MGI Research

Wednesday, Nov 25th

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What Defines Leaders in Mobile Apps?

mgi research state of mobile apps spring 2014 - coverMGI Research recently conducted the State of Mobile Apps industry study focused on mobile app development, management and security. Across all industries, companies of all sizes are deploying mobile apps to capture new customers, open new markets and create new revenue opportunities. The State of Mobile Apps study collected unique data points related to how enterprises plan, budget, develop, and deploy mobile apps.
Specifically the study (see attachment below) focused on the following key areas among others:
  • Business Drivers for Mobile
  • Technical Priorities for Mobile
  • Investment Focus for Mobile
  • Native vs. HTML5 vs. Hybrid architectures
  • Mobile Apps Development Tools
  • Mobile Management and Security Tools
  • Vendor Awareness/Brand Equity
  • Budgets and Funding
  • Key Performance Metrics - Cost of a Mobile App, Time to Develop, ROI, etc.
  • Role of IT in Mobile
Select Findings:
  • Time to Market: 45% of mobile apps are developed within six months or less. 
  • On-Time: Only 1 in 10 mobile projects are consistently delivered on-time.
  • Within Budget: Only 1 in 7 mobile projects are consistently within budget.
  • Mobile Management and Security: Very few companies have meaningful defined budgets for mobile app management and securty
  • ROI: 71% of mobile apps generate average or below average ROI. No improvement from prior year sur-veys.
  • Mobile App Technical Priorities: Mobile security, data synchronization and integration with legacy ERP systems dominate the technical priorities in mobile app development.
  • Mobile App Investment Priorities: Mobile Security and Mobile App Development Tools will likely see the biggest growth in investment over the next 12 months. Near-Field Communications (NFC) is the biggest decliner.
  • Mobile Platforms: iOS and Android on Samsung feature prominently in user priorities. Open Source mobile platforms like Firefox disappoint. Blackberry barely hangs on, while Microsoft did better than Blackberry.
  • Mobile Vendor Spending Intent: Apple, Google and AirWatch had strong indications of increased spending, while Blackberry had a strong indications of investment outflow.
  • IT Involvement in mobile apps: In a shift from prior years, IT organizations are now more involved with mobile app development with 60% of mobile apps projects led by IT. 
The results identified important characteristics separating best in class companies versus the average. For example, best in class companies tend to be much more focused on having a formal business strategy for mobile as well as a defined technical architecture.
This latest State of Mobile Apps Industry Study also exposed a number of interesting gaps:
  • On the one hand, interest, focus and engagement with mobile apps are continuing to grow, but the budgets and resources allocated to mobile are still very modest. This is reflected in continued fragmentation of the mobile tools suppliers. The interest in mobile is high and growing,  and yet the mobile app development tool  vendors are still struggling with growth. Tools are complex, learning curve remains steep and the technology landscape is moving much faster than the tools. In this current study we have for the first time have seen indications that MEAPs (Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms) are losing ground to simpler and often more primitive mobile development tools.
  • Mobile security and privacy are seen as one of the top three technical priorities and areas where investment is going to grow - yet, 2/3 of companies either have no line item budget to secure a mobile app or spend less than 10K per year. Similarly, 57% of respondents do not have a mobile app management budget.
  • The notion that IT is losing control of mobile apps is largely  a myth. Results of this year study clearly indicate  growing involvement of IT organizations - with 61% of companies citing IT as the entity primarily responsible for mobile app development. This is a confirmation of a  trend we already saw in prior year studies. We have also seen a somewhat below average involvement of outsourcing in mobile app projects (10%).
Overall, the survey results point to an increasing penetration of mobile into key enterprise applications. There is a meaningful shift from prior trends away from revenue generation through towards customer service, increased user engagement, increasing internal productivity. Companies are looking for ways to make a better, more engaging mobile experience for their customers.
The attached report provides a condensed summary of key findings including key stats and charts. Detailed study data is available to MGI Research subscribers.
Attachments: (For Subscribers)
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