This year will be a pivotal one for mobility in the enterprise for a number of reasons. Primarily, companies will accelerate their focus on mobile application initiatives. Yankee Group’s Enterprise Mobility IT Decision Maker survey, January 2013 data reveals the following:
- 50% of companies will be increasing their budgets this year for mobile applications
- 34% of all companies are planning to develop 10 or more applications
- 51% of companies will be increasing their in-house development, 31% their outsourced development
- 56% are allowing employees to access apps through public app stores, 43% are centrally distributing them directly to employees’ devices, and 36% through a private internal app store
Companies are utilizing a number of different tools in their development efforts. Mobile OS vendor and independent software vendors’ (ISVs) SDKs and mobile application development platforms (MADP) are some of the tools being most heavily used. Clearly the overall amount of money being invested in these tools and more generally in application projects is increasing as companies look to become more strategic about how they leverage mobility.
With this has come a growing focus on the impact of these projects on their bottom line. Fortunately for most companies so far this seems to be paying off. Yankee Group’s survey results show that 40% of companies rate the amount of time, dollars and effort involved in deploying their mobile apps as high. However, 62% say that the corresponding business value they have achieved, in terms of the impact on their organization’s revenue and profits, has been high.
Part of the reason for this is that, for many companies, the priority has been mobilizing their sales staff. With applications like mobile CRM and salesforce automation (SFA) the impact on the bottom line is in many ways more immediately obvious than for B2B applications.
Correspondingly, 23% of all companies now regard mobile CRM as of strategic value to their business, followed not far behind by SFA. Our surveys show that companies see a variety of key metrics as most important when choosing to deploy CRM/ SFA on mobile devices.
Specifically, 50% of those who have already deployed mobile CRM/SFA cite increased customer satisfaction. Other metrics deemed equally important include — reduced sales call costs, increased field selling time, decreased administration time, eliminating redundant activities and increased win rates all mentioned by between a quarter and a third of companies. These are followed by increased forecast accuracy and lead close rate and decreased sales cycles mentioned by less than a fifth of companies.
Taking it to the Core
In light of this, there is no reason why an amended set of measurement metrics couldn’t also be applied to B2B workflows. Increasing the amount of time on core tasks, the degree to which select workflow activities are made redundant, and improving employee satisfaction and retention could all be used to measure the return of B2B app deployments.
Mobility will only be elevated to the core of companies’ strategic operations if its business impact can be measured. While mobile CRM and SFA have traditionally been an easier sell, as budgets for mobile apps grow, companies should also expect to measure the impact of their B2B projects.
With more development moving in house this is further support for multi-disciplinary development teams paying due attention to optimizing the B2B experience and for lines of business to create metrics frameworks to measure the resulting return, so B2B mobilization can become a core strategic differentiator.