Today apps are as personal as the mobile handset to end users, and their usage continues to explode. Gartner predicts that by 2017 mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times worldwide, generating revenues of more than $77 billion. That could lead to a powerful, individualized marketing and sales tool: Mobile users on average will provide personalized data streams to more than 100 apps and services every day, says the research company.
For some CIOs, the breadth of available apps may be an unwelcome reminder of the growing complexity of mobile app development and management. Over the past few years Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies have swelled the size of the mobile workforce, and the range of devices and apps being used, often in ways that are difficult to track and plan technology deployments around.
Many companies also realize the considerable commercial potential if they are able to rigorously analyze the personalized data generated by, and streamed to, apps. Take the rise of predictive apps, for example, that use Big Data and predictive analytics to learn about individuals in order to provide personalized, real-time services. Such apps will enable organizations to target individual customers with very specific, highly relevant content across devices.
But organizations need to take a structured, company-wide approach to mobile app development and management, as well as data analytics, if they are to personalize services, enhance employee productivity and increase marketing impact.
Organizations face a whole set of challenges when it comes to app development and management. A robust strategy will aim to:
• maximize business relevancy through coherent deployment across all divisions;
• accelerate time to market through agile development processes and accelerators;
• provide a consistent user experience across mobile solutions;
• reduce costs and complexity by industrializing processes through automation and re-usable assets;
• maintain continuous and high levels of quality assurance;
• consolidate design, development and testing to a single point of delivery;
• keep mobile solutions up to date through platform and feature updates
• and ensure security of enterprise data.
Few companies have the in-house resources and expertise to do all of these things themselves. This is why enterprises need to put in place a Mobile Center of Excellence (MCoE) and appoint a Chief Mobility Officer to ensure a structured approach to mobile app and service deployment throughout the company and determine which elements of app development and management are best kept in-house and which should be outsourced.
Companies should also consider adopting a Mobile Application Management (MAM) solution to simplify app management and ensure that increasing enterprise app usage does not compromise data security. Organizations can now take advantage of a complimentary 30-day trial of Mobile Secure MAM, a leading solution that leverages SAP Mobile App Protection. To access the free trial, click here.