The easy availability of smartphones and bandwidth will increase enterprise mobility adoption.
Mobility has been a much abused word over the last couple of years. A lot of talk has been generated around it among enterprise players but come 2013, all that talk will slowly give way to widespread enterprise mobility deployments by channel partners across India.
"Mobility is on the agenda and strategy of eight out of 10 CIOs in India, stretching across sectors and company sizes. Everyone is looking at enterprise mobility to extend value to their existing applications investment," says Sunil Padmanabhan, Research, Director Gartner.
The need for mobility
Reports from around the globe seem to justify the positive vibes in 2013 for enterprise mobility. According to a McKinsey report, titled Online and upcoming: The Internet's Impact, half of the Internet population in India will be using the mobile phone as a device to access the internet.
On the technology front, IDC finds the increasing adoption of mobility and cloud computing stimulating the demand for mobile application platforms, integration and messaging solutions and cloud-enabling middleware or appliances. It expects a CAGR of 15 percent for third platform IT spending (includes mobility among other technologies), with cumulative growth (between 2013-20) of 70.4 percent.
While Gartner notes that, in India the importance of 'anytime anywhere' accessibility to enterprise information is placed high on the list. This is being looked upon as an opportunity for enterprises to make the right decisions based on information from enterprise applications like CRM, ERP or HCM solutions. "All these are drivers for business leaders and CIOs to extend the value of their application to mobility,"says Padmanabhan.
The need to put more of the mission critical enterprise applications on a mobile platform has prompted legacy IT vendors like Microsoft, IBM and Oracle to create mobility offerings for their respective enterprise application product suits. While the vendors alone cannot proliferate growth in 2013, there are a number of collaborations between the vendors and channel partner community to create a partner-centric mobility solution. Therefore, by adopting such a strategy the engagement between customers, partners and employees will be profound.
Padmanabhan expects around 25 to 30 percent of users to access enterprise applications through a smartphone or tablet. "Enterprise application leaders are compelled to revisit their mobility strategy despite all concerns for security and BYOD."
According to Channelworld's State of the Mart 2013 survey, mobility accounted for the highest traction rate (33 percent) as a technology that SIs in India would most want to explore in 2013.
It will lead to the extension of business value to the end-customer by providing mobile access to remote workers like the sales force, collection teams and distribution agents of large retailers.
For channel partners, mobility is going to be about the accessibility of enterprise information to the remote workers. In the process, SIs would get an integration opportunity in their enterprise and SMB customer deployment and further, an opportunity to maximise margins.
"With margins going down drastically in other solutions because of a recession ridden business environment, a growing business opportunity like mobility, apart from cloud and virtualization, can actually help the SIs make good margins", says Ramachandra Suresh, Vice President, Navigator Systems.
Manish Tandon, Managing Director, Questa Software, a Mumbai-based SI and Microsoft cloud partner, has met client demand by implementing every Microsoft cloud solution on a mobile platform. "We need to pay heed to such a need as infrastructure costs in the country has increased manifold. The accessibility of mobility and demands of customers on the go, has led to a surge in mobility related solutions for SIs in India," says Tandon.
Another SI, Zephyr Info Solutions too seems pretty upbeat. Mobility is still at a nascent stage in India but from the partner's perspective, Ajit Jha Zephyr's Technical Director says that, going forward, the technology will be a profitable venture. "Any enterprise would want to move into mobility. Certain parameters like the ease of deployments, security, managing backup, network complexity, and device management will open up a lot of avenues for the SIs," he explains.
Interestingly, Zephyr Systems is also looking at exploring a collaboration with players like Mobile Iron for enterprise mobility related solutions for large Indian enterprises and SMBs. But this will happen only when the market reaches maturity.
Jha concurs with the Gartner foresight that around 30 percent mobile application development will be observed year-on-year. "Enterprise mobility will be a standard operating procedure for enterprises, which will provide scalability and speed in terms of real time information and translate to large scale adoption," he says.