The results are in from a recent survey conducted by MGI Research. The survey, called “State of Mobile Apps 2012,” surveyed over 200 business organisations. The organisations had from less than 2,500 employees up to 100,000 employees. They were asked about their budgets and how many apps they had in development, planning, or production.
The obvious purpose was to see exactly how important apps are in the marketing plans of businesses. The resounding answer was, “critical.”
Over 48% of the businesses in the survey plan to spend more money on multi-platform tools in the next year. This number qualified as the number one priority of all items surveyed. The technical standards they are looking for are varied.
The survey asked the businesses to label items on a value of 1 to 5, with 1 being unimportant, 3 being important, and 5 designating most important/critical. When counting up all of the businesses that rated items from important to critical, 72% designated enhanced application performance, while 67% designated app support from one code base common to all of their apps. Bring your own device (BYOD) was cited by 46%, and greater use of HTML5 was only cited by 26% of those surveyed.
54.7% of the companies reported that they are developing customer service apps. 87% cited enhancement of customer engagement as a reason for developing the apps, while 79% cited increasing competitive advantage. They cited other business drivers for creating mobile apps: customer service improvement with 73%, enhancing brand value with 78%, and generating profit with 47%.
On the negative side, 6% of the companies reported their apps in the huge failure category, while 21% reported a disappointing ROI from their apps. The positive side is that when you flip the numbers, it means that 94% considered their apps at least moderately successful, and 79% reported an acceptable ROI from their apps.
When it comes to paying for the apps, 28.3% of the companies take it out of the IT budget, 44.3% take it out of the business units, 13.2% from marketing, 11.3% from executive leadership, and only 2.8% pay for apps from the sales budgets.
So, what does this all mean?
First of all, it means that there are a lot of apps being developed for a lot of businesses. This, in turn, means that businesses see mobile apps as a revenue-producing asset. Larger businesses usually stay big because of a conservative approach to business. When the majority of them begin to engage in any behaviour, it is because it works. If there was an unacceptable risk involved, larger businesses simply would not develop mobile apps.
Another trend from this survey is that companies are going to want apps that perform well over multiple platforms. They don’t care what language their apps are programmed in, as long as they are all in the same language.
The biggest trend, though, is that businesses are satisfied with their apps by an overwhelming margin. Apps are money-makers for businesses, and they know it. Businesses are seeing their own mobile applications as an indispensable part of their identity.
If you are a business owner, large or small, it means that if you don’t at least have a customer service app where people can easily do business with you or ask questions, you are going to get left behind by those who do.
Today, people don’t have as much time to spend as they used to. If they are going to spend their hard-earned money, they want businesses to make it as easy as possible for them to do it, and they want to save as much time as possible. From the research, it’s obvious that a lot of businesses are doing just that for their customers. Most of all, if you don’t have an app yet, those other businesses are doing it for people who could have been your customers.
Another thing we can take from the research is that businesses are going to be developing state-of-the-art apps. The best way to get them is to a hire professional mobile app developer. At SmarterApps, we are mobile application builders. We specialise in building apps, and we are great at doing this job. We will build you a great app for your money, and it will do what you want it to do.
At this point, there is no margin for error. Assigning mobile apps to an already-overworked IT department sounds like a great money-saving move, but it usually costs companies more than it saves them. Not only can it lead to problems with your apps, but all of the hidden work involved in creating and building an app can water down the efforts of your IT department.
In the near future, your mobile app is going to be the equivalent of your “best foot forward.” It simply has to be done right.