IBM Survey: Speed and Analytics Key Drivers in Mobile Adoption for Organizations

Half of the Respondents Report a Greater Than 10 Percent Gain in Employee Productivity as a Result of Their Mobile Efforts

ARMONK, N.Y. - 19 Nov 2013: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced results of a new study revealing that 90 percent of global organizations surveyed are willing to sustain or increase their investments in mobile technologies over the next 12-18 months. One of the reasons for increased investments is the measurable impact on speed and productivity. For example, half of the respondents report a greater than 10 percent gain in employee productivity as a result of their mobile efforts.

Based on responses from more than 600 survey participants in 29 countries and eight industries, the report, “The ‘Upwardly Mobile’ Enterprise: Setting the Strategic Agenda,” highlights the business advantages of using mobile technologies to fundamentally change how organizations interact with customers, and develop and deliver innovative products and services to market.

The report examines a subset of respondents called “mobile strategy leaders,” which are defined as organizations that have already established a clear direction for their mobile efforts and consider their mobile strategies something that distinguishes them from their peers. Of the leaders surveyed, 73 percent report measurable returns on their mobile investments, while 81 percent say mobile has fundamentally changed how they do business.  

In order to close the gap between leaders and peers, it is important to investigate how core mobile challenges are currently being addressed within their organizations. For example, while many companies are using mobile to pursue multiple innovation paths, the majority of leaders (62 percent) focus on using mobile for enterprise model innovation – which means redefining their role in the value chain, where they collaborate and how they operate.  

“Today, mobile is quickly emerging as a transformational game changer in business that will drive new levels of innovation and interactions,” said Kevin Custis, Social Business and Mobile practices leader, IBM. “It is far too limiting to define mobility simply as a device or a channel for transactions. The organizations that come out ahead will be the ones that prioritize mobile and redefine its use to drive a new set of business expectations and user experiences.” 

Making Mobile a Priority and Addressing Challenges

While only 20 percent of organizations today believe they have a superior or leading mobile strategy compared with their industry peers, more than double that amount (44 percent) anticipate their mobility strategy to be ahead of their peers in the next three years. 

Mobile leaders are making noteworthy investments in bring your own device (BYOD) strategies. While leaders are more than twice as likely to have adopted a BYOD approach for employees compared to other organizations (66 percent compared to 32 percent), leaders are also more likely to provide the needed support to make these programs successful including well-documented policies and IT support. To effectively support BYOD efforts, however, organizations should first consider the various mobile use cases in the organization, such as access to apps to improve customer service, not just the devices they are willing to support.  

Learning from Mobile Strategy Leaders About Business Transformation

While the data demonstrates strong headway is being made in mobile, global organizations that are categorized as mobile strategy leaders are in the minority (14 percent). According to the report, the top three mobile challenges facing organizations are:

Mobile strategy leaders excel in several high-impact categories including analytics, speed, integration and security:

  • Integration - Mobile strategy leaders cite integration as an area where they have been more successful compared to their peers. Of mobile leaders, 70 percent or more indicate they have been successful in ensuring interoperability with other systems, leveraging APIs for external or cloud-provided data services, and providing service-oriented architecture and sharing information among systems/devices. However, approximately 40 percent or fewer of non-leaders report being successful with these tasks.

Banking Industry Ahead of the Curve

Comparing responses from banking industry participants against peers in other industries provides insight into how this market is prioritizing mobility. For example, 51 percent of banking organizations report measurable ROI from their mobile initiatives, compared to 34 percent of their peers. In terms of increasing employee productivity in the field, a few areas where banking organizations stand apart from peers is their emphasis on using mobile to improve internal collaboration, provide sales force enablement tools and enable employee self service.  

Compared to mobile leaders, banking organizations have improvements to make when it comes to BYOD adoption. Findings showed that 37 percent of banking respondents say their organization has adopted a BYOD approach, compared to 66 percent of leaders that have implemented BYOD.  

Survey Details and Assets

The ‘Upwardly Mobile’ study on mobile enterprise trends was comprised of an online survey completed by more than 600 respondents and approximately 30 one-on-one interviews across 29 countries and eight industries. Respondents represented a range of functions with knowledge of their organization’s mobile enterprise strategy efforts. Interviews were conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value and research partner Oxford Economics. To download the full report, visit Study findings are also highlighted via SlideShare, YouTube and in this related infographic.

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