An independent survey of 300 CIOs in the United States and U.K. found enterprises failing to turn mobile technology into business advantages or new revenue streams, according to a Dec. 5 report from Mobile Helix, an enterprise application provider that commissioned the survey from Vanson Bourne.
The CIOs cited cost and complexity among their reasons for "failing to utilize" their mobility assets.
Of the CIOs surveyed, 87 percent said they believed a majority of their employees would benefit from increased access to enterprise applications, such as CRM and ERP, on mobile devices; but 66 percent said they found the matter "too complex" and 72 percent said integrating mobile features into legacy apps is "too costly."
Yet 70 percent of CIOs said they'd have support from their organization to drive "strategic business value" using mobility.
Enterprises that fail to use mobility as a tool with which to transform their businesses are missing out on mobility's "enormous potential strategic value," said the report.
"Only 14 percent of businesses surveyed are currently using mobility solutions to transform business processes, drive increased revenues and develop new income streams," the report continued.
Mobile Helix President Matt Bancroft cautioned against interpreting mobility as the ability to do what's always been done, just from a mobile device.
"There's so much more potential value available," Bancroft said in a statement. "While perceived complexity is hindering adoption, a key challenge to mobility is companies' lack of vision, and that is a much bigger hurdle to overcome."
Bancroft likened the sea change that mobility represents to the introduction of the Internet. Mobility has the power to disrupt business in much the same way, he said, but people are ignoring this, put off by their fears of cost and complexity.
He offered as an example an industry in which physical signatures are needed.
"Why not look to ways to use fingerprint scanning and location awareness on mobile devices as a way to completely change the way the industry works," Bancroft said.
"We see the strategic value of mobility delivered in three phases: mobilizing existing enterprise applications, then adding mobile-specific capabilities to existing applications; and then creating totally new mobile apps where need and business case dictate."
It's the Job
CIO Insight recently included "embrace innovation" on a list of ways to be a best-in-class CIO.
"The ability to move swiftly and adopt flexible solutions—particularly centering on cloud-computing and SaaS-based models—can determine whether a company succeeds, or drowns in a sea of red ink," it cautioned.