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Growing the Digital Business: Spotlight on Mobile Applications

Mobile apps are key to opening up a digital business and driving results.


In the past five years, companies have spent considerable time, money and attention developing mobile apps that help them engage and connect with their customers, as well as improve the efficiency and productivity of their employees.

Mobile apps act as an interface to data that is being collected and delivered to users in an insightful and usable way. Without apps, much of the benefit of digital technologies and the Internet of Things – such as gathering performance data from sensors, applying analytics to that data, and using the insights to drive business decisions – will be lost.

Our analysis of the survey results uncovered a number of intriguing findings about executives’ perceptions of mobile apps, as well as companies’ experiences with developing and maintaining them.

Growing the Digital Business: Spotlight on Mobile Apps


Executives Widely Acknowledge the Importance of Mobile Apps

Executives in our survey consider mobile apps to be critical to their business, especially in light of their company’s increasing push to adopt digital technologies.

For instance, they overwhelmingly believe mobile apps can help drive their company’s digital transformation.

From an industry perspective, there was only a 10 percent gap between executives representing retailers and utilities, who were the most enthusiastic about the role of mobile apps. Geographically, we found a slightly broader divide, but one that still demonstrates a majority of support for mobile apps.


Multiple Challenges Are Suppressing App Adoption

Despite the overall enthusiasm for mobile apps, widespread adoption and use of apps within the enterprise has yet to occur. One possible reason mobile apps aren’t more pervasive in the enterprise is that many companies have yet to put in place measures that facilitate successful adoption.

Crucial steps for successful mobile application adoption

According to executives surveyed, the crucial steps to fostering greater uptake of both consumer-facing and enterprise mobile apps are reliable and consistent performance, security of enterprise data used or accessed, and a positive user experience.

  • Nearly half of executives feel their company’s mobile app user interface is substandard.
  • Security remains executives’ overriding concern— cited by just under half.
  • Companies experience a variety of challenges in building and managing apps.

Challenges and shortcomings notwithstanding, executives remain convinced of the importance of mobile apps and see their use poised to increase.

Mobile apps help us improve the quality of our services but the main challenge is updates, explained the director at a utilities company in the United Kingdom.


Advice for the Road Ahead

While our survey clearly conveys companies’ enthusiasm about mobile apps and belief in their importance to generating the most value from a digital business, it also shows that most still struggle to develop and implement them effectively—especially apps geared toward boosting enterprise performance.

Thus, as they continue on their journey toward becoming a digital business, companies should keep in mind the following key guidelines that, in our experience, can enhance the business value that companies’ apps—as well as their broader mobile initiatives—can generate.

  • Create a robust mobile strategy as the first order of business
  • Understand what changes are needed to enhance data accessibility and usability
  • Treat security as ongoing priority in app development and management
  • Constantly monitor and adapt for a better experience


Read the full report, download Growing the Digital Business: Spotlight on Mobile Apps

For other related research, also download Growing the Digital Business: Accenture Mobility Research 2015.