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Slowly, But Surely Companies are Embracing Wireless Applications

    Online News published in DMReview.com
December 12, 2001

A new survey published by industry research firm Evans Data Corporation reveals that the corporate enterprise is uniformly embracing wireless technology. 46.1 percent of Development Managers at large corporations plan to develop applications for wireless devices in the coming year, beating out other planned projects, such as security enhancements and business-to-business e- commerce. In fact, enterprise developers are leading this phenomenon - another recent Evans Data survey of the general developer population found only 38 percent planning to develop wireless applications.

A notable percentage of development managers - 42.7 percent - also said that wireless technology is an important mainstream technology in their company. And despite the daunting task of extending current enterprise applications to incorporate wireless technology, 39.9 percent of development managers feel this is important enough to implement the changes.

The most recent volume in the bi-annual Enterprise Development Management Issues Survey Series will be released to subscribers the week of December 10, 2001. It is based on in-depth interviews with more than 400 development managers at companies having more than 2,000 employees, and measures usage patterns, attitudes, and intentions regarding technology.

Other key findings from the December 2001 survey:

  • When selecting a brand of wireless device for the enterprise, 77 percent of development managers say that platform integration is critical or very important to their decision, followed closely by 71.7 percent citing security concerns. These concerns outweighed factors like operating system and cost.
  • Email and instant messaging are still the most popular wireless applications, however at least a quarter of wireless-enabled companies are building or supporting interfaces for CRM, sales force automation, and field force automation.

"The proliferation of wireless and mobile devices presents IT departments with the greatest integration challenge since the introduction of the PC, and is following a similar path," says Joe McKendrick, analyst for Evans Data Corp. "That is, the wireless revolution is coming from the bottom- up - end-users are bringing these devices into the organization to boost their own personal productivity. IT executives now have the opportunity to expand the reach and versatility of these devices to benefit the organization as a whole. Our survey shows this effort has begun in earnest at the enterprise level. But as was the case with PCs, it will be some time before there is an integrated strategy for acquiring and managing these assets."

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