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Accenture Study Finds Enterprises Struggling to Meet Their Goals with Mobile Computing

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A new Accenture study of 1,500 IT leaders finds enterprises are committed to mobile strategies, but less than half have achieved break-even ROI and many are struggling to achieve their mobile-computing goals.

According to the study, enterprises recognize the strategic importance of mobile computing, even when compared to other major IT initiatives such as Big Data and cloud computing:

  • 77% of respondents consider mobility to be one of their top five priorities for the coming year
  • 43% of respondents consider mobility to be one of their top two priorities for the coming year

But despite valuing mobile computing and investing heavily in new mobile technologies, most enterprises are struggling to achieve their mobile-computing goals. Accenture reports:

‘Most companies have not made substantial progress toward the mobility priorities that are important to their business—on average only slightly more than four in 10 companies have made at least good progress across these priorities. Looking more closely at our results, we found no more than 18 percent of respondents that described their progress as extensive on any one priority. Consistent with this is the fact that less than half of respondents (46 percent) described their overall adoption and deployment of mobile technologies as effective.’

Enterprises are setting bold goals for mobile computing and failing to meet them. Why?

Some of the problems are management-related, such not assigning ownership of new mobile projects to specific project teams and not establishing criteria for evaluating mobile initiatives. About two-thirds of companies had trouble rolling out new mobile technology, while many had difficulty developing and deploying new mobile apps that met employees’ expectations. Enterprises also had difficulty integrating new mobile technologies with existing workflows and infrastructure.

But the picture is not entirely gloomy:  Some companies are finding success with their mobile initiatives. Companies that are successful with their mobile strategies tend to be financially successful companies, though not necessarily big companies. Success can be found in any market and in companies of any size.

Enterprises that succeed with mobile strategies tend to do the following:

  • Take an “ambitious, strategic, and cross-company approach” to mobility.
  • Involve senior management in mobility initiatives.
  • Apply superior methodologies for developing and deploying mobile apps.

Compared to other enterprises, mobility leaders tend to:

  • Consider the full range of digital technologies available.
  • Look for ways to apply those technologies to create entirely new digital businesses rather than enhancements to existing businesses.
  • Have formal, company-wide strategies, rather than piecemeal strategies for individual business units or functions.
  • Focus on creating an enterprise app store which can be easily accessed and employ robust methodologies for developing, testing, distributing, and updating apps.

Clearly, it’s important for companies to focus wholeheartedly on mobile, rather than bolting it onto existing strategies and solutions. For more thoughts on supporting mobile users across the enterprise, see our earlier blog post on designing solutions for end users’ “mobile moments.”

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