SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo, Dana Gardner, Kevin Benedict

Blog Feed Post

How Do You Make Money in Enterprise Mobility? A Prediction

For the past six months I have been pondering how does a MADP (mobile application development platform) company make money in enterprise mobility?  I talk to literally thousands of people a year who are involved in enterprise mobility, and it seems many in the enterprise mobility vendor world continue to struggle to make sustainable profits.

I spent many years as the CEO of a mobile platform and mobile app development company.   I can tell you from personal experience that it is incredibly hard to maintain an R&D funding pace that keeps up with, let alone surpasses, the pace of innovation in the market.  It seems like every time you identify a new set of features for a new version of your mobile platform, it is already obsolete and you are playing catch up.

Most traditional mobile platform companies I think are struggling with the challenge of keeping up with the rapidly evolving mobility market.  They have a business model based on the assumption they can achieve economies of scale by closing an increasing number of very large and lucrative deals that will all use the same mobile platform code base.  The challenge is that finding the economies of scale, when mobility is evolving so rapidly is like chasing a rainbow.  It is very hard to achieve economies of scale with any particular platform version.

In my mind the SAP Mobile Platform is a successful anomaly.  SAP has a massive user base that will buy anything from SAP, even if they don't plan to use it for years.  SAP is often not selling a particular product and version, they are selling all mobile products and versions under the umbrella brand of SAP Mobile Platform.  In effect, they are selling a white box of mobile solutions that are near impossible to compare and contrast with competitors.  SAP doesn't have to be leading edge.  They just have to be in the neighborhood.  This is working for SAP.  Their massive user base, credibility and their customers' enormous investments make this possible.  However, this model does not translate to the rest of the mobile platform market which must stand on the merits of their latest platform versions.

I believe SAP product managers feel the same pain as the rest of the mobility market.  There is no way a company the size of SAP can respond fast enough to keep up.  That is why they have focused on their mobile platforms and MDM products which evolve more slowly.  They now embrace many different app development environments like AppCelerator, Sencha, PhoneGap/Cordova, etc., for development.  They will let smaller and more nimble companies battle it out in this hyper-speed app development market.

Even the Syclo solutions that SAP acquired last year are relatively immune from the fast paced mobile app market because they are primarily used for traditional field services organizations and utilities that are less motivated to be leading edge and that seek products with long life cycles (4-7 years).

Where does this leave traditional mobile platform vendors?  I see them increasingly moving toward the cloud.  My colleague at Cognizant, Tom Thimot, often says the ultimate place for most software solutions is in the public cloud, some will just get there faster than others.   I agree.

What do you think?

I believe traditional mobile platform companies in 2013 will be moving their solutions to the cloud, embracing HTML5 even more, and focusing more efforts on mobile application management and security in order to finally achieve the ever elusive economies of scale.

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.

Latest Stories
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
There's no doubt that blockchain technology is a powerful tool for the enterprise, but bringing it mainstream has not been without challenges. As VP of Technology at 8base, Andrei is working to make developing a blockchain application accessible to anyone. With better tools, entrepreneurs and developers can work together to quickly and effectively launch applications that integrate smart contracts and blockchain technology. This will ultimately accelerate blockchain adoption on a global scale.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform blends web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge server, storage, virtualization and networking into a resilient, softwar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching o...
Despite being the market leader, we recognized the need to transform and reinvent our business at Dynatrace, before someone else disrupted the market. Over the course of three years, we changed everything - our technology, our culture and our brand image. In this session we'll discuss how we navigated through our own innovator's dilemma, and share takeaways from our experience that you can apply to your own organization.
Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Chicago, Nexum® takes a comprehensive approach to security. Nexum approaches business with one simple statement: “Do what’s right for the customer and success will follow.” Nexum helps you mitigate risks, protect your data, increase business continuity and meet your unique business objectives by: Detecting and preventing network threats, intrusions and disruptions Equipping you with the information, tools, training and resources you need to effectively m...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (T-Cloud) is a neutral organization for researching new computing models and business opportunities in IoT era. In his session, Ikuo Nakagawa, Co-Founder and Board Member at Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium, will introduce the big change toward the "connected-economy" in the digital age. He'll introduce and describe some leading-edge business cases from his original points of view, and discuss models & strategies in the connected-economy. Nowad...
Having been in the web hosting industry since 2002, dhosting has gained a great deal of experience while working on a wide range of projects. This experience has enabled the company to develop our amazing new product, which they are now excited to present! Among dHosting's greatest achievements, they can include the development of their own hosting panel, the building of their fully redundant server system, and the creation of dhHosting's unique product, Dynamic Edge.
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactu...
Doug was appointed CEO of Big Switch in 2013 to lead the company on its mission to provide modern cloud and data center networking solutions capable of disrupting the stronghold by legacy vendors. Under his guidance, Big Switch has experienced 30+% average QoQ growth for the last 16 quarters; more than quadrupled headcount; successfully shifted to a software-only and subscription-based recurring revenue model; solidified key partnerships with Accton/Edgecore, Dell EMC, HPE, Nutanix, RedHat and V...
PCCW Global is a leading telecommunications provider, offering the latest voice and data solutions to multi-national enterprises and communication service providers. Our truly global coverage combined with local, on the ground knowledge has helped us build best in class connections across the globe; and especially in some of the remotest, hard-to-reach areas in exciting growth markets across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
NanoVMs is the only production ready unikernel infrastructure solution on the market today. Unikernels prevent server intrusions by isolating applications to one virtual machine with no users, no shells and no way to run other programs on them. Unikernels run faster and are lighter than even docker containers.
All in Mobile is a mobile app agency that helps enterprise companies and next generation startups build the future of digital. We offer mobile development and design for smartphones, tablets and wearables. Our projects cover the latest and most innovative technologies - voice assistants, AI, AR/VR and more. We excel at solutions for sports, fintech and retail industries.
Public clouds dominate IT conversations but the next phase of cloud evolutions are "multi" hybrid cloud environments. The winners in the cloud services industry will be those organizations that understand how to leverage these technologies as complete service solutions for specific customer verticals. In turn, both business and IT actors throughout the enterprise will need to increase their engagement with multi-cloud deployments today while planning a technology strategy that will constitute a ...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO Silicon Valley 2019 will cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 250 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor will bring together the leading global 200 companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, IoT, Smart Cities, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail. As ...