6 driving forces behind the rise in Mobile BI adoption

Mobile Business Intelligence (BI) is set to become more popular than new-age boy band sensation One Direction.

But how did this situation arise? What are the factors underpinning the escalation of this phenomenon? In the case of One Direction, the popularity of bad ironic 80s hair and hideous post-modern music are to blame. The rise of Mobile BI is a little more complicated – and interesting.

1. Proliferation of smartphones and tablets in business

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), nearly one billion smart connected devices – PCs, media tablets, and smartphones – were shipped in 2011. That figure is predicted to top 1.1 billion in 2012, with shipments expected to double 2011’s tally and reach 1.84 billion units by 2016, as businesses of all shapes and sizes around the world show a nearly insatiable appetite for smart connected devices. Most significantly, IDC predicts that the number of mobile devices, principally smartphones in conjunction with tablets, are set to dwarf the number of PCs – outnumbering them by more than five to one.

Worldwide tablet shipments are set to jump from 16.1 million in 2010, to 147.2 million by 2015 – 45 million of which will be bought by businesses. More specifically, Apple sold over 32 million iPads last financial year (September 2010 – September 2011). Apple now has almost complete penetration across Fortune 500 organizations. Apple claims that almost all Fortune 500 will test and / or deploy iPads as part of their corporate information strategy during 2012.

Further, the IDC also estimates that the overall number of mobile devices shipped for business use will reach 165.6 million units by 2014.

2. Explosion of consumer-oriented mobile applications

But it’s not just consumer technologies that have penetrated the workplace and influenced working habits. The explosive popularity, number and style of consumer-oriented mobile applications has also played its part in growing and shaping demand for, and development of, enterprise-oriented mobile applications and Mobile BI apps, as well as cultivating corporate demand for mobile analytics.

According to research by ClickFox, 50 percent of consumers use an app on their mobile device ten or more times per day. The report also revealed that 73 percent of people use consumer mobile apps to “assist with a buying decision”. It seems only natural that this desire – and now common practice in many cases – will affect the manner and style in which corporations interact with stakeholders and corporate decision are made – doesn’t it?

Well, Gartner seems to think so, with the research and analyst giant suggesting that US businesses alone will spend over $11 billion on mobile app development, with the worldwide mobile app market to generate $30 billion in annual revenues and 22 billion annual app downloads by 2013.

Gartner’s 2012 BI Magic Quadrant survey suggests that an increase in mobile analytics adoption is set to follow: “More than 20% of survey respondents report that they are already using mobile BI or are piloting it. A whopping 33% plan to deploy mobile BI in 2012. By the end of 2012, a majority of organizations should have some mobility solutions in place”.

3. Growth of mobile Internet usage

According to research by Morgan Stanley, global Internet users will double between now and 2015, with mobile users accounting for around 80 percent of consumption.

4. Increase in the number of mobile workers

According to Forrester, 73 percent of the workforce will be made up of enterprise mobile workers by 2013. Whilst IDC’s predictions are tamer, suggesting that the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion (37.2% of the total workforce) by 2013, the trend represents a significant shift in the way people work and access business information.

a. Mobile Business Email market to reach $1 billion by 2014
The IDC also suggests that the Mobile Business Email market will grow by a CAGR of 13.2 percent to reach around $1 billion by 2014. In conjunction, the number of subscribers to mobile business email is set to reach 255.6 million by 2014 (representing a CAGR of 36.4 percent).

5. Mobile Enterprise Application Platform market to grow significantly

Increasing demand for enterprise mobility is driving strong growth in the global Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) market, which in turn, is both driving and enabling Mobile BI adoption. TechNavio’s analysts forecast that the global MEAP market will increase from $1 billion in 2010 to reach $1.6 billion in 2014. Estimates from Global Industry Analysts back that forecast, with the firm suggesting that the general global enterprise mobility market will reach around $174 billion by 2017, driven by an abundance of smartphones, tablets and mobile business applications.

6. Wireless and mobile infrastructure spending to increase

According to the IDC’s WorldWide Mobile Security 2010 – 2014 Forecast and Analysis report, the worldwide wireless and mobile infrastructures market will be worth $44 billion by 2015, both driven and underpinned by the development of 4G networks.

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