Oracle-Sponsored Survey Finds Enterprises Expect to Boost Mobile-Related IT Expenses

By Peter Bernstein July 31, 2014

We read a lot these days about the emergency of the “mobile enterprise” and the “virtual workplace.”  Given the pace of industry adoption of mobility solutions, particularly mobile apps, and the virtualization of nearly “E”verything, the trends are undeniable.  However, the questions that arise for both, and specifically for mobile, that inquiring minds want to know relate to the basics, i.e., who, what, where, why and when. 

To try and quantify the speed at which mobility is transforming enterprises, and to gain some granularity about what is going on, CIO Strategic Marketing Services and Triangle Publishing Services, sponsored by Oracle, are out with a new global survey titled, "The Connected Enterprise: Keeping Pace with Mobile Development."   It reveals that not only are enterprises committed to mobility today, but the rate of development, deployment and spending for support of mobile applications and devices is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years.

What the survey also found was that despite the attraction of going mobile, IT executives have increasing concerns about mobile security and integration with back-end systems.

Keeping up is a challenge

As the authors note, enterprises today are under the dual pressures of satisfying the needs of internal stakeholders to increase productivity, while also serving external customers to increase engagement. They also are under pressure to ensure that as mobility proliferation exponentially increases the vectors of vulnerability they must at a minimum keep up with the bad guys.  And, as IT struggles to keep pace with the rapid rate of mobile application development along with the security and back-end systems integration issues, the goals and strategic use of mobility continues to evolve.

The Survey Says!

Here are a few highlights from the survey which was conducted with 414 IT management executives from around the world, including CIOs, CTOs, senior vice presidents or vice presidents; directors or managers of IT; and, senior IT professionals.

  • Security continues to be the top concern for enterprise wide adoption and embracing BYOD adds to this challenge.
    • 93 percent of respondents cited concern over data loss and other security breaches related to mobile devices with BYOD being a key contributor to this concern. Organizations are turning more to centralized management rather than relying on users for security.
    • In the next two years, respondents' say their organizations will be focusing more on device data encryption (10 percent more than today), centralized updating and troubleshooting (11 percent more), remote wiping of data (11 percent more) and lockdown of features (18 percent more).
  • 29 per cent of IT development time is spent on front-end mobile app development, more than 70 per cent of their time is spent on integration, security, quality assurance testing and design work.
  • Mobile applications change continually. According to the survey, 35 percent of midsize and large enterprise organizations update their application portfolio monthly, while an additional 34 percent update their applications quarterly. More than four-fifths (82 percent) of respondents expect those rates to increase over the next two years.
  • Average IT department spending per device, per employee stands at US $157 today. That is expected to grow to US $242 over the next two years, an increase of 54 percent.
  • Respondents are focused more on external customers versus others by a significant margin: 34 percent, versus 27 percent for employees, 24 percent for executives and 15 percent for suppliers. This focus on external customers is expected to grow in the future.
  • Respondents indicated that 44 percent of their application portfolio is internally developed.
  • 75 percent of respondents said that cloud/hybrid cloud is "somewhat important" or "very important" to mobile application deployment. Cloud technologies include platform as a service and a cloud-based mobile enterprise application platform. 
  • 84 percent of respondents reported sales and marketing, as well as customers, as the two stakeholders with the most influence in mobile applications today. IT followed with 82 percent.

“Mobility has been ubiquitous for a while but only 10 percent (according to research by CIO Magazine) of enterprises have an enterprise wide deployment of mobile. Its impact and adoption are gaining importance today. This survey is reassuring in that enterprises see potential for great payoff from making a strong mobile commitment. They are recognizing that mobile applications provide a new way to develop and maintain relationships with customers," said Suhas Uliyar, Vice President, Mobile Strategy & Product Management, Oracle. "Oracle's mobile solutions allow organizations to develop, connect and secure their own mobile applications. Our comprehensive mobile strategy simplifies enterprise mobility for any organization."

While there is a lot to consider in the survey results, the finding that stood out for me as an indicator of what is going on in the mobile apps business is the one below. 

As might be expected, and one can look no further than the want ads of companies looking for DevOps talent, while the mix of organic versus other apps looks to remain rather steady over the next two  years, the percentage that already is being done internally speaks volumes about the desirability of your people customizing something for your use and vouching for its security and integration capabilities. 

While this is a projection based on the views of those on the front lines, it will be interesting to see a year from now if these numbers hold.  If the concerns about security and back-end integration expressed in the other finds of the survey are to believed, and the speed at which all of this is transforming the role of IT in many enterprise, it would not be surprising to see that internal number jump quite a bit.

The survey authors have some words of advice in their conclusions that are great food for thought:

“Most of all, the survey tells us that enterprises focused on tomorrow are learning these lessons from today:

  • Access to relevant information, anywhere and anytime, is expected.
  • Accelerated agility trumps perfection.
  • Access to back-end corporate data is key.
  • Secure the data first, and then the device.

Forward-thinking organizations that do their homework, spend time understanding the needs of their customers and stakeholders, and thoughtfully select a strategy and architecture that is both flexible and agile—they are the ones that will be rewarded with an advantage over their competition.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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