Miscues May Hamper Mobile Solutions Development

Regardless of how things are going, the business world never stops looking ahead to try to find the next big thing. The mobile enterprise solutions market is one area of business generating a tremendous amount of interest, especially since European markets alone saw $460 million spent on those solutions in 2002. According to analyst firm Datamonitor, those investments are expected to top $2.9 billion by 2006.

With all the interest and money being directed at this market, a team of analysts from Datamonitor spent the past 12 months creating a report that examines both the pros and cons of the market and how it will affect how data and customers are managed. According to the findings in the report, while there is certainly the potential for rapid market growth and profitability, companies are taking a flawed approach.

Nick Greenway, a mobility analyst for Datamonitor on the team that drafted the report, explains that while it doesn't cover the entire mobile enterprise solutions vertical market, Datamonitor focused on the markets that held the most potential for growth. The six areas the report covered were automotive, travel and leisure, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, logistics, financial services, and the public sector.

The report contends that not all sectors of mobile enterprise solutions will achieve the same success, and that larger companies that take a broadbrush approach are making a mistake. Greenway explains that although companies may have incomplete strategies when it comes to dealing with this market, it isn't from lack of awareness. "The current defensive strategy that most companies are employing isn't something you can hold against a vendor," Greenway says. "It makes sense to maintain what you have while trying to cut costs. Right now isn't a time when people are worried about innovation."

Greenway expects that to change in the next 12 to 18 months as larger companies begin to alter their long-term plans, move away from maintaining existing markets, and begin interacting with second- and third-tier partners. "The collaborative element of this market is its real strength," Greenway says.

Mobile Web services that allow customer and system management is one of the things most often mentioned when discussing mobile enterprise solutions, promising access and connectivity on demand. Though the market is certainly headed that way, Greenway explains that it is still "too far off," and the costs of maintaining such services will have to come down dramatically before they become a viable market offering.

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