Employees want access to their companies' IT department 24/7. For that, businesses are being forced to deveop mobile apps to help keep employees productive while on the go, new research shows.
A study by open cloud company Rackspace and the Manchester Business School revealed that two-thirds of the businesses in the U.S. and U.K. have employees who are demanding more business-level apps, which they can install on mobile devices to access corporate IT systems.
To meet those demands, nearly 60 percent of the businesses surveyed will invest more heavily in new business apps over the next year. The key areas in which businesses developing corporate apps are focusing include document management, expenses management, customer relationship management and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Additionally, 28 percent of those surveyed have plans to develop their own dedicated corporate app store to more tightly distribute and manage business applications.
Researchers believe the increased use of mobile devices by employees is not only boosting the demand for business level apps, but is also signaling that the PC era may be coming to an end. Researchers point to a recent IDC study that shows that the decline in PC shipments — down 14 percent — over the last quarter is directly related to the focus on tablet computers and smartphones in both consumer and corporate purchasing, with these devices now being favored over traditional computers.
Manchester Business School's Brian Nicholson said it's interesting to see how employees want to access their corporate IT services.
"They’re demanding the same consumer app experience in the workplace from their laptops, smartphones and tablets," Nicholson said. "With our reliance on the PC declining, the onus is on the businesses to deliver their IT services in a format that enables staff to access corporate cloud apps from any device or location."
The research discovered that overall, more than 80 percent of businesses think that mobile software applications and services will soon become the standard means through which employees access IT systems for work purposes.
The study was based off of research conducted on 1,300 companies in the U.S. and U.K.