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Growing the Digital Business: Spotlight on Mobile Apps

Growing the Digital Business: Spotlight on Mobile Apps 11
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DrJohnRyder,United Kingdom,Researcher
Published Date:07-07-2017
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Growing the Digital Business: Spotlight on Mobile Apps Accenture Mobility Research 2015Introduction 2In the past five years, companies have spent considerable time, money and attention developing mobile apps that help them engage and connect with their customers, as well as improve the efficiency and productivity of their employees. As mobility continues to performance data from sensors, • However, within the enterprise, • Companies that are more evolve, it has become critical to applying analytics to that data, and app adoption is far from profitable than their competitors helping companies use the full using the insights to drive business widespread. The most pervasive are more likely to use all of the range of digital technologies decisions – will be lost. Our analysis types of apps—productivity, types of mobile apps and post- to boost overall operating of the survey results uncovered operational, management implementation app services and financial performance. a number of intriguing findings and customer facing—were covered in our survey, as well as about executives’ perceptions of reported as being currently have a wide range of measures in This much is evident in the mobile apps, as well as companies’ deployed by just slightly more place to facilitate app adoption. Accenture Mobility Research study, experiences with developing and than four in 10 executives. which annually provides insights on This year’s study is based on maintaining them. Highlights of trends in how companies are using • Many companies have yet to a combination of online and those findings are as follows: digital and mobile technologies. put in place measures that telephone interviews, conducted One of the focus areas of our • Executives overwhelmingly agree facilitate app effectiveness—such in December 2014 and January research this year was mobile apps, on the importance of mobile as comprehensive pre-launch 2015, with 1,925 senior decision which are a portal to opening up a apps as a portal to the value of testing, mobile security solutions makers for digital strategy and digital business and driving results. digital technologies and to a that are integrated with existing technologies. Participating Mobile apps act as an interface to company’s ability to become a enterprise security systems, and companies represented 15 countries data that is being collected and digital business. They similarly an intuitive user interface that and nine industries, and more than delivered to users in an insightful see mobile apps as the dominant enhances the user experience. 85 percent had revenues of greater and usable way. Without apps, interface of the future, and Security issues were highlighted than 1 billion. much of the benefit of digital believe there is high demand as the overriding challenge in app technologies and the Internet for mobile apps among their development and management. of Things – such as gathering customers to access services. 3Executives Widely Acknowledge the Importance of Mobile Apps 4Executives in our survey consider mobile apps to be critical to their business, especially in light of their company’s increasing push to adopt digital technologies. For instance, they overwhelmingly Executives also equally agree From an industry perspective, by almost all executives in China, believe mobile apps can help on the need for mobile apps to there was only a 10 percent gap where we saw the strongest drive their company’s digital enhance customer engagement. between executives representing support for mobile apps as part of transformation. Eighty-seven Indeed, 87 percent said there retailers and utilities, who were a move to digital, and Australia, percent said mobile apps are is high demand among their the most enthusiastic about the where just over three quarters necessary to fully realize the customers for effective mobile role of mobile apps in realizing the agreed on the importance of apps’ benefits of digital technologies apps that can help them benefits of digital technologies, impact (Figure 1). and that mobile apps act as the access the company’s services. and those in the energy industry, portal to behaving as a digital Furthermore, mobile apps will of whom 80 percent agreed business. Eighty-two percent think grow in importance over time and, apps are necessary (Figure 2). enterprise mobile apps are an according to 85 percent of survey Geographically, we found a slightly integral part of their organization. participants, will be the dominant broader divide, but one that And 81 percent believe mobile apps interface of the future. still demonstrates a majority of are key to unlocking vital data support for mobile apps, as shown from across their business. 5Figure 1: Apps are necessary to fully realize the benefits of digital technology (percentage of executives agreeing - by geography) Canada 87% UK Germany 83% 83% France Japan US 82% Spain 84% 93% China 88% 97% Thailand Philippines 90% 94% Malaysia Singapore 88% 82% Indonesia Brazil 98% 88% Australia 78% 6Figure 2: Apps are necessary to fully realize the benefits of digital technology (percentage of executives agreeing - by industry) Retail Utilities Electronics & Hi-Tech Banking 90% 90% 89% 88% Automotive Insurance Healthcare Communications Energy 87% 86% 85% 84% 80% 7Multiple Challenges Are Suppressing App Adoption 8However, despite the overall enthusiasm for mobile apps, widespread adoption and use of apps within the enterprise has yet to occur. In fact, of the 10 types of apps we asked about in our survey, none was reported in use currently by a majority of executives (Figure 3). Figure 3: Types of mobile apps currently used Productivity apps 46% Sales, customer service and information apps 44% Management apps 43% Operational apps 43% Mobile learning and collaboration apps 35% Apps linked to Industrial Connected Products 33% Apps linked to Consumer Connected Products 33% Commercial o -the-shelf enterprise apps 32% Bespoke enterprise apps made specifically to 30% meet our needs Apps to drive engagement across di erent 29% channels 9The most pervasive apps At the other end of the spectrum However, only 52 percent A variety of challenges focused on productivity (such was France, where executives said their companies have a companies experience in building as those that enable report were generally least likely to say comprehensive testing program and managing apps also may be updates or access to sales they had deployed these apps. before launch (that includes hindering adoption (Figure 6). data); operations (for instance, real user feedback) to help One possible reason mobile those that allow employees to ensure apps work reliably and apps aren’t more pervasive in complete time sheets or book consistently (Figure 5). Just 54 the enterprise is that many office space); management percent indicated they have companies have yet to put in (such as executive dashboards); mobile security solutions that place measures that facilitate and customer-facing apps are integrated with existing successful adoption. For (such as those that support enterprise security systems. example, according to executives sales or customer service). Furthermore, only 56 percent surveyed, the crucial steps to said their apps have an intuitive Consistent with their strong fostering greater uptake of both user interface that enhances enthusiasm for mobile apps, consumer-facing and enterprise the user experience. This means executives in China were mobile apps are reliable and nearly half of executives feel much more likely than their consistent performance, their company’s user interface counterparts in other countries security of enterprise data used is substandard, which could to report their companies are or accessed, and a positive be damping user adoption. currently using the full range user experience (Figure 4). of app types we asked about. 10Figure 4: Crucial steps for successful mobile application adoption Reliability/consistent performance 43% 42% Security of enterprise data used/accessed A positive user experience 41% Access to real-time data from/to the cloud 38% A comprehensive testing program 36% Apps are optimized for use across multiple 36% mobile form factors 35% Regular updates to functionality Feedback mechanisms 33% Accessibility through a public app store 30% 30% Oine accessibility and functionality 11Figure 5: Key measures to make the most of applications, in place or planned 58% 32% Regular updates to functionality 56% 36% An intuitive user interface Mobile security that is integrated with existing 54% 35% enterprise security 54% 35% Ability to exchange real-time data via cloud A comprehensive testing program including real 52% 39% user feedback 51% 39% Ongoing feedback mechanisms Integration with enterprise’s back-end systems 48% 42% O„ine accessibility and functionality 48% 39% Designing mobile apps for desktop business 48% 42% applications Have in place Accessiblity through an enterprise app store 46% 41% Plan to have 12Figure 6: Main challenges faced when developing and managing mobile apps 49% Security issues Performance issues (crashes and bugs) 37% Operational issues (diculty building and 33% updating apps eciently) Fragmented nature of mobile (multiple device 31% types and operating systems) 30% Integration issues with back-end systems Lack of internal skills 27% 26% Monetization issues (diculty hitting ROI targets) Discoverability issues (lack of 26% traction/adoption of apps) 23% API management Lack of usage data 22% Developer ecosystems 22% Inability to keep pace with operating system 22% updates 13As with digital technologies Two executives we interviewed Given the main challenges Anticipated future adoption in general, security remains summed up the primary issues executives cited, it’s perhaps of apps is strongest among executives’ overriding concern— many companies experience. not surprising that of the companies in China by far, as cited by just under half. Also “Mobile apps help us improve principal post-implementation well as those in the electronics seen as challenges, by about the quality of our services apps services, those most likely and high-tech industry. three in 10 executives, were but the main challenge is to be used by participating performance issues (such as updates,” explained the director companies focus on bug crashes and bugs); operational at a utilities company in the fixing/tracking and Quality issues (including difficulty United Kingdom. “Some of Assurance testing (Figure 7). building and updating apps our equipment is an older Challenges and shortcomings efficiently); the fragmented generation and some is new, notwithstanding, executives nature of mobile (i.e., the so the synchronization of remain convinced of the multiple device types and updates becomes challenging.” importance of mobile apps operating systems apps must For a manager at an insurance and see their use poised to work with); and integration services company in France, increase. In fact, between 30 issues with back-end systems. “the challenge we have is percent and 40 percent of security as well as the interface executives globally indicated with our existing information plans to adopt all types of apps systems and database.” within the next two years. 14Figure 7: Post-implementation app services used Bug-fixing/tracking 55% Quality Assurance tests 54% Usage reporting/usage analytics 48% Crash reporting 45% Emergency support 44% Deployment to app store 39% Upgrade subscriptions 38% 32% 30% 29% 15The Link With Profitability 16One of the most interesting findings of our research is the correlation between a company’s profitability (relative to competitors in its industry) and its approach to and perspectives on mobile apps. We compared the responses by likely to currently use all of the of mobile apps—most notably, While these results do not executives who described their types of mobile apps we asked an intuitive user interface, establish causality—i.e., that company’s profitability as “better about (Figure 8), as well as all ongoing feedback mechanisms, greater use of mobile apps than competitors” with those of the post-implementation app and mobile apps designed for directly improves profitability— citing profitability as “worse services covered in our survey existing desktop applications. they do suggest that there is a than competitors.” Both groups (especially, Quality Assurance link between a more positive, Conversely, those describing tended to be similar in their view testing and bug fixing/tracking). comprehensive approach their profitability as worse of mobile apps as key to digital toward mobile apps and More-profitable companies than competitors viewed apps transformation—with the former more profitable operations. were also more likely to not more negatively. They were slightly more likely to believe only believe a wider range more likely to believe mobile in mobile apps’ importance. of factors are crucial to the apps offer little business But the two groups differed success of mobile app adoption benefit (64 percent versus much more distinctly in several within the enterprise (Figure 47 percent) and that mobile important areas. For instance, 9), but also to have all the apps cannot be appropriately companies with self-described measures in place we asked secured for business purposes better profitability were more about that help make the most (61 percent versus 45 percent). 17Figure 8: Types of mobile apps currently used differed by company profitability relative to competitors 53% Productivity apps 41% 52% Sales, customer service and information apps 41% 51% Management apps 39% 48% Operational apps 43% 41% Mobile learning and collaboration apps 35% 39% Apps linked to Industrial Connected Products 35% 37% Apps linked to Consumer Connected Products 28% 35% Commercial o„-the-shelf enterprise apps 29% 34% Bespoke enterprise apps made specifically to meet 28% our needs Better profitability 34% Apps to drive engagement across di„erent channels Worse profitability 26% 18Figure 9: Crucial steps for successful mobile application adoption differed by company profitability relative to competitors 50% Reliability/consistent performance 37% 46% Security of enterprise data used/accessed 40% 44% A positive user experience 35% 41% Access to real-time data from/to the cloud 36% 40% Apps are optimized for use across multiple mobile 29% form factors 39% A comprehensive testing program 34% 38% Regular updates to functionality 33% 37% Feedback mechanisms 32% 34% Accessibility through a public app store 32% Better profitability 33% O‡ine accessibility and functionality 26% Worse profitability 19Advice for the Road Ahead 20