273961_l_srgb_s_glWith close to six billion total mobile users in the world, and more than a billion employees accessing enterprise software via mobile devices, the stage is set for dramatic growth in mobile enterprise applications.

Nevertheless, until now most of these applications have not had widespread adoption or significant business impact. The big question, of course, is why?

Clearly, the opportunity is there. On average, nine out of every ten employees now have a mobile device, and one in five possess a smartphone/ tablet, according to a recent global study by SAP’s Performance Benchmarking group. Similarly, Gartner’s 2012 CIO Survey found that 61% of respondents plan to enhance their mobility capability during the next three years, and 48% believe they will become leaders in their industries by adopting innovative mobility solutions.

Why Enterprise Mobility Initiatives Fall Short

Unfortunately, however, many companies continue to struggle turning the vision into reality. Poor user experiences, an inability to access and protect critical data and services for end users, and lack of support for new devices all are common complaints and barriers to further adoption.

In addition, a closer look at many companies’ strategies highlights another potential shortcoming. Specifically, many enterprise mobility initiatives start off with the (short-sighted) objective of building just one mobile application. When treated as a series of one-off projects, however, mobile app development tends to create huge hidden costs, and potential disruptions lurk just below the surface. For instance:

  • Coordinating data, access, and applications across multiple channels gets more complicated as firms pursue mobile engagement;
  • Servers and infrastructure are often ill-prepared to handle exploding activity volumes; and
  • Middleware, application, and security models are poorly constructed for engagement.

The implication of all this is that, as enterprise mobility becomes a top priority on the CIO agenda, the first step should be to establish a solid foundation to deal with the inevitable growing portfolio of mobile apps. In other words, a complete mobile platform is the key component, and the missing element in many current initiatives.

Scalable, Successful Mobile App Deployment

What does this mean? In our experience, some of the basic elements that must be in place for scalable, successful mobile app deployment are:

  • A mobile architecture with the flexibility to support the range of use cases and application types and that deliver a great user experience on all devices
  • Mobile infrastructures that can deliver the responsive performance that mobile users have come to expect, support end-to-end security, and are scalable for future growth
  • A mobile development process and tool set that can support rapid innovation from concept to deployed application in a matter of weeks instead of months or years
  • A services layer that maximizes the reuse of back-end connections and common service components across new mobile applications for the enterprise

Benchmarking Blog MobilityThese are just the basic building blocks for a true mobile strategy, but the impact on
performance can be dramatic.

Consider, according to an enterprise mobility benchmarking study by SAP, organizations with a higher adoption of a single, scalable, secure mobile platform can on average develop and deploy new apps 24% faster than companies with a lower adoption of mobile platforms.

Similarly, organizations that have a high adoption of mobile devices along with operating system standards and policies to limit application complexity tend to require 40% less time to provision new devices and decommission devices. In business environment where speed and operational agility can create competitive advantages, these kinds of changes are too important to ignore.

To request a copy of the full research report, please contact: [email protected]

By: Amit Duvedi, Vishy Gopalakrishnan, Katharina Muellers-Patel and Shikhar Srivastava from SAP, with Scott Synder from Mobiquity