IT dilemma, of course! Tailor-made mobile Application?

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Last week, we were discussing The Eternal IT Dilemma; tailor-made software development or commercial software solution?  How about this dilemma from a Mobility perspective; how does it go about Smartphones and Tablets? Does enterprises go for a Tailor-made mobile Application?

The vast majority of enterprises that put into play a Sales Force are thinking about integrating Mobility to their IT development or among the needed IT solutions.  The laptop seems to be getting slower and slower to get started and not always easily « networked »; which can be accounted for the fact that more and more representatives leave them at the office and fall back to their Smartphones, even to get strategic information much needed for outdoors client activities.

Tailor-made mobile Applications?

Do the benefits of accessing strategic information in real-time for the Sales Force are enough to justify such an investment?  And if so, what are the alternatives to access and obtain such strategic information?

  • Can we rely solely on the mobile basic tools and functionalities?
  • Do we have to use « commercial » tools and softwares available in « appstores »?
  • Do we develop a tailor-made mobile application that meets all business requirements and correspond perfectly to the enterprise business reality?

We have done a very very short survey (2 operators and 2 mobile developers) to find out; first, by considering only the Sales Force and second, by considering the Mobile WorkForce in general, which may include a delivery service or a technical service on the road. Is they have or planning to devlop a Tailor-made mobile Application?

Usage / Users

Sales Force

Mobile WorkForce

Native Functionalities

80 %

70 %

Commercial Applications

15 %

20 %

Tailor-made mobile Application

5 %

10 %


The results analysis

The data shows that the vast majority of enterprises still mostly rely today on the mobile devices basic tools and functionalities; followed by commercial software and finally by tailor-made mobile applications.

Proportions vary a lot according to enterprise type; the percentage of enterprises using a commercial mobile application jumps to 50% in the delivery and technical service field; mostly due to « asset tracking » technologies.

Even better, more than 75% of the 20% enterprises which bought a commercial mobile application will move to « tailor-made mobile development » within the first 3 years of purchasing the so-called commercial mobile solution; be it, to enhance / optimize the commercial solution, to better integrate it with the enterprise IT environment (back-end) or to just replace it with a mobile application that will be perfectly adapted to the enterprise business reality, its business processes and its technology environment.


Although Mobility is considered very favourably within the necessary technology projects among enterprises, it has not, as of yet, reached the « de facto » strategic asset status in most enterprises.  And same bell sound with regards to Tablets which are not much implemented; people think about it, dream about it, but they are still not jumping at it spontaneously.

And on top of it all; it’s no secret that multiplatform mobile development cost represents a major “downer” to tailor-made mobile application!

In short, hurry for HTML5 to standardize it all and erase the uncertainty related to mobile developments; BlackBerry?  iPhone?  Android?  Windows Phone 8?


Have a great weekend,

Denis et Michel


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