Survey Uncovers Changes in How Firms Buy Mobility Products

Maturity Levels Still Low, Thanks to Security Fears and Market Complexity

Astonishing changes are happening within businesses as mobile technology becomes more and more central to their IT, business operations and digital transformation initiatives. Results from our recent Decision-Maker Mobile Technology Survey, 2015 show us these changes are broad-ranging.

They encompass new buyers and spending levels, new priorities and challenges, as well as shifts in distribution channels and brand affinities.

In August 2015, we surveyed 589 mobile technology decision-makers in businesses in the US and five European countries about their purchasing preferences for enterprise mobility products.

This is an overview of the survey highlights and what they mean for the market. Contact us if you'd like to read our full report.

Spending Is Skyrocketing, Especially Outside IT Departments

Mobile technology has become a business imperative, an essential part of meeting the rising expectations of employees and customers in the modern workplace. As a result, spending is skyrocketing: buyers in our survey expect a 30% rise in IT investment in mobility over the next two years, with large growth expected in company mobile devices and packaged business mobile apps in particular such as Microsoft Office and Remote Desktop, and Google Docs.

Surprisingly, 69% of all company spending on mobility hardware, software and services comes from outside the IT budget. The biggest of these departmental spenders are marketing and customer service, which account for 18% of total mobility spending, followed by sales at 17%, and operations at 14%. This level of spending outside the IT department is going to remain consistent over the next two years according to the survey.

Part of the reason for this is that mobility remains highly fragmented within companies, hindering organisations from getting on top of escalating business requirements. Only half of respondents said that the IT department leads the progression and adoption of mobility in their organisation. In 41% of cases, the CEO has the ultimate sign-off authority on new mobility investments, ahead of the chief operating or finance officer.

Additionally, the mobility competency remains highly fragmented within IT departments: 37% of decision-makers reported their mobility efforts were undertaken by the IT infrastructure team; 20% said the desktop and PC team was chiefly responsible for mobility, and under 10% have mobility reporting into either the security, messaging or collaboration teams. Interestingly, 15% of decision-makers said that mobility was looked after by the digital transformation and innovation arm of their IT department. This last group is a new function that has arisen in the past 24 months under the digital transformation and workspace slogans.

Data Security Concerns and Market Complexity Mean Low Maturity

Internal fragmentation is compounded by mounting concerns about data security, the complexity of the market and the rate of technology change. These factors are holding back the maturity of mobility within companies. For instance, only a third of firms surveyed have developed a custom mobile app for their employees, with two-thirds of these firms developing fewer than five applications. Just 7% of those developing custom apps have developed more than 25 apps, according to our survey.

Unsurprisingly, in a context of high-profile cyber-attacks the biggest barrier to internal app development was data security: this was listed by 41% of decision-makers as the most significant hurdle.

There have also been changes to what buyers see as the biggest barrier to mobility overall within their firms. Market complexity and the speed of technology change were listed by almost half of the survey as the top overall challenges faced with mobile technology in their organisations. This is significantly ahead of other well-documented problems, such as internal organisational culture, engagement by the board, executives and employees, and a lack of mobile IT skills.

Purchasing Channels and Brand Affinities Are Shifting

The survey also revealed some very interesting changes to buying channels and affinities toward technology brands for enterprise mobility. Our respondents said that operators (48%), resellers (30%) and fascinatingly, directly from hardware manufacturers (25%) were the preferred ways to purchase mobile devices today and over the next two years.

The preference for resellers and manufacturers are important findings. Businesses are starting to turn to these sources rather than operators to address specific requirements in device upgrades and financing, operating system updates and, most importantly, managed services. This has important implications for hardware players such as Apple that are moving to a more direct model, and for the likes of Google, Microsoft and Samsung as they look to transform their business models in the enterprise market.

We estimate there are over 300 companies selling enterprise mobility products; our survey presents an opportunity to better understand which technology brands buyers see as most strategic to their corporate mobility strategies. As shown below decision-makers selected Apple (cited by 48% of respondents), Microsoft (34%), Samsung (30%), Google (23%) and HP (12%) as the top five brands for their enterprise mobility strategy. Below this top tier were Dell, IBM, Verizon, AT&T and Vodafone.


Preferred brands for enterprise mobility strategy
Source: CCS Insight Decision-Maker Mobile Technology Survey, 2015

In a list of 26 brands, it is notable that few enterprise mobility software suppliers were chosen by more than 5% of buyers. These suppliers included major names in the field, such as VMware, MobileIron, Kony, BlackBerry, Good Technology and Red Hat.

The preference for device, platform and service providers rather than specialist mobility suppliers reflects a greater need for corporate devices but also a rising preference for mobility services rather than the myriad of confusing software solutions available today. The diversity of mobile enterprise software is doing little to reduce perceived market complexity, which is now the greatest barrier to investment. This, along with a fear of being tied to a single supplier in a highly unstable marketplace, may be driving a preference for more-neutral service providers to help decision-makers with their mobility strategy.

What It All Means

Our decision-maker survey reveals some fascinating changes occurring in enterprise mobility. It shows us that although mobility is indeed a business imperative, significant internal fragmentation, market complexity and mounting security concerns are holding back its maturity within organisations. This is prompting significant changes to the enterprise mobility purchasing channels as well as to the brands that decision makers prefer to engage with as part of their mobility strategy.

Above all, our survey reveals that mobility maturity — a subjective mix of competency with the technology and organisational change that accompanies its advancement and realised value in businesses — is arguably the biggest influence on the market today and still at a foundational stage within most organisations.

I look forward to seeing whether this is still the case when we field next year's survey.

This entry was posted on October 5th, 2015 and is filed under Services. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or you can leave a response.

Posted By Nicholas McQuire On October 5th, 2015

Dave Hanson
- 2015-10-09 at 11:00
Can I ask – for the 69% of spend that lies outside of the IT Department for mobile applications – do you have any view of how that spend is split by say
a) Application
b) Professional Services
c) Security
d) Devices
e) Integration
f) Staging
Nick McQuire
- 2015-10-14 at 18:27
Dave: please e-mail and I'll respond with some more details.
Gaelle Le Tutour
- 2015-10-20 at 10:43
Hi Nick , Can I share your blog on social media . Could you site add a sharing button ? Great Insight. Thanks . Gaelle
Nick McQuire
- 2015-10-23 at 09:47
Hi Gaelle. We're more than happy for you to share the piece, and we've added sharing buttons, as suggested.
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
Google nets a big win in the automotive sector, as Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi announce plans to embed its Andro…
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @geoffblaber: All set for Amazon’s first launch in its new horticultural golf balls
Follow Shaun
Martin Garner
Hugely impressive set of Echo / Alexa announcements from @amazon last night.:—Add-Alexa-Roo…
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
Shopping in the future with Amazon Go. Bizarre yet liberating experience. This can’t come fast enough!
Follow Geoff
Marina Koytcheva
Very important step in AI: understanding how software comes to conclusions.
Follow Marina
Nicholas McQuire
Good afternoon Florida! Busy week ahead with #Microsoft in Orlando at #MSIgnite #msignite2018. Psyched for some big…
Follow Nicholas
Angela Ashenden
@Stolen_Empire @facebook @WorkplacebyFB We've got some new survey data coming out v soon, will share as soon as pos…
Follow Angela
Kester Mann
RT @CCSInsight: In today's Daily Insight, @geoffblaber considers the role 5G will #play in the era of distributed computing:…
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
It's a shame that the charismatic Jean-Claude Biver is stepping back from his responsibilities at Tag Heuer and LVM…
Follow George
Laura Simeonova
RT @benwood: P20 devices testament to Huawei's ambition in smartphone market. Consistently improving design, capabilities and appeal of its…
Follow Laura
Katie Taylor
Enjoying a #flexibleworking KIT day back at @CCSInsight
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Google Nets Big Android Win in Cars Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to Embed Android Last we... Read more
Blog Post
Redefining the Network Edge with 5G The Role of 5G in the Age of Distributed Computing 5G promi... Read more
Blog Post
Trusting Watson Will IBM's Artificial Intelligence Moves Repair Bad PR? Nam... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
Networks' Ambitions to Launch 5G Early Raise Global Forecast New CCS Insight forecast predicts 5G connections will reac... Read more
More news