NEW YORK: Most chief information officers regard the trend towards mobility as increasingly vital to their business, both as a revenue generator and a channel for customer engagement, according to a survey.

Accenture, the consultancy, interviewed over 400 global IT executives, and found 79% saw mobility as a key revenue generator while 84% said it would improve customer interactions.

Elsewhere, some 34% indicated it would be their top priority in the coming year, while a further 42% put it in their top five.

"It's encouraging that companies are embracing the importance of mobility," said Jin Lee, senior managing director, Accenture Mobility, "but they need to go further by identifying the top areas for mobile deployment."

"In particular they should look at areas that will grow, such as connected devices, and conduct a 'gap analysis' to determine how to catch up, or even better, get ahead of the curve."

In terms of particular mobile capabilities, the improvement of field and customer service was most important. Instant data access, capture and processing topped the list of needs on 43%.

This was followed by engaging customers via mobile devices on 36%, and creating transaction tools on mobile devices, posting 34%.

Despite this determination to foreground mobility, only 23% of companies surveyed had an extensively developed formal strategy in this space at predent, a total down from 31% in a similar survey last year. A further 58% had a moderately developed plan in place.

Accenture suggested this showed the speed of change was such that companies were having to take action before they could get a well-defined model for progress in place.

Data sourced from Accenture; additional content by Warc staff