An “explosion” in mobile devices is driving a rapid increase in enterprises’ need for third-party mobility services. However, as detailed in a new Forrester Wave report most third-party mobility services providers do not offer services that can manage the entire enterprise mobility lifecycle.

Buyers Need Speed, Have Options

Forrester begins the report, “Enterprise Mobility Services Q1 13,” with some statistics that illustrate exactly how prevalent the need for enterprise mobility services is becoming. For example, there are now more estimated mobile devices (7.3 billion) than people (7 billion) on earth and 71% of IT services executives say the increased use of smartphones, tablets and the apps running on them will moderately or significantly have an impact on their IT services spending in the next 12 months. And 47% expect to increase their services budget in IT to pay for services while 34% plan to hire a third party to help develop mobile apps.

According to Forrester, enterprise mobility services buyers need fast delivery and reliable performance of services that are adaptable to the constantly expanding range of mobile devices and platforms. In response, service providers are offering industry-specific, fully developed solutions (such as mobile wallets) and relying on reusable tools and IP. Many providers also offer flexible contracts with options such as “pay as you go” to help alleviate buyer concerns about not getting what they paid for or being stuck with unsuitable services and/or technology.

In addition, Forrester says buyers actually have a wide range of enterprise mobility services options. These include expertise in special mobile device factors such as NFC, industry-specific expertise, broad-based expertise and development resources across multiple platforms and end-to-end service capabilities. As Forrester analysis of top enterprise mobile services providers shows, not every provider offers every one of these options, but buyers can look for services vendors with particular strengths in particular areas.

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Leaders – IBM is Number One

Forrester places IBM at the head of the “leaders” pack of enterprise mobility services providers due to its “world class” IBM Interactive design agency, technology capabilities, global presence and “significant investment” in R&D of “bleeding edge” mobility solutions. In addition, IBM can offer enterprise mobility services clients cross-consulting from its many other domain areas.