When looking at the growth and acceptance of mobile apps in the workplace over the past 12 months, it’s clear to see that while priorities are moving in the right direction, some efforts are still lacking to fully accommodate what is an enormous opportunity for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Considering how these apps are delivered, when focusing on the enterprise SaaS market, there was reportedly growth of almost 40% in 2015, and analysts Synergy Group forecasted that it will more than triple in size over the next five years. Within that market, Microsoft, among others, is now challenging for leadership, but is still a way behind long-time leader Salesforce, according to Synergy.
Thanks to this growth, throughout 2016 mobile apps built on the Salesforce platform have become exponentially more capable, affordable, and reliable, and have consequently become critical to the daily running of organisations in many cases.
However, there’s still a large gap in the understanding of what’s required to deliver this more advanced class of apps successfully, which is something we’ve witnessed as a prominent challenge for the wider Salesforce ecosystem this year. Right alongside that is a lack of confidence among decision makers to place mobile apps into such important supporting roles within the core responsibilities of their employees.
Still, there are plenty of positive signs when looking ahead into 2017, as more and more businesses are acknowledging the potential of mobility as more than just a driver of productivity, but as a key competitive differentiator as well.
To highlight this, we’ve pulled together 10 notable statistics from the past 12 months which tell the story of the current state of mobile apps in the workplace, and which also shed some light on what the future may hold for businesses embracing them as a means for success.
1. At the beginning of the year, it was reported by Forbes that Forrester predicted for 2016:
2. One of the main drivers of this universal need to invest in enterprise mobile technology is the fact that the traditional role of an isolated, solitary worker sitting at a desk is becoming virtually extinct, and businesses now need far more flexibility from their employees in order to remain effective
3. With such a large percentage of work now being ‘deskless’, the need for mobile technology which can provide tools for working without a fixed location has soared in recent years
– Approximately 80% of the global workforce (around 3 billion) is performing physical or deskless work daily
4. This upward trajectory is only expected to continue, and while not all deskless work requires technology solutions, the leading authorities on the matter still see a significant portion of the global working population being mobile very soon
– The global mobile workforce is set to increase from 1.45 billion in 2016, accounting for 38.8% of the global workforce, to 1.87 billion in 2022, accounting for 42.5% of the global workforce
5. As the mobile workforce grows to be far more ubiquitous, organisations are turning to applications to provide their employees with the best possible tools to carry out this deskless work
– The top three areas of investment for IT are: 1. Mobile apps (68%), cloud migration (68%), security response (68%), 2. Customer-facing apps (63%), 3. Productivity apps (62%)
6. However, there still appears to be a vast gap in the amount businesses are willing to invest in mobile apps specifically, compared to desktop-based apps, when taking into account these important trends
7. Which is surprising, as the workers themselves clearly see the value, and even the necessity, of mobile apps in order to keep up with competitors in today’s professional landscape
8. And the benefits to individual users are abundantly clear to see, with many admitting that mobility improves their ability to do their jobs quickly and effectively on a daily basis
– 60% of employees said mobile technology makes them more productive, while another four in ten (45%) acknowledge it causes their creativity to rise
9. Perhaps that will allow the gap to close more quickly, especially as some believe apps being built for employees are going to largely take a mobile-first approach as we head into the new year
10. It is at least promising to see that the strategic plans of a large percentage of organisations appear to be preparing for a mobile-first future, with entire processes and workflows expected to be adjusted for mobile working