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CIOs Worldwide See Mobility as Key Revenue Generator and Primary Channel for Customer Engagement, Accenture Survey Finds

Demonstrating the growing importance of incorporating mobility into enterprises, most CIOs believe mobility will generate significant sources of new revenue for their businesses, and most will invest 31 - 40 percent of their discretionary budgets to achieve that goal – compared with only 19 percent of CIOs surveyed last year – according to Accenture (NYSE:ACN).

In The Accenture 2013 CIO Mobility Survey, the overwhelming majority of respondents (79 percent) cited mobility as a revenue generator and said it would significantly improve customer interactions (84 percent) as well as significantly affect their business (83 percent). The survey also revealed that mobility is a top priority in the coming year for more than one-third (34 percent) of CIOs; and 42 percent of CIOs ranked mobility as one of their top five priorities. Anecdotal data from interviews also suggests that many CIOs approach new IT projects with a “mobile first” thinking.

Regarding specific mobile capabilities, survey respondents indicated that improving field and customer service with instant data access, capture and processing topped the list of needs (43 percent), followed by engaging customers via mobile devices (36 percent), especially with transactions on mobile devices (34 percent). Twenty-nine percent of all respondents said they plan to design, develop and/or distribute connected devices to support B2B applications.

Accenture conducted the global survey of CIOs and other C-suite IT professionals to understand if companies are embracing the importance of mobility and to identify the top priorities of IT professionals, and the obstacles to achieving them.

Over the next year, nearly half (46 percent) of CIOs said they plan to make workflow changes to better incorporate mobility into the business. Additionally, 73 percent believe mobility will impact their business as much or more than the web revolution of the late 90s, compared to 67 percent who felt this way in a similar Accenture survey conducted last year.

“It’s encouraging that companies are embracing the importance of mobility but they need to go further by identifying the top areas for mobile deployment,” said Jin Lee, senior managing director, Accenture Mobility. “In particular they should look at areas that will grow, such as connected devices, and conduct a ‘gap analysis’ to determine how to catch up, or even better, get ahead of the curve. Other critical considerations include investments, budget allocation, re-training staff, hiring mobile expertise, and leveraging external experts to help develop or implement mobility strategies.”

Progress in mobile strategy varies

More than half of the companies surveyed (58 percent) have a moderately developed formal mobile strategy, and about one-quarter (23 percent) have an extensively-developed formal mobile strategy, down from 31 percent from last year. This suggests that the velocity of the uptake of mobile technology is accelerating to the extent that companies are being pushed to take action before they can get a well-defined strategy in place.

China (50 percent), Italy (47 percent) and Brazil (37 percent) lead the way globally with extensively-developed mobile strategies. Despite varied progress in strategy development, half (50 percent) of the companies surveyed said they would identify prioritized mobility initiatives over the next year, an increase over last year (41 percent). Nearly all said their mobile strategies must support smartphones (85 percent) and tablets (78 percent), a nod to the increase in employees’ use of their own tablets for work, and companies’ deployment of tablets as work devices.

The survey further found that mobile device management (27 percent), collaboration (25 percent) and knowledge sharing (23 percent) are the top three most important features to a developed mobile strategy. When participants were asked about their top two priorities, China (53 percent), Italy (53 percent) and India (50 percent) tagged mobility as one of their top two focus areas. The United Kingdom (67 percent), Japan (57 percent), and France (52 percent) ranked mobility as one of their top five IT priorities.

Most respondents in India (77 percent), and almost half (47 percent) of respondents in Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom plan to focus their enterprise efforts on improving field and customer service delivery with instant data access, capture and processing. In consumer-related mobility priorities, 63 percent of respondents in India and the United Kingdom cited driving revenue through transactions on mobile devices within their top priorities, followed by the United States (36 percent).

Staffing, Security, interoperability, BYOD continue as challenges

Fifty-two percent of companies said they would retrain existing staff to enable their mobile strategies, and 37 percent will hire full-time mobile expertise into their organization, indicating a high demand in the market for mobility talent. The survey also found that more projects are being staffed internally (76 percent in 2013, versus 63 percent in 2012) to support the development of mobile applications. Surprisingly, while 2012 may be remembered as the year HTML5 took the Internet by storm -- the catch-all term used for the latest protocols that define the content, layout, and navigation of web pages through web browsers -- almost half (49 percent) of respondent companies’ mobile application approaches relied on both native and web apps.

Security is still a significant concern, and interoperability has risen as an issue, indicating that existing systems were not all built for mobile and must be transformed for adoption to continue. The study found that security (45 percent), budget concerns (41 percent) and lack of interoperability with legacy systems (31 percent) are still the main barriers cited by companies as impacting their mobile priorities.

Another area related to mobile adoption is “bring your own device,” or BYOD. However, more than half of the enterprises surveyed (59 percent) provide only limited support to their employees while about one-quarter (28 percent) offer full support.

“CIOs must find ways to support the myriad of mobile devices entering the work environment,” Lee said. “They should also address the need to focus intensely on people and expertise. Almost twice as many companies – 40 percent in 2013, versus 27 percent in 2012 – plan to leverage external experts to develop and refine their strategy, indicating that mobile usage is growing faster than the market can provide in terms of skilled and available talent.”

Automotive, insurance, health care sectors: mobile priorities are within reach

All (100 percent) respondents in the automotive, insurance, and health care sectors plan to reach their top mobile priorities within the next year. For the automotive industry, the most important feature to its strategy is payments and commerce (54 percent); the insurance industry respondents cited location-based services (48 percent) as most important, as did health care providers (46 percent). Among communications companies citing M2M as a mobile priority, sixty-seven percent said they would execute M2M communications in their organization within the next year.

Other key industry findings include:

  • the electronics (52 percent) and technology industries (47 percent) placed mobility as one of their top two priorities;
  • more than half (57 percent) of the aerospace industry cited mobility as one of its top five priorities;
  • and, consumer firms cited driving revenue through customer engagement among their highest mobile priorities (45 percent) with the retail segment the highest at 59 percent.

Methodology

From Dec. 2012 through Jan. 2013, Accenture conducted an online survey with 413 IT professionals (CIOs, CTOs, Directors of Technology or IT, and Chief Mobility Officers) across 14 industries in 14 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed work for companies that generate between US$1 billion and US$5 billion in annual revenues; 42 percent for companies that generate between US$500 million and US$1 billion; and 6 percent for companies between US$250 million and US$500 million.

To access the full report, go to http://www.accenture.com/2013ciomobilitysurvey.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 259,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

Accenture is focused on enabling its clients to achieve breakthrough growth throughout the rapidly changing mobile ecosystem. Accenture Mobility offers five mobility services including consulting, software services – applications, software services – devices and platforms, managed services, and business integration services. These are designed to help organizations embrace business to employee (B2E), business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B) and machine to machine (M2M) business opportunities. Accenture offers mobility and embedded software services across a wide range of industries and platforms, including Android™, Apple® iOS, Blackberry®, Linux, Meego™, Symbian, Windows® Phone and Windows 8.

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