Moving to the Cloud with Mobile Apps

Dec 30, 2013

Is it any surprise that our August 2013 survey results show businesses moving to the cloud when implementing mobile software applications? Only one-quarter of North American companies report using solely on-premise mobile solutions.

Exhibit 1 lays out the 2012 vs. 2013 responses to this question: “Which of the following best describes your implementation of mobile apps?” We screened out the “Don’t Know” replies and charted what was left over:

  • The percentage of businesses that are only using on-premise server solutions when implementing mobile apps has decreased from 36 percent to 27 percent during the past year. When you slice up these responses, Canadian companies and larger enterprises tend to prefer the purely on-premise approach.
  • The proportion of businesses using only cloud-based mobile apps has increased slightly – from 30 to 33 percent of respondents. Interestingly, this group splits evenly between larger (500+ employees) and SMB (500 or fewer employees) companies. However, in terms of geography, the U.S. businesses are far more likely to fall into this category than their Canadian peers.
  • The percentage of businesses using a mix of on-premise and cloud-based mobile apps also ticked up – from 34 to 40 percent of respondents. These tend to be larger companies, and lean U.S.

The chart illustrates where the 2012 vs. 2013 increases came from in the “all cloud” and “mixed cloud and on-premise” scenarios:

  • Smaller businesses increased their participation in the all-cloud space during the past year – from 32 percent of SMBs in 2012 to 40 percent in 2013.
  • Larger businesses are now more likely to implement a mix of both approaches – from 32 percent of large companies in 2012 to 45 percent in 2013.

Clearly, the benefits of moving to the cloud are receiving more attention from North American businesses interested in deploying mobile software applications. Servers and software don’t have to be purchased outright, which keeps costs down. Instead, the mobile app can be paid for on a per-user, per-month basis – which can translate into much-needed affordability and scalability for companies on the move. Cloud-based solutions also free up a company’s IT team to focus on core priorities, rather than expend time and personnel managing apps on a day-to-day basis.

However, not everyone is convinced that cloud-based applications are preferable. Serious adoption barriers remain. When asked to rate the reasons why they would NOT use cloud-based mobile apps, nearly three-quarters of larger firms are most concerned about data security and loss of internal control. Interestingly, smaller companies agree that data security is their #1 concern with the cloud, however, they rank cost as their second worry. Given the cost benefits of cloud-based apps, this particular response may indicate a need for education on the part of smaller businesses.

The trend is obvious, though. Mobile app vendors who haven’t yet transitioned their solutions to the cloud are falling further and further behind the curve.

Additional survey results and charts are included in our upcoming study: “2013 North American Mobile Enterprise Applications: Opportunities Within Enterprises,” NCA0-65.

Category : Cloud, Mobile & Wireless

Jeanine Sterling


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