Consumer adoption of mobile devices has grown by leaps and bounds, with now over 5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide. The devices consumers carry are also more powerful than in the past. Today, there are over 1 billion smartphones deployed globally, and Apple is expected to ship nearly 200 million tablets this year. In many countries, mobile adoption has exceeded 100 percent as many individuals carry more than one connected device. Mobile is changing both consumer and employee expectations across every industry.

It’s no surprise that in our last survey of 257 IT leaders, mobility was one of the top two concerns for 2013. While the types of concerns haven’t changed much year over year, the rank of the concerns seem to change every six to twelve months with the rapid shifts in technology. In our last survey, mobilizing the business moved up to the number two slot. It was in fourth place three years ago. Why isn’t mobility the number one concern?  CIOs continue to manage a conflict of enabling innovation while creating operational efficiencies. Innovation doesn’t come easily when CIOs have to –on average –spend 80 percent of their budget on maintenance. Hence, virtualization helps businesses create efficiencies while mobile help firms build innovation.

Recent market research surveys show that between 50-75 percent of firms are allowing BYOD. The Lopez Research Q4 2012 Benchmark found that 64-percent of organizations were in favor of allowing BYOD. In 2012, almost 80 percent of the firms we interviewed that were allowing BYOD were only offering email contacts and calendar access. In 2013, every enterprise we speak with is building or buying enterprise mobile applications. I believe IT will drive innovation by combining mobile, big data and analytics to deliver new insights in near real-time. At any rate, it will be an exciting year in enterprise mobile app development.

What are you mobilizing this year? Will you build or buy enterprise mobile apps?

 

Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.