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Apps for Enterprise Could Have SMB Implications

TMCnews Featured Article

March 01, 2011

Apps for Enterprise Could Have SMB Implications

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

If one assumes a typical app can be sold for t $2.43 per app, the app market will emerge as a $38 billion market by 2015, argues Forrester (News - Alert) Research analyst John McCarthy. 

McCarthy further estimates that services related to enteprise app development and deployment will be a Helping enterprises  $17 billion services opportunity by 2015 as well. Firms will need help building mobile apps for employees and customers,  managing the devices and apps as well as supporting private label enterprise app stores.

The combined spend on apps and services will be $54.6 billion a year by 2015, as a result. 

To the extent that apps become a new way of delivering enterprise software, other developments would also seem possible. Many will immediately see the implications for how applications get sold. Much as consumer apps will be marketed using app stores, rather than retail locations, so enterprise apps might be sold using some cloud mechanism.

That should have implications for the way enterprise software gets sold as well, where the app store becomes the marketing platform, the sales channel and the fulfillment vehicle as well. Direct sales channels and channel partners should be displaced, to some extent, as a result. 

But equally important changes could happen in the area of smaller business software sales. Right now, many would say it remains a challenge to profitably sell and deliver business applications to smaller companies. If app stores and associated management and support requirements can be adapted as well, then it should be possible for a much-wider variety of sales channels to be used. 

Some simple apps perhaps could be downloaded, installed and then used without much additional bother beyond clicking the app on a device screen. In other cases some additional work would likely have to be done to import data from other existing business data bases. In principle, it should be possible for a wider range of sales entities to provide the sales and support functions for apps that require only a minimal amount of integration work, beyond the traditional base of IT software houses and their channel partners. 

Traditional value-added resellershave been encountering growing revenue pressure as the profit from selling, installing and maintaining networking hardware has fallen. The app revolution might bring the same pressure to bear on entities that sell enterprise software products. But all the steps taken to make enterprise apps work as products sold in app stores will also make those products more consumable by small businesses, and therefore also more suitable products for small business sales specialists.

Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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