The impact of mobility on enterprise software development

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. The impact of mobility: more than just BYOD
  3. The rise of mobile enterprise software
    1. Types of enterprise apps
    2. Use case: Sunbelt Rentals
    3. Shifting values: the benefits and goals of mobile enterprise software
    4. Use cases: mobile-first startups
  4. Near-term impact
  5. Key takeaways
  6. About Aileen Arcilla

1. Summary

With the help of bring your own device (BYOD), mobility has transformed employee expectations of enterprise application design, functionality, and provisioning. While traditional crowded “bloatware” targeted for the desktop continues to dominate, the pull toward mobile enterprise apps is unmistakable. In the third-quarter 2013 Gigaom Research IT buyers survey, more than 91 percent of IT managers reported supporting or developing enterprise mobile applications. Coupled with increasing user demand for consumer-like user interfaces (UIs), sleeker, purpose-built “mobile-first” applications pose a real threat to the traditional enterprise independent software vendors (ISVs) that do not follow suit.

From development tools to deployment management, this report will highlight the limitations of entrenched software delivery methods and the rise of a new breed of application. It will also examine how the consumerization trend has already influenced the behavior of traditional enterprise software vendors and examine potential evolution of the market over the next few years. Key findings include:

  • Mobile enterprise applications have begun to influence the development, sales, and consumption of enterprise software.
  • For the majority of enterprise software developers, a true “mobile-first” philosophy has yet to arrive.
  • Despite an obvious need to embrace mobility as a key pillar of enterprise development, entrenched business models have hampered the ability of established ISVs to do so.
  • CIOs will remain the primary purchaser, but ISVs may not be able to ignore user feedback if their influence grows. An ISV sales force may need to modify its practices to engage a wider range of buyers. This could require additional training and specialization of both sales and support staff.
  • ISVs must engage in a greater degree of granularity in their usage monitoring. Understanding specific use cases, the features they require, and the context in which users interact with those features is an essential component of mobile development and can provide valuable insight for desktop and web application projects as well.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr user Phil Roeder

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