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Enterprise Mobility Market Key drivers and emerging trends

June 03, 2013
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The Indian enterprise mobility solutions market has been growing rapidly as businesses are increasingly considering the adoption of applications and solutions like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management, fleet and workforce management, billing, and unified communication. The key supply-side drivers for enterprise mobility services are the proliferation of low-priced smartphones and tablets, extensive 2G network coverage across the country, high speed internet connectivity enabled by the ongoing 3G network expansion and the recent launch of 4G services. However, several enterprises are still reluctant to adopt mobility solutions owing to data and network security concerns, and high perceived costs. Industry experts comment on the trends in the enterprise mobility segment, the key challenges and the way forward...


What is the size of the enterprise mobility market in India? What are the business opportunities offered by the segment?

 Jagdish Mitra

Multiple market sizes are projected by various industry observers, based on various combinations (including devices, connectivity, platforms, applications, services, etc.). However, all of them denote a very healthy trend for enterprise mobility commensurate to the Indian market. Enterprises and telcos are opening up to this space as mobility is increasingly becoming a priority for CIOs (chief information officers). Companies are moving beyond just mobile email and thinking of solutions for ERP, CRM and even customer engagement business processes. The banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) segment has, by far, been the largest adopter of enterprise mobility.

Currently, most Indian enterprises have deployed point solutions and are yet to adopt a structured approach to mobility. However, there is a paradigm shift observed with companies beginning to think about the benefits of platform-based approaches in the long term. This creates huge opportunities for enterprise mobility providers to help enterprises form mobility strategies, enable organised bring your own device (BYOD) and provide efficient approaches to developing, testing and managing mobility solutions.

 Thejaswi Parameshwaran

The Indian enterprise mobility market is on a growth path. However, companies are still on a learning curve with regard to mobility readiness and the industry will take a few years to mature.

Currently, large enterprises are the ones adopting enterprise mobility, as the deployment of mobility solutions makes better economic sense and can help them realise positive returns on investment and productivity metrics. Mid-market companies, and small and medium enterprises are yet to to accept these solutions because of prohibitive costs. This is primarily due to the fact that the adoption of mobility solutions is a long-term process and benefits accrue over time.

The Indian enterprise mobility segment has significant potential. At present, the supply-side ecosystem is witnessing a lot of activity that encourages growth in this segment. Service providers, system integrators and small applications solution providers are targeting industries and business verticals that require mobility solutions and are making concerted efforts to develop an ecosystem that promotes enterprise mobility.

 L.V. Sastry

Enterprises are looking at mobility solutions for connecting with employees, customers and partners in new ways, and across devices and applications. Devices are getting smarter and now have utility beyond emailing and social networking while on the move. Mobility features among the top 10 initiatives being undertaken by CIOs for strategic enterprises.

The enterprise mobility market in India is valued at about Rs 15 billion. It presents a significant business opportunity for both enterprises and service providers. Enterprises can use mobility effectively to communicate directly with customers and enhance the user experience, thereby innovatively positioning their products. The opportunity for service providers lies in the development of enterprise application stores as well as BYOD and related solutions.

Given the proliferation of multivendor devices, their choice is likely to be determined by end-users. The management of these devices within a corporate limit and as per defined policies would be a challenge. In this regard, mobility service providers can offer device management as a bundled service. Besides, machine-to-machine offerings will not only drive automation of business processes, but will also provide an enhanced customer experience for different segments.

 What are the key growth drivers for the enterprise mobility market in the country?

 Jagdish Mitra

Increasing smartphone penetration and mobile internet are encouraging factors for growth in enterprise mobility. Enterprises are realising the significance of mobility solutions as effective mediums for connecting and collaborating with consumers and employees, especially with the contextual advantage that mobility brings in.

Further, factors such as gaining a competitive edge, increasing employee satisfaction and reducing communication costs through mobility are also driving enterprises to adopt these solutions.

 Thejaswi Parameshwaran

Mobility denotes productivity and increasing organisational productivity is a key growth driver for the enterprise mobility market. Further, in today’s organisational set-ups, the concept of a single place and single office is no longer applicable. A company’s workforce is spread across regions, has the option of flexible work timings, remote working and telecommuting facilities. Mobility facilitates and serves all these processes.

Another key driver for mobility is the need for real-time information exchange  in an organisation’s processes. Mobility helps an enterprise maintain this exchange in terms of providing the right information at the right time to the right employee. It also promotes information transparency within the organisation.

 L.V. Sastry

The demand for higher productivity levels, accurate last mile data capture for business processes and the need for constant connectivity with businesses are the three main factors driving the adoption of mobility in enterprises. In addition, high speed access technologies (3G and 4G), proliferation of smartphones and tablets in enterprises, and the roll-out of BYOD projects have contributed to the growth in this segment. Many organisations are developing business applications for always-on connectivity that can be deployed effectively on mobile devices. Further, adoption and integration of ERP, CRM and sales force automation applications with mobile platforms has been growing.

The next big growth area in this segment will be business process automation on hand-held devices. At present, most of the top 2,000 enterprises are evaluating enablement of business processes on mobile devices. In several large enterprises, initial implementation of this service is already yielding encouraging results in terms of cost optimisation, faster cycle times for business process turnarounds, and enhanced customer experience.

 What are the various workforce and sales automation tools that are being deployed by your organisation?

 Jagdish Mitra

Using a proprietary solution development acceleration framework and components, we have deployed mobility solutions to automate workflow processes like leave, expenses, purchase, and visa and travel requests. All these solutions have been deployed at the group company (Mahindra & Mahindra) level. We have also rolled out a sales force automation solution for the sales teams of Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam.

 What are the key data and network security solutions being provided by enterprise mobility players?

 Jagdish Mitra

Security mechanisms are largely part of Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms. The industry is moving towards MDM-only play, to an integrated Enterprise Mobility Management. At present, key security solutions offered by enterprise mobility players typically cover the following areas:

•  Separating personal and corporate data on devices.

•  Role-based access to enterprise applications and data and encrypted data transfer between the back-end software and applications on devices.

•  Policy management that monitors and controls connection, download and information access at the device-level mobility middleware.

•  Jailbreak detection, remote wipe of data and applications if the device is compromised or used outside the purview of defined policies, and in cases where the employee has left the organisation.

 Thejaswi Parameshwaran

Security is the topmost priority for an organisation’s CIO. With the introduction of the BYOD concept, data security has become a paramount concern for organisations. At present, leading telecom equipment vendors are offering a wide range of security solutions to organisations for protecting their data and network from potential threats. For instance, in case a device is lost, remote wipe solutions enable one to delete the data stored on it. These solutions also ensure that the device is protected from unauthorised access.

 L.V. Sastry

While there are multiple end-point security solutions available in the market, the challenge is to look beyond and offer a comprehensive mobile device management solution. The choice of the platform should reside with end-users and the solution should be agnostic to the latter’s operating system, thereby enabling BYOD programmes. To specifically address enterprise security needs, Aircel has also integrated networks and provides mobile virtual private network solutions, which offer specified application access to select employees within an organisation.

 What are the challenges before the enterprise mobility segment?

 Jagdish Mitra

Most companies face challenges due to the absence of a definite mobility strategy for delivering long-term benefits. At present, the cost of mobile enabling an organisation is perceived to be high and, therefore, takes precedence over their long-term benefits.

Fragmented ecosystem owing to multiple business relationships (B2B, B2C, B2E), platforms, tools, devices and enterprise back-ends creates a problem of plenty. Enterprises need to be able to make the right choice based on their needs. Also, concerns regarding data, application and network security act as deterrents while adopting mobility solutions.

Mobility has the potential to impact multiple units in an organisation. Thus, it is essential for companies to engage specialist providers that can offer a cost-efficient and holistic approach to mobility. Such an approach would cover the companies’ business, technological and operational road maps.

 Thejaswi Parameshwaran

Employees typically are keen on balancing their personal and professional life through a single device. Thus, many organisations are allowing for the BYOD concept. The challenge lies in devising a cohesive mobility strategy that is consistent with user experience and security mechanisms offered for safeguarding data and network. Fragmentation in the enterprise mobility market is also a major concern. At present, employees within an organisation could be using devices functioning on different operating systems like BlackBerry, iOS or Android. Thus, key challenges for enterprise mobility service providers are managing fragmentation and devising end-to-end solutions.

 L.V. Sastry

While the enterprise mobility segment is growing, migration to an entirely mobile work environment poses a new challenge for organisations. At present, the usage of mobility is limited to email and data transfers. However, as the adoption of mobile business applications increases, many performance metrics will have to be revisited and defined. Security is most critical and requires careful analysis for providing role-based access to stakeholders. Further, issues related to device tracking, application performance, integration with corporate policies and managing a multiple operating system environment cannot be ignored.

 What is your outlook for the industry?

 Jagdish Mitra

Successful mobility adoption is enabled by having a structured approach to mobility. We look at consulting-led engagements with our customers to help them maximise returns from their mobility investments.

This is an era of convergence of multiple technologies (networks, mobility, analytics, cloud, security, sensors, etc.) and mobile is surely becoming the context-hub for this. Solutions that stitch the benefits of multiple technologies using mobility is an area we intend to focus on.

Mobile application testing is an upcoming area which presents both opportunities and challenges to players in the enterprise mobility space. Our outlook includes significant focus on this space as well.

Other areas include providing a large variety of best-in-class platforms, tools, reusable frameworks, etc. through internal capabilities and strategic partnerships with global leaders to help deliver quicker returns in a fragmented ecosystem.

 Thejaswi Parameshwaran

The Indian enterprise mobility market has a promising future. Companies in this space are working towards providing a wide range of mobility solutions to enterprises. Key areas of growth include applications that mobilise core workflow like sales force automation, ERP and process automation in terms of machine-to-machine communication.

Many telecom service providers are coming up with strategies to deploy end-to-end mobility solutions. They are aware of the fact that mobility cannot be piecemeal, or a gradual process, and a cohesive value proposition needs to be built  through strategic alliances. While the enterprise mobility market offers encouraging growth prospects, it is crucial to address the challenges in this segment.

 L.V. Sastry

With the availability of low-cost smart devices, their penetration is set to increase. This, in turn, will lead to greater adoption of mobility solutions across organisations. Vertical-based solutions are also likely to be available in the market in the near future. At present, retail is one of the biggest adopters of enterprise mobility. Going forward, other sectors like health care and BFSI will also contribute to the growth of the enterprise mobility market.


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