Today the word app is one of the most popular words in the English language. In a few short years we have come to love and rely on our mobile devices and the apps that they hold. People load their phones up with everything from mobile gaming apps to mobile finance apps and put their faith in their pocket computer. As the digital age continues to escalate we are seeing some new trends emerging in the digital realm including the rise of the mobile enterprise app and the leveling off of the consumer app boom.
The website truthdive.com reports that the mobile enterprise apps global market reached $25 billion in 2012. It also reports that analyst firm Strategy Analytics believes that revenue brought in employees using mobile enterprise apps will double within the next 5 years. While these numbers may be somewhat unexpected they are nowhere near shocking considering the current mobile climate in our society.
Strategy Analytics director of business cloud strategies research Mark Levitt believes that one of the reasons that mobile enterprise apps are trending up is workers are beginning to expect mobile tools. As the entire world begins to use mobile applications in their daily lives enterprise employees are making a push to use similar tools in their business lives. He also believes that worker expectations have gone way past mobile email, as they now want mobile enterprise tools that simplify and aid their regular business tasks.
Strategy Analytics also points out that another reason mobile enterprise apps are trending up is that workers are feeling pressure to complete business tasks outside of work. This trend is also spurring another business trend where corporations are creating their own enterprise app stores to deploy mobile enterprise apps. This adds a layer of security and takes a little bit of stress off of the company’s IT department.
Though there are a fair amount of security worries with mobile enterprise apps, corporations are finding that benefits are outweighing the risks. One study by Telework Exchange showed that 95% of their survey respondents believed that mobile enterprise apps are increasing their productivity. The same study inferred that workers using mobile enterprise applications gained an average of 9 hours of work a week which Telework Exchange says equals about $28 billion in productivity gains per year.
Mobile enterprise apps may be on the rise but paid consumer apps are experiencing a free fall. According to one list by the website AppShopper all of the top 10 app downloads are free apps. In fact only 2 of the top 20 are paid apps. As consumers become more acclimated to the new mobile climate it seems that they are expecting, and getting, more for less. This is driving mobile app developers to rely more on advertising and in app downloading revenue versus initial download price.
It will be interesting to see where both of these trends begin to lead in 2013 and beyond. As enterprise applications continue to trend up we will most likely see a congruent trend in enterprise app development careers. There will also most likely be a shift from consumer app development to enterprise app development as app developers follow the money. One way or another is obvious that app development will play a significant role in the future of our economy.