Thursday, 15 November 2012 00:32

Rapid increase in mobile ERP investments, but many companies lag behind

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A global study of the mobile ERP market in nine countries, including Australia, has found a majority of companies will increase their investments in mobile solutions, but despite the increasing pace of investment in the mobility field, more than a third of the companies admitted they have no strategy for mobile solutions.

The IDC study, sponsored by global enterprise applications company, IFS, explored how companies are embracing mobile solutions in terms of strategy as well as current and future investments.

And, it found that in Australia one out of every eight dollars in Australian IT budgets – compared to one in 10 globally – was dedicated to mobile ERP solutions, which IFS says confirms the rapidly increasing importance of mobility in the workplace.

According to IFS, the IDC survey also found that 68 percent of the surveyed Australian companies (59 percent globally) said that this share would increase more than the rest of the IT budget.

“Paradoxically, 36 percent of Australian companies (46 percent globally) still do not have a plan for mobile solutions,” said Rob Stummer, Managing Director at IFS Australia and New Zealand.

“This is further complicated by the fact that 14 percent of companies (in Australia and globally) have no plan but are earmarking funds for mobility investments.”

According to the survey, the top-three areas of investment globally in the coming three years are roll-out of smartphones (35 percent), roll-out of tablets (30 percent), and implementation of enterprise apps for smartphones and tablets (15 percent).

In Australia, however, the top-three areas of investment are roll-out of tablets (38 percent), mobile device management (17 percent), and with roll-out of smartphones and implementation of enterprise apps for smartphones and tablets tied in third place at 15 percent.

"The lack of strategies for mobile solutions is surprisingly high," according to Stummer, and he says that mobility must not be seen as merely an IT project, but also as a “strategic business development and transformation investment.”

“Mobility is a force for competitive differentiation. To avoid costly mistakes, we recommend that companies examine and formulate their business needs in terms of key processes, systems integration, security, and device management. In this way, companies can arrive at a mobility roadmap which can be discussed with their IT vendors."

IDC Program Director, Jason Andersson, says it is clear that future focus will be aimed at integrating mobility to create value, especially in customer relations management, business development, and improving employee efficiency.

Andersson comments: "Companies are clearly preparing for a growing mobile workforce and the changes it brings. However, there is a strong need to increase understanding of how to secure mobile devices and tablets."

As well as Australia, the study was undertaken in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Germany, United Kingdom, United States and France, with a total of 455 phone interviews and web survey responses – including 50 in Australia - in a number of industry verticals.

Over half of the responding companies -52% percent globally – and 46 percent in Australia, belong to one of five industry verticals of industrial manufacturing, process manufacturing, retail, construction & contracting and service providers.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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