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November 7, 2007

Mobility solutions are not a priority for enterprises

Growth in the enterprise mobility market has been slower than anticipated. Although there are many planned investments across the surveyed regions and industries, the market is beginning to saturate in some geographic regions. However, it is expected that the largest growth in mobility solutions will come form the healthcare sector.

By CBR Staff Writer

A new Datamonitor report on the mobile solutions industry analyzes the results of a survey of 1,000 IT decision makers across Europe, North America and Australia to discover their plans for investment in mobility. It also assesses enterprises’ preferences for mobility procurement and outsourcing. Mobility was discovered to be a low priority for enterprises and, out of the eight core enterprise technologies that Datamonitor has included in the survey, it is the least likely to be outsourced.

Mobility is not a priority for enterprises and market growth is slowing

The survey reveals that growth in the enterprise mobility market has been slow. Penetration for the five technologies assessed, which includes mobile management, applications, security, platforms and integration and Telematics, has only increased 5% across the survey base since 2006. It is clear that mobility is not a top priority for enterprises with enterprise applications and IT systems management tops the agenda for enterprises’ largest IT project.

The mobility market appears to be saturating in the Nordics and Germany, which is unsurprising as enterprises in these regions are known to be early adopters of technology. Although penetration in these two regions has only reached 60%, it seems unlikely to increase much more. This is related to the fact that mobility cannot be utilized by all enterprises, particularly those that do not have field workers.

Penetration should increase to 50% for mobile management in 2008, with the other technologies following close behind. But enterprises often overestimate their investment plans and penetration is not likely to increase. However, it does appear from the survey results that enterprises are likely to make more investments in the medium term (six to 24 months) rather than the short term.

The healthcare industry is driving growth in mobility

Mobility is popular in financial industries such as retail banking and the energy/utilities sector and adoption has been highest among these enterprises. This stems from a number of factors including a larger mobile workforce and often greater IT budgets. However, the most growth is likely to be in the healthcare industry, where penetration may increase as much as 20% over the next two years.

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The ability for doctors to access patient records or drug information while in different parts of the hospital or on home visits is hugely beneficial and explains why such a high proportion of healthcare providers are planning new investments in mobility. These organizations have been slower to adopt mobility due to strict regulations and more controlled budgeting.

Although mobility outsourcing is a low priority for most, Italian and Spanish enterprises show keen interest

Only 16% of the surveyed enterprises currently outsource for mobility and this figure has not increased from 2006. It is clear that enterprises are more likely to outsource technologies that have a higher cost and visibility within the organization such as enterprise applications or security. However, mobility outsourcing appears to be more popular in Italian and Spanish enterprises; a much higher proportion of these enterprises currently outsource or would consider it in the next couple of years.

Despite the general lack of interest in outsourcing mobility solutions, enterprises in Italy and Spain show a greater propensity to outsource. These countries tend to adopt similar technology patterns with regards to outsourcing and their IT budget spend is similar. Larger IT budgets may also be a factor influencing enterprises’ decision to outsource, which is supported by the fact that a higher proportion of respondents in both Spain and Italy are large enterprises.

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