The consumer mobile apps market is huge. There are over 1.5 million downloadable apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play alone, accounting for over $25 billion dollars in revenue. Competition is fierce and developers compete to create an app that stands out from the pack.
But there’s another burgeoning market mobile developers should take a look at. According to Gartner, mobile apps in the enterprise are expected to bring in almost $40 billion in revenue by 2016. Enterprises create their own apps for a multitude of reasons: to maintain control of their brand, meet compliance needs, customize apps for a specific purpose, and more. And these apps are used for a variety of purposes — from improving employee communication and managing customer relationships, to providing helpdesk services, tracking expenses and monitoring company sales. The list goes on almost indefinitely.
Market research firm Vanson Bourne conducted a study on enterprise apps from December 2012 and January 2013, surveying 600 enterprise organizations. Among the study’s findings:
* 95% of organizations surveyed have employees who use personal mobile devices and apps for work
* 92% see adopting mobile apps as a way to gain a competitive advantage
* 29% have a formal mobility project in the works and another 42% plan to start one within the year
* 51% of organizations use mobile apps to stay in touch with employees
* 45% use mobile apps to interact with their customers
It’s obvious that enterprises want to be using mobile apps. So what’s holding them back? Some more findings from the study show why:
* 54% of organization see security as a roadblock to creating a formal mobile strategy
* 48% see the additional investment required as an obstacle
* 56% are worried they don’t have the necessary skills to develops apps and app interface for multiple platforms
But such obstacles can be overcome as is shown by the current and expected growth of the enterprise mobile apps industry. When enterprises do start using mobile apps, how will they create them? Take a look:
* Only 15% say their existing business apps could be easily adapted to mobile devices
* Less that 40% want to establish their own internal development team to create mobile apps in-house
* 62% plan on build mobile apps from the ground up with an established vendor
There’s clearly a great opportunity for mobile developers to get involved in the enterprise. But be warned: developing these apps presents a different set of challenges. Many enterprise mobile platforms have expensive delivery systems and often demand a higher level of technical complexity than consumer apps. The learning curve can be steep, but the opportunity is growing exponentially.
Have you worked on enterprise apps before? What were your experiences? Share you thoughts in the comments below.