Mobile impact to match web

28 February 2012

NEW YORK: A majority of brand owners expect the rise of mobile devices to have as much of an impact on corporations and consumers as the arrival of the internet, a study has revealed.

Accenture, the consultancy, surveyed 240 chief information officers from 23 industries and 12 markets, including Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, the UK and US.

Overall, 69% of respondents said that trends towards "mobility" will influence their business to the same or a greater extent than the internet did from the 1990s onwards.

More specifically, 50% of interviewees in Mexico and China "strongly agreed" such a shift would exert a major impact, an amount also reaching 40% in India and 32% in Brazil, compared to 20% in the UK and US.

Some 69% of participants expected to allocate over 20% of discretionary budgets to enhancing mobility capabilities in 2012, but these figures hit 94% in emerging markets, versus 35% in mature outlets.

Similarly, 48% of contributors from fast-growth economies already had an "extensively developed" strategy covering this area, standing at just 12% for countries like Japan, the UK and US.

Lars Kamp, from Accenture Mobility Services, said: "We've seen this leapfrog effect in emerging markets before. Very often companies in these markets can start with a clean sheet of paper and simply deploy new technology."

In a related finding, 93% of the Latin American panel and 81% of their Asian counterparts thought mobility would provide "significant new revenue". Totals here came in at 66% in Europe and 56% in North America.

The main priority for corporations was improving field and customer service delivery via instant access to data and analytics, as well as facilitating on-the-spot transactions, mentioned by 42% of executives.

Among the obstacles to making more rapid progress are security concerns, cited by 50% of industry specialists, ahead of costs and budgets on 43% and a lack of compatibility with existing systems on 26%.

The extreme pace of technological change is also forcing brand owners to respond increasingly quickly to new market realities, according to Kamp.

"The rising penetration of smartphones and tablets is compressing IT innovation cycles for the enterprise to 12-18 months," he said. "Companies should review their mobile strategy every six to 12 months to ensure."

Data sourced from Accenture; additional content by Warc staff