Report: Nearly 80 Percent Of Manufacturers To Develop Mobile App This Year

Framingham, MA – IDC Manufacturing Insights has announced the availability of a new report, “Business Strategy: Looking Forward to the Corporate Application Store,” (Document # MI241960).  The report discusses the rising trend of using a corporate app store to manage the proliferation of mobile apps across manufacturing organizations.  While mobile is becoming a popular form factor for new applications being developed by manufacturers, the rise of mobile applications poses a number of challenges for managing them in the context of the IT environment. The new report explores strategies around corporate app stores in the context of an organization's mobile maturity. 

Mobility in manufacturing is presenting a new challenge for IT organizations to effectively create, deploy, and manage the rising tide of mobile apps throughout the company. The question for manufacturers is when does it make sense to funnel mobile app delivery through a corporate app store and how to design, develop, deploy, and manage the corporate app store independently or with IT partners.   Key highlights of the report include:

  • The ideal corporate app store is independent of device and application source, is sanctioned, and meets governance and security requirements of the corporation.
  • Current adoption rates for corporate app stores are less than 20%, although almost 80% of manufacturers are developing mobile applications, and at a more rapid rate than traditional applications.
  • As part of their corporate application store strategy, manufacturers must make design, development, deployment, and management decisions around the store in the context of how their key IT suppliers will support this construct.
  • The decision to open a corporate app store must factor in employees' willingness to use the app store, and supplying current, relevant mobile apps will be essential. IDC believes the ability to support rapid mobile application development through the use of "patterns of applications" will influence the success of the store.
  • IDC expects manufacturers to increase their adoption of corporate app stores in the next 12–18 months as they accelerate the delivery and quantity of mobile applications they provide to their employees and look for a means of more effectively and securely managing related processes.

Developing Patterns of Applications for Mobile

According to the new report, IDC Manufacturing Insights sees an opportunity in mobile application development for streamlining the process of bringing mobile apps to the corporate app store. Known as patterns of applications, the concept is an adaptation of rapid prototyping and agile development applied to business processes. Essentially, there are a set of core patterns of applications that underlie the majority of business processes and provide an excellent starting point for developing mobile apps. The goal is for mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) vendors to provide these patterns of applications for easy consumption by in-house development teams, who can then customize these applications to reflect the specific business process the enterprise wants to mobile enable. The new report offers an example of some of the patterns of applications that exist in manufacturing and their relative business benefits.

IDC Manufacturing Insights also believes that manufacturers that choose to populate their own corporate app stores should consider methods like patterns of applications to ease the burden of developing mobile apps as the demand for mobile apps grows across the organization.   IDC is starting to see signs of MEAP vendors heading down this path, providing manufacturers with the building blocks to more quickly design, develop, and deploy mobile applications.

Heather Ashton, IT Priorities and Strategies' research manager for IDC Manufacturing Insights, states, "The rise of the corporate app store is an emerging trend in manufacturing, and we believe it will continue to become an appropriate construct for managing the proliferation of mobile apps inside the corporation. Manufacturers need to evaluate their current mobility maturity and understand when and how a corporate app store can effectively facilitate the spread of mobile apps throughout their organization."

IDC Manufacturing Insights recommends manufacturers assess their mobility maturity, evaluate their in-house mobility adoption, and consider how a corporate app store can assist with design, development, deployment, and management of mobile apps. Taking these steps will ensure that mobility is leveraged fully across the organization and important conversations with key IT suppliers start happening now.