SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

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
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science" is responsible for guiding the technology strategy within Hitachi Vantara for IoT and Analytics. Bill brings a balanced business-technology approach that focuses on business outcomes to drive data, analytics and technology decisions that underpin an organization's digital transformation strategy. Bill has a very impressive background which includes ...
Most modern computer languages embed a lot of metadata in their application. We show how this goldmine of data from a runtime environment like production or staging can be used to increase profits. Adi conceptualized the Crosscode platform after spending over 25 years working for large enterprise companies like HP, Cisco, IBM, UHG and personally experiencing the challenges that prevent companies from quickly making changes to their technology, due to the complexity of their enterprise. An accomp...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
On-premise or off, you have powerful tools available to maximize the value of your infrastructure and you demand more visibility and operational control. Fortunately, data center management tools keep a vigil on memory contestation, power, thermal consumption, server health, and utilization, allowing better control no matter your cloud's shape. In this session, learn how Intel software tools enable real-time monitoring and precise management to lower operational costs and optimize infrastructure...
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.
Most organizations are awash today in data and IT systems, yet they're still struggling mightily to use these invaluable assets to meet the rising demand for new digital solutions and customer experiences that drive innovation and growth. What's lacking are potent and effective ways to rapidly combine together on-premises IT and the numerous commercial clouds that the average organization has in place today into effective new business solutions. New research shows that delivering on multicloud e...
Moving to Azure is the path to digital transformation, but not every journey is effective. Organizations that start with a cohesive, well-planned migration strategy can avoid common mistakes and stay a step ahead of the competition. Learn from Atmosera CEO, Jon Thomsen about the opportunities and challenges found in three pivotal phases of the journey to the cloud: Evaluation and Architecting, Migration and Management, and Optimization & Innovation. In each phase, there are distinct insights tha...
CloudEXPO has been the M&A capital for Cloud companies for more than a decade with memorable acquisition news stories which came out of CloudEXPO expo floor. DevOpsSUMMIT New York faculty member Greg Bledsoe shared his views on IBM's Red Hat acquisition live from NASDAQ floor. Acquisition news was announced during CloudEXPO New York which took place November 12-13, 2019 in New York City. Our Silicon Valley 2019 schedule will showcase 200 keynotes, sessions, general sessions, power panels, and...
Cloud is the motor for innovation and digital transformation. CIOs will run 25% of total application workloads in the cloud by the end of 2018, based on recent Morgan Stanley report. Having the right enterprise cloud strategy in place, often in a multi cloud environment, also helps companies become a more intelligent business. Companies that master this path have something in common: they create a culture of continuous innovation. In his presentation, Dilipkumar Khandelwal outlined the latest...
Data center, on-premise, public-cloud, private-cloud, multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud, IoT, AI, edge, SaaS, PaaS... it's an availability, security, performance and integration nightmare even for the best of the best IT experts. Organizations realize the tremendous benefits of everything the digital transformation has to offer. Cloud adoption rates are increasing significantly, and IT budgets are morphing to follow suit. But distributing applications and infrastructure around increases risk, introdu...
DevOps has long focused on reinventing the SDLC (e.g. with CI/CD, ARA, pipeline automation etc.), while reinvention of IT Ops has lagged. However, new approaches like Site Reliability Engineering, Observability, Containerization, Operations Analytics, and ML/AI are driving a resurgence of IT Ops. In this session our expert panel will focus on how these new ideas are [putting the Ops back in DevOps orbringing modern IT Ops to DevOps].
Over the course of two days, in addition to insightful conversations and presentations delving into the industry's current pressing challenges, there was considerable buzz about digital transformation and how it is enabling global enterprises to accelerate business growth. Blockchain has been a term that people hear but don't quite understand. The most common myths about blockchain include the assumption that it is private, or that there is only one blockchain, and the idea that blockchain is...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
SUSE is a German-based, multinational, open-source software company that develops and sells Linux products to business customers. Founded in 1992, it was the first company to market Linux for the enterprise. Founded in 1992, SUSE is the world's first provider of an Enterprise Linux distribution.
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...