social business, Mobile Enterprise Report: iOS, Document Editing Dominate

Microsoft knows it. It's catching on to the "explosion." And many other enterprises are, too.

Mobile is booming in the enterprise, and those who have BYOD policies, mobile security efforts in place across the enterprise and employees who are empowered with mobile capabilities are thriving.

Apps in the Workplace

The findings are detailed in the Good Technology Mobility Index Report for Q2 and Q3 2013. It is part of the Good Technology Mobility Index, an ongoing initiative to track and forecast the impact of mobile apps and platforms. 

Enterprises, the report notes, are realizing that secure, app-to-app workflows redefine the workplace, help businesses engage with customers and build new business opportunities.

"It was great to see the rapid growth in application adoption," John Herrema, Good Technology's SVP of corporate strategy, told CMSWire. "As we’re seeing the growth in application adoption, we’re finding that it’s being driven, in large part, by custom app adoption." 

What the Numbers Say

Let's break down some of the numbers from the report:

  • Activations rising: Total device activations for the quarter rose nearly 60 percent from the same time last year. Custom apps grew the fastest in Q3 at 52 percent quarter-over-quarter. Total secure mobile app activations rose nearly 42 percent quarter-over-quarter. The rate of growth for secure mobile apps is far greater than the growth rate of mobile device deployments.
  • IOS the top dog: iOS dominates as platform of choice for enterprise app deployment, with 98 percent and 95 percent of total app activations in Q2 and Q3, respectively.
  • Document editing leading the way: Doc editing is the largest single commercial app category securing 56 percent of the activations. File access and syncing are behind with almost 20 percent of all activations. 
  • Android apps coming along: The number of total Android app activations nearly tripled from Q2 to Q3, suggesting growth in enterprises' comfort level with Android.
  • iOS recovery: iOS had a dip in activations in Q2 at 69 percent, which the report suggests may be due to consumers holding off on iPhone device purchases in anticipation of new models.
  • Android devices slightly up: Samsung's major launch of new Android devices has led to some growth here.
  • Tablets and mobile app usage: Tablets had 81 percent of apps activated this quarter. iOS continues to dominate in this area, reporting 90 percent of the total tablet activations in Q3.
  • Smartphones edge out tablets for instant messaging: In a reversal, smartphones have a slight advantage coming in at just 51 percent of activations for instant messaging. 
  • Document editing apps dominate tablets:  Of the apps activated on tablets, 91 percent were document editing apps, followed by file access and custom applications.

Why This Report?

CMSWire asked Herrema why this report stands out in this space. The metrics cited, he said, have been directly generated from Good Technology’s internal data, as aggregated from all devices activated across its worldwide customer base in the second and third quarters this year. It analyzed activations among its enterprise and government customers that had at least five activated devices over the quarter.

"Analyzing the long tail of net new device activations by platform provides unique insight into not only the popularity of individual devices and form factors, but also the platforms that enterprises prefer for enabling employees to access business data and applications," Herrema said.

Because this report is company-specific, organizations may want to also consider other industry reports on mobile as well. Econsultancy earlier this year reported that many major brands are still struggling to catch up to be mobile-friendly as only 57 percent of top 100 brands had a mobile-optimized site as of January 2013.

Another report this year found that while Android is still the leading platform for mobile software development, and iOS is second, there is considerable interest in Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10.

Messages in a Survey?

As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft is now jumping onboard the mobile enterprise train. A lot has changed since the release of SharePoint 2013, as Joel Oleson told us earlier this year. A number of new features from Microsoft now help support BYOD with SharePoint 2013 and Office 365.

But as we pointed out, it's more than just having mobile devices in your organization and using them in the enterprise. Organizations with responsive Website designs that empower end users — and not frustrate them — and those with secure policies around mobile will thrive. 

Can others use this report by Good? We asked Herrema how B2B marketers could take advantage of such numbers released in his organization's report.

He pointed to the 42 percent rise in the number of mobile app activations quarter-over-quarter, pointing to the growth of enterprise apps developed by independent software vendors (ISVs) and enterprises alike. Android app enterprise app deployment is experiencing a significant growth rate; the number of total Android app activations nearly tripled from Q2 to Q3, hinting at the enterprise becoming more comfortable with Android as a viable and secure platform.

"B2B marketers can now point to the fact that enterprise apps developed by ISVs and enterprises continues to grow, and is something all enterprise companies should consider," he said. "In addition, B2B marketers can report that Android is gaining ground for enterprise applications, as number of total Android app activations nearly tripled from Q2 to Q3."

Further, he added, iOS dominated as the platform for enterprise application development, with 98 percent and 95 percent of total app activations in Q2 and Q3, respectively.

"B2B marketers should keep in mind," he said, "that iOS is the preferred platform for custom applications, as they are working with companies to develop custom applications."