French companies appear to be having more difficulty meeting the challenges of the global mobile wave than their US counterparts
Today for the first time on record, US citizens are spending more time on their mobile phones than their PCs, and sales of tablets have recently overtaken those of computers. In tandem with this change in people’s habits there has been a real boom in mobile applications, and the number of mobile app downloads is expected to grow from 102 billion in 2013 to 305 billion in 2016 according to consulting firm Gartner. But while there seems to be huge enthusiasm for the mobile culture in the United States, this is not the case in France, reveals a global survey commissioned by US IT management specialist CA Technologies. While a few sectors in France, notably e-commerce, have shown the ability to adapt their offerings to the new consumer habits, other companies are struggling to embark on the mobile path, apparently held back by security issues surrounding the use of mobile devices for business purposes.
Mobile culture not a high priority for French company strategy
Mobile technology is widely regarded as a new source of increase in turnover and productivity, and a driver for improving the overall customer experience. But while fully 95% of the US firms surveyed have developed a ‘mobile strategy’, only 40% of their French counterparts have done so. French firms seem to lack interest in mobile technologies, with close to a third (29%) of the French company IT decision-makers surveyed stating that they “see no value in ‘mobile’ projects”, while not a single US respondent said the same. Moreover only 22% felt that they “could do more as regards mobile”, compared with 83% of the US IT managers polled. It would appear that this lack of enthusiasm shown by over half (51%) of the French firms quizzed is due mainly to security issues, which are the major drawback for them, in contrast to the United States, where the main obstacle to the mobile advance is a lack of involvement on the part of senior management. The study also raises once again the question of the role played by IT management in overall company strategy.
Mobile still a source of opportunities
The CA Technologies report points out the very real competitive advantages that use of mobile technologies can bring a company. Those that have incorporated mobile technology into their overall strategy say they have seen an impact on their turnover and productivity figures. In France, companies which have taken the path to a mobile culture (40%) have seen faster time-to-market and boosted their turnover and employee-productivity. It is not only e-commerce, a natural area for the mobile approach, but all sectors that are now being impacted by growth in the use of mobile technology. New technologies and applications are for instance being developed in the health and logistics fields. Mobile also opens up consumer markets both at local level and internationally. The mobile tidal wave is global in scale and 30% of US firms see the new ITC technology as a means of conquering emerging markets. “These days, firms need to incorporate mobility into their global digital strategy,” underlines CA Technologies France CEO Jean-François Pruvot.