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Enterprise mobile market grinds to virtual halt in 2016

The enterprise mobility market in Australia grew by a paltry 0.63% in 2016, but a newly published report suggests that the future looks brighter for Australian organisations.

According to global research firm IDC, with Australia being one of the most progressive markets for enterprise mobility in the APeJ region, organisations shifted from a “defensive posture to a proactive approach regarding their employees' use of mobile technologies in 2016”.

IDC reveals that Australia slipped to fifth place in enterprise mobility maturity in 2016 in the APeJ region, with maturity benchmarks continuing to evolve in the region.

According to IDC, while the hardware market lacks upside, with organisations expecting that hardware to be in the hands of employees, the forecast is predominantly driven by mobility software and services – and with mobile applications being the “low-hanging fruit creating a pull for mobile security & mobility management related software & services”.

"The extension of the enterprise perimeter through mobile enterprise applications, device management, and the pull through for application development platforms and security drives a strong growth for enterprise mobility software and related services," says IDC's senior research manager, Sabharinath Bala.

"Although there are a few organisations that are advanced in their mobility journey with dedicated platforms and architectures for mobile to be a primary mode of usage, most mobile use cases are isolated, unco-ordinated initiatives with a lot to be desired from Australian businesses.”

According to IDC, mobility is still viewed as a “tactical arrangement” by a vast majority of Australian organisations as security concerns continue to overweigh advantages that mobility brings along.

Bala says the market will be dominated by growth from the enterprise mobility-related software (EMM, MADP, MES), with mobile applications and the adjacencies being the investment attractors.

IDC’s report shows that the services component is the single largest contributor to the market and is estimated to contribute close to half of enterprise mobility spending by 2020, while the hardware market will continue to shrink through to 2020 due to the saturation in the business laptop and smartphone market.

While noting that Australia slipped to fifth place in enterprise mobility maturity in 2016 in the APeJ region, IDC says that as Australian businesses move up the scale, they are becoming more concerned with mobile applications, their procurement, development, and management.

And as they move up even further, IDC says their concerns centre increasingly on a “holistic approach to the mobility of their IT systems and the role of mobility in business strategy”.

Looking forward, Bala said, "The big picture is critical as enterprise mobile strategy needs to tie to other 3rd Platform pillars, especially cloud and analytics, with the Internet of Things (IoT) effectively extending the business value of enterprise mobility, as well as opening opportunities for enabling vendors to service this space."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).