Mobility: Vendor Plans and Priorities

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19 September 2014


The adoption of mobile technologies is accelerating. Smartphones rocketed from a 10% adoption rate to 40% in just two-and-a-half years, faster than any technology except television. Tablets are moving even faster, blowing away all previous adoption standards.

Carriers are increasingly turning to their software vendors to create mobile access to core functionality for employees, agents, and customers. But where are the vendors? Do all vendors have mobile applications? Are they aligned with carriers on the importance of mobile apps? What challenges do vendors face, and what are their plans for the future?

This report examines mobility attitudes among vendors, the status of mobile solutions, the methods and staffing models used for deployments, statistics around marketing including typical pricing models, and the significance of the challenges vendors face as they move into the mobile market.

Thirty-nine vendors were surveyed to provide answers to these questions as well as to understand pricing models, platform investments, and their expectations of where the market is going.

IT leaders at software firms clearly recognize the importance of mobility to drive their businesses forward. Almost 70% see mobility as mission-critical or important to their organization today.

Today the majority of vendors do not generate revenue from mobile applications. Many are not yet charging for mobile solutions but include the product in the overall price of the software. Vendors clearly intend to change that practice. More than half expect mobile to generate 1–20% of their overall revenue within the next three years.

Vendors see strong growth and market momentum for their enterprise mobility business, especially from midsize carriers.

However, the explosive growth in the mobile technology landscape has created unmistakable challenges for vendors entering this market. Challenges fall into three categories: technology and the devices themselves; organizational changes and cultural issues inherent in mobile; and market acceptance and pricing models.

“Increasingly, carriers are asking about mobile capabilities as part of their evaluation process when selecting new vendor solutions,” says Karlyn Carnahan, a research director with Celent’s Insurance practice and author of the report. “Vendors looking to move into the mobility market can learn from those who have gone before them. Those who have not yet put their mobile plans together may want to begin to build a roadmap for the future.”