.

I’ve been working on the mobile space for 14 years and I’ve seen a lot of growth and change over that time. However the change in the past two years has been the most rapid. In the past mobility was for executives and field workers. In fact, at Sybase, we used to refer to our mobility team as the ‘frontline’ team. That’s because at the time, mobility was almost exclusively for frontline workers – those who spend the vast majority of their time outside of the office.

New technology has truly exploded in both the consumer and enterprise spaces – and it is changing the face of mobility. In several recent posts I’ve talked about why the BYOD model is becoming pervasive. People have been clamoring to bring technology that they are comfortable and familiar with in their personal lives to work. I think it really comes down to the fact that today’s devices provide a fantastic user experience – which has been driven by an ‘apps’ mentality.

The world is now truly mobile – and increasingly productive because of it. According to the Yankee whitepaper titled ‘Key Strategies for Deploying Enterprise Mobile Applications’, there are “just over 160 million mobile workers in the U.S. (38 percent of the entire workforce), and nearly three-quarters of companies consider working from home or on the road as part of their wider organizational culture, and the vast majority of companies now believe these workers are as productive as those working in an office.”

So what this means is that mobility isn’t just for ‘frontline workers’ anymore – it’s also for knowledge workers of all types and it has “spread outward across different job roles and downward from executives to non-managerial staff.”

So what does this rapid adoption mean when it comes to apps? 

Chris Marsh highlighted a lot of great factors that are driving growth in mobile applications. He states, “Key factors include the evolution of higher-speed mobile networks, the explosion of smart mobile devices, users’ familiarity with apps and mobile app stores, and a decrease in the costs associated with developing, distributing and maintaining mobile applications.” All of these factors lead to one main conclusion – mobility is for the masses. And the masses want apps.

I’m excited to share some great content in my next few posts from this whitepaper. Over the next few weeks I’ll try to break down the fantastic content and provide commentary around the great insight provided by Chris. We’ll talk about choosing a focus for your mobile projects, building and deploying apps, how to support enterprise mobile applications and more. I look forward to walking through this great research and hope you will learn a lot from it too.

I hope you’ll follow along and be sure to register for the Webinar on November 1st.

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