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Where do mobile apps fit in the world of enterprise software?

Jen A. Miller | Jan. 4, 2016
While a recent study turns the idea of a ‘blockbuster’ app on its head, there’s no doubt that enterprise companies are embracing apps – especially mobility apps – in a big way.

Where the apps are going

The lowered cost of app development is changing what's made, for whom and how long they'll be used, says Rebecca Wetteman, vice president of research, enterprise applications at Nucleus Research. This also brought about the "concept of the disposable app," she says, which she expects to continue into 2016. 

"The lowering cost barriers to deploying mobile apps means that I can spin up one for a particular event, a promotion, a project because there's a much lower cost and risk than we've had to go through to traditionally create these apps," she says. 

Another trend she expects for 2016: the focus on tablet apps as more companies are enabling their on the road employees with tablets that will replace the need to lug around a laptop. 

Greg Collins, founder and principle analyst at Exact Ventures, sees apps changing within themselves, too, and expects more "embedded communications … extending voice, video, messaging," he says. For 2016 he sees that – and apps exclusively dedicated to employee communication and productivity – continuing. 

"There will still be a lot of momentum around the productivity and communication application. It speaks to how workers are going about their work these days in a lot of different applications in a lot of different locations and accessing a lot of different databases and datasources," he says. 

Apps for all! Or else …

While all this nitty gritty data is helpful – and fascinating – Lorion of Apperian says that mobile apps are becoming almost mandatory for a company to have. "When you look at the spectrum of industries that are rolling out apps, it touches every industry of note under the sun," he says. "No CIO can afford to not think about how to enable their workers."


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