As average price for smartphones continue to fall, enterprise workers across the world -- particularly those in emerging markets -- are seeking to improve their productivity via Mobile Cloud applications while away from their office.
This additionally signals an advantage for mobile network operators, whose handset data plan revenues from the enterprise segment can expect to exceed $200 billion in 2020, according to the latest global market study by ABI Research.
"The importance of smartphones to the enterprise worker cannot be underestimated," says Dan Shey, managing director and vice president at ABI Research.
ABI believes that network operator services need to focus on driving the most value from the smartphone to the enterprise user, such as assisting in choosing the right devices and applications, and offering services to manage device content and functionality.
Outlook for Enterprise Mobility Apps
Looking ahead, operators also need to help businesses leverage the smartphone and their voice and data connectivity services as a key component in their Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.
Voice services are still an important revenue component for mobile operators. As such, these services must continue to provide consistent and quality network performance domestically while offering increasingly simplified, cost-effective access to voice and data services when traveling internationally.
And security is also a critical element to enterprise smartphone usability. Operators can play a crucial role in supporting security application needs while also offering enterprise workers guidance toward smartphone usage and security best practices.
According to ABI's data analysis, North America leads in total mobile enterprise revenues across voice, messaging, handset data plans, mobile broadband, business-to-employee applications and enterprise mobility management services. However, the Asia-Pacific region will overtake North America in 2017 to become the biggest market for enterprise mobility revenues.
"Enterprise is becoming more connected, across both people and machines," concludes Shey.
Mobile communication service provider smartphone strategies must evolve to support the myriad of new software applications, and growth opportunities that will stem from the billions of connections in the Internet of Things.
According to the ABI assessment, the partnerships that AT&T, Verizon, Tele2 and Vodafone created with major ICT suppliers are all a step in the right direction toward building integrated solutions that can leverage smartphone applications and services.