France 'beating' UK on 4G mobility apps

While information technology market surveys (arguably) reside on the global “usefulness to industry” scale somewhere between soggy sandwiches and frogspawn, somehow we seem to keep reading them.

But why?

Perhaps we do so out of some ‘eternal optimism’ based upon our constant search for the ‘next big thing’ or ‘killer app’ in waiting.

Take for example Progress Software’s analysis of 60 UK-based “senior IT decision makers” in the finance, manufacturing, retail and supply chain industries — who were questioned on the subject of mobility readiness.

Progress says it “found” that only 18 per cent of UK firms have already begun work on a mobility project — and this compares to 45 per cent in France and 38 per cent in the Nordics.

Sacre bleu!

The survey, conducted by research firm Vanson Bourne (god love them), demonstrated that as a direct result (or “suggested” if you want to be more objective), that the predicted average level of investment from UK organisations in mobility was also the lowest in Europe.

Here’s the interesting bit…

Over the next two to three years, British businesses in this poll said that they planned to spend an average of just £113,444 on mobile applications, compared to average investment rates from France (£342,027), Germany (£194,551) and the Nordics (£184,078).

Despite the UK’s reluctance to invest in the age of mobility, the study showed that businesses could see tangible benefits from implementing a mobile strategy. Seven in every eight respondents in the UK (88%) said that failure to offer applications to staff or customers would mean they would be left behind. More than half (56 per cent) of all UK respondents also said that mobility would improve their organisation by enabling faster decision-making.

Progress technical marketing manager Gary Calcott has reasoned that with the 4G spectrum auction on the horizon in the UK, there has never been a more important time for British businesses to invest in mobility solutions.

“It’s important to remember that 4G networks will offer UK businesses much more than fast access to information. The ability to benefit from applications that can enable a rapid exchange of potentially large datasets seems destined to usher in a new age of mobility in this country,” he said.

Calcott’s words of advice centre on the need for mobility apps to facilitate “collaboration and business flexibility” as he puts it. His intelligence also logically leads him to suggest that his firm’s OpenEdge product is a suitable “complete application development platform” (as they say) to build dynamic business-enabled applications for secure deployment across any platform.

Any platform?

Yes indeed, any mobile device and any cloud.

Cheap jibes and marketing spin aside, Progress has been busy reinventing its total technology proposition in recent times and this (if anything) may speak of fresh opinions that the firm is clamouring to hear voiced.

If there is any substance in this survey’s validity (and one suspects that Progress doesn’t simply waste money on research) then our continental cousins’ forwardness in the mobility app marketplace could be some cause for concern.

See, it was a boring old technology survey, but there is food for thought to be had.