More than half of mobile applications in Indian organizations are internal

Shaleen Sinha

Over half (59%) of mobility applications being developed by Indian businesses are for employees, but CIOs must now invest in applications aimed at customers, according to Forrester Research.

Only 24% of mobility applications are for customers, with the remainder of apps developed for business partners.

Forrester studied 59 live mobile application projects from 41 organizations in India with an employee base exceeding 500. These businesses were spread across verticals such as manufacturing, financial services, automotive, media, healthcare, professional services, telecommunications, and utilities.

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The research looked at how Indian organizations are leveraging mobile business applications to better connect with customers, partners, and employees.

"Indian organizations embrace mobile applications for employee enablement, but must also target external customers," said Katyayan Gupta, analyst at Forrester Research.

“Our research indicates that mobile applications will be a more critical channel for reaching consumer markets in Asia Pacific in the future compared with more developed Western markets. This is especially true in India, where the mobile Internet user base is growing at the rate of more than 30% annually, primarily due to the disproportionately young population reducing the average selling price of smartphones to below $200 and reducing the cost of data plans.”

Calculating the ROI is easier for employee-centric applications as compared to customer or business partner-centric applications, and as a result most organizations in India are giving top priority to develop applications for their employees first, said Forrester. The most common developed mobile application by Indian organizations involve sales and field worker automation.

However, Gupta suggested that CIOs should broaden their mobility focus beyond employee enablement to include a greater focus on externally focused systems of engagement that can empower individuals to take the next most likely action, which will help drive explosive growth in engagement.

According to Forrester, mobile applications will be a more critical channel to reach customers in the future in India where the mobile Internet user base is growing at the rate of more than 30% annually.

A report earlier this year from CIO Klub revealed that mobile investments are at the top of the agenda for CIOs. Shirish Gariba, president of the CIO Klub, said: "The CEO cockpit view of the business is expected to drive mobility evolution. 62% of organizations are likely to implement, upgrade or evaluate mobile applications in the coming year."