Prepackaged mobile applications reached a technological plateau during the past year, but with more advancements expected in 2014, North American companies are once again deploying an array of mobile worker software, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan. The firm’s latest research finds that 48 percent of decision-makers say their companies already deploy one to 10 apps for employees on mobile devices.

The report, “2013 North American Mobile Enterprise Applications,” finds that wireless email is the app viewed as most necessary by businesses, followed by mobile sales force automation. The analysis measures the current use of and future decision-making behaviors toward mobile enterprise apps, specifically mobile asset tracking, mobile sales force automation, mobile workforce management and wireless email. The findings are based on a survey of 308 North American enterprise decision-makers responsible for purchasing mobile software apps.

"Today's businesses cite increased efficiency and productivity as their top reasons for providing mobile apps to their employees," Karolina Olszewska, Frost & Sullivan customer research analyst, said in a statement. "However, softer benefits such as enhanced customer engagement and improved collaboration also rate highly among their reasons for implementation."

Among the deterrents to implementation, the most prominent reasons are concerns regarding the security of company and customer data as well as the potential high cost of implementation.

Overall, as the mobile enterprise apps market continues to mature, organizations’ preferences are evolving in a number of areas, the report says. Therefore, apps vendors not only must cater to sophisticated end-user demands with custom work and smart devices, but simultaneously find an approach to mobile worker apps that is flexible and cost-effective.

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