Mobility: A Shifting Focus Toward Services And Software

Mobility: A Shifting Focus Toward Services And Software

Gabriele Roberti                                                                           
Research Manager, IDC
Read full bio  groberti_IDC

Mobility may have less appeal then other cutting-edge technologies in the market, but, as one of the four pillars of IDC’s 3rd Platform, is at the heart of the digital transformation journey that many enterprises are still struggling with. And it is a multi-step and multi-faced innovation exercise.

As highlighted by the recent IDC European Vertical Markets Survey, half of the companies across Europe have still to adopt mobile solutions, and, still, less than half of the adopters have a mobile solution integrated with enterprise systems, besides the basic use of mobile devices for calling, messaging and browsing the web. As companies evolve in their mobility journey, the focus shifts from hardware to software and services.

According to the latest release of the Worldwide Semiannual Mobility Spending Guide from IDC, Western European revenue from mobility will show growth rates typical of mature technologies (2.6% CAGR 2017-2021). Nevertheless, this trend is the result of with different driving forces. Enterprise Mobility Services are a clear example: “mobilizing” a huge number of employees implies a growing complexity and industries with large mobility deployments, like utilities, government and finance, will push end-users’ spending for outsourcing, consulting and integration engagements, resulting in a fast-growing opportunity for service providers.

Another example of transformation within the mobility scenario is Software, as it is linked to a pivotal change in end-user’s approach: from providing the workforce with a mobile device, to develop, integrate and secure mobile applications inside the company processes. Software accounts for a minor part of the total mobility spending, but compared to hardware and services, has the most interesting forecasted growth, with a four-year CAGR higher than 14%. As employees expect to work using mobile apps, with a frictionless experience between PC and smartphones or tablets, mobility become the standard, not anymore a nice to have. Industries like professional services, personal and consumer services and telecommunications will see highest growths as far as mobility software is concerned.

The growing trends of enterprise mobility services and software tell a broader story, where enterprises are embarking in the next phase of the mobility journey. Nevertheless, Hardware will remain a fundamental part of the mobility market, accounting for more than 40% of the total mobility spending, and growing just above the zero line. The largest opportunities for Hardware vendors will be within industries with large number of mobile workers, like distribution, utilities and professional services.

In such a scenario, where industries are characterized by different adoption level and differentiated use cases, Vendors and Service Providers should implement ad-hoc strategies to target the most receptive verticals while educating the less advanced one about the opportunity of going beyond the devices.

The concepts of field worker and mobile worker are changing and mobility is embracing new devices and new approaches. Will this impact only on industries like utilities, professional services and finance, that have always been prone to the “mobile transformation”? Or these new scenarios, including AR/VR and 5G will involve different use cases and different industries?

For more information check the latest Worldwide Semiannual Mobility Spending Guide.