Organisations are increasingly turning to mobile solutions to innovate, reduce costs and increase productivity, with 94% stating that the need to increase productivity and reduce costs is driving the increased use of mobile devices and technology. These are the findings of a new survey of IT decision makers in 320 UK businesses of all sizes and across a number of key industries (Manufacturing, Retail, Public Sector and Financial Services) conducted by SAP.
The findings show that over the next two or three years, the majority of UK companies will be planning or at least considering an implementation of mobile business technology. Accurate real-time information is now expected anywhere, at anytime, for greater customer service, improved business flexibility, and increased productivity. With the need for innovation never greater, many are recognising the capabilities of mobile technology in meeting these requirements.
In the next two to three years, an 80% majority said they will either be planning or considering the implementation of mobile Business Intelligence (BI) and mobile Business Analytics. 76% said they will be looking at Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and a further 64% said they would be planning or considering an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation. This means that there will be a significant increase in the number of companies running or implementing mobile applications; In some cases this is almost double the current number (presently, 43% run BI and Business Analytics, 49% run CRM, and 43% run ERP).
Less than one fifth said they were not seeing a significant increase in the need for mobile information and use of mobile devices across the business, indicating that across the UK, companies are looking at their options for innovating through mobility.
Tim Noble, Managing Director at SAP United Kingdom & Ireland commented: "The move toward mobile technology and workforce is indicative of businesses' need to innovate in order to increase competitive edge, increase productivity and ultimately profitability. It is also led by demand from the end user who increasingly wants access to business critical applications on the go. From this research it's clear that over the two or three years we are going to see British companies favouring an increasingly mobile approach to business. At SAP we are well set up to provide our customers with the choice and flexibility they need to innovate and succeed."
When asked about the drivers for increasing their use of mobile solutions, increased productivity was the number one driver (53%), while over a third (41%) stated reduced costs and a further 38% cited improved customer service. With one third of companies expecting between 20% and 30% of their employees to be mobile compared with only 4% now, it is perhaps no surprise they are starting to invest in on-device solutions.
Mobile workforce productivity
66% of companies felt that moving to a more mobile workforce has had a positive impact on employee productivity, with around a 16% productivity rise amongst workers. Respondents also stated that a 12% OPEX saving could be made if an additional 25% of the workforce was made mobile. Nearly two thirds (65%) of those surveyed said they feel their mobile workforce is better able to do their job, at least to some extent, with a further 63% saying that there is greater level of job satisfaction across on-device workers.
"On-device models allow people to access information and data wherever they are and whenever they want. At SAP we are investing heavily to ensure we provide our customers with deployment choice and flexibility. In particular with on-device we are greatly extending the reach of SAP software to many more users and deliver applications for the business and technical user on many mobile devices. We believe that with SAP's OnPremise, OnDemand, and OnDevice product strategy we are creating new opportunities for our customers to build value and capitalise on changing market conditions." added Noble.
Mobile trends for verticals
Over two thirds (77%) of manufacturing organisations are either currently using or planning to implement mobile devices in order to increase efficiency and productivity in the area of customer service and communication.
Nearly half (41%) of retail organisations do not have a mobile application allowing customers to view their product catalogues, but only one tenth said they do not plan to develop or release a mobile application within the next two or three years, demonstrating a shift in the retail industry toward innovation through mobile devices. A 97% majority said that a mobile application would increase brand loyalty to some extent.
A 59% majority of respondents in financial services organisations agreed that over the next two to three years we will begin to bring our business right to the customer doors step by utilising the latest tablet PC or laptop technology, equipped with high-speed wireless connectivity.
Two thirds of respondents in public sector organisations stated that the budget cuts would not hold back their drive to a more mobile workforce, however only 41% said they saw the mobile workforce as a key platform for cost reduction to tax payers.