Why Enterprise Mobility Can’t Cut & Paste Consumer Mobility

cut-paste-appThere is no doubt that the consumer market of mobile applications has done a lot for enterprise mobility. Five to eight years ago, the whole concept of an “app” was lost on most everyone. A major hurdle in the selling process was simply educating the customer on the concept of the entire mobile app. That of course has entirely changed. We now have apps just to find, organize, rate and share our apps.

However, with all the fanfare and clamoring of every organization to have a mobile application, something has happened: dilution. We are drowning in useless mobile applications that are the result of a shallow marketing trends to play the “me too” card. All of this dilution in mobility clarifies one critical concept for the enterprise market: building an app for the sake of having an app is not the goal – the mobile process must actually provide business value.

As noted in a recent article in the Guardian (Investors may be tiring of mobile apps (but that might not be a bad thing)), there ought to be some optimism around the fact that investors are starting to step back and actually look at the entire value of the company rather than just the mobile application:

…their views make me optimistic for another reason: the idea that 2013 may see investors zeroing in on startups whose services – apps included – have a genuine shot at becoming popular, building sustainable businesses, and being meaningful for their users.

Or to put it a different way: more caution from investors isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it means stepping back, assessing the market and often simply asking “Who would want that app? No, really, who? And why do its creators need $7m anyway?”

Enterprise mobility ought to tip its hat to the consumer space for the leg up, but thoughtless imitation is embarrassing.

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  1. Forbes on the Future: Trends Affecting Enterprise Mobility in 2013 « DATA // connect

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