Businesses may not be ready for app explosion

Few Australian enterprises have a strategy for managing mobile applications used by their employees, despite a reported boom in app downloads.

Nearly nine million Australians downloaded a mobile app in the six-month period ending in May this year, according to a report today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

That amounts to 68 per cent of Australians with an Internet-enabled phone, or about 39 per cent of the country’s nearly 22.7 million population.

While the numbers make clear that consumers love their apps, many Australian enterprises are “not very prepared” for employees wanting to use personal applications in the workplace, Telsyte analyst Rodney Gedda told Computerworld Australia. He referred to the trend as bring your own application (BYOA).

“It’s clear that people are using personal apps for business purposes. There’s a plethora of applications available and it’s only a matter of time before they make their way into the enterprise carried in on a mobile device.”

However, “a lot of organisations don’t have strategies or policies around the use of public apps and cloud services.”

Productivity tools were the fourth most downloaded type of mobile app, downloaded by 48 per cent of Australian app users, according to the ACMA report. The first three categories were games (66 per cent), social networking (59 per cent) and banking and finance (49 per cent).

The most common benefit cited by Australians (53 per cent) in the ACMA study was that apps made it easy to access online services like online banking and shopping. The other 47 per cent said that apps gave them immediate access to the services they required.

“The enterprise needs to really have a plan of how it can either work with or offer alternatives to public apps that are available,” said Gedda.

The apps explosion shown by the ACMA numbers could spur more businesses to take a closer look at their app strategies, he said.

But many companies “are still getting over the bring-your-own-device phenomenon,” or BYOD, he said.

“The flow-on effect of bring your own device is bring your own app. But apps can also get in via other devices as well. The tricky thing about BYOA is it’s not necessarily tied to a personal device. It could be a company device or even a desktop or laptop.”

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia


Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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