The FINANCIAL — Facing one of the most significant business challenges since the advent of the Internet, CIOs in emerging markets seeking to mobile-enable their enterprises are making mobility a higher priority and spending more money on achieving that goal than are their mature-market counterparts, according to a new study by Accenture.
The global study, The Accenture 2012 CIO Mobility Survey,found that two-thirds (67 percent) of CIOs and other IT professionals believe mobility will impact their businesses as much as or more than the Internet did in the 1990s.
The research also found that over two-thirds (69 percent) of IT professionals surveyed would allocate more than 20 percent of their discretionary budgets that are delivering mobility capability for their business this year – with a striking contrast between IT leaders in emerging markets (94 percent) and in mature markets (35 percent). According to Accenture, similarly, the survey found that 48 percent of respondents in emerging markets have an extensively developed mobile strategy, while only 12 percent of respondents in mature markets claimed to have extensively developed strategies.
Accenture conducted the global survey of CIOs and other C-Suite IT professionals, and a companion online survey of mobile application developers, to understand the current state of enterprise mobility by identifying the top priorities of IT professionals, the obstacles to achieving them and the challenges faced by application developers.The study also found a few areas of concern complicating the adoption of mobility by enterprises.
Of note, security and cost led the list of IT professionals’ biggest concerns. Fifty percent cited security as the leading factor preventing them from addressing their mobile priorities; cost and budget ranked second (43 percent), while 26 percent cited either interoperability with current systems or a lack of understanding about the benefits of mobility. In addition, none of the most widely used smartphone operating systems received overwhelming security endorsements from app developers, but more than half (53 percent) said Apple’s iOS operating system had the best security, while Google’s Android operating system ranked second at 24 percent.
The results highlight the challenges created by the fragmentation of the market, including the large number of different mobile platforms and devices. App developers rated this fragmentation among device platforms as particularly difficult to manage and monetize. For IT professionals, fragmentation complicates a company’s ability to accommodate one of the strongest trends in mobility – employees bringing their own devices to work and wanting to run office applications on them.
In this frenetic market, IT professionals and application developers have various plans to generate revenue. In the enterprise arena, 42 percent of IT professionals indicated they want to improve field service or customer service delivery with instant access to corporate databases, relevant business data, and on-the-spot transaction processing. Application developers cited downloads (41 percent), in-app purchases (29 percent), traditional advertising (24 percent) and subscriptions (20 percent) as ways to monetize consumer applications.
The study also revealed some intriguing anomalies based on geography. Far more IT professionals in emerging markets focus on mobility compared to those in mature markets. Ninety-three percent of Latin American and 81 percent of Asian IT professionals indicated mobility will provide significant new revenue. But only 66 percent of European and 56 percent of North American respondents agreed.
Similarly, half of Mexican and Chinese respondents, as well as 40 percent and 32 percent of Indian and Brazilian respondents, respectively, strongly agreed that mobility will impact their business as much as or more than the 1990s Internet wave. But only one in five (20 percent) of both U.K. and U.S. respondents strongly concurred.
Accenture’s study concludes that IT professionals must craft a comprehensive strategy for enterprise mobility. In order to do so, Accenture recommends a multi-pronged approach that includes three key elements: technology, business requirements, and management.