At the risk of sounding assumptious, basically everyone now realizes the prevalence of mobile apps. The majority of those people also probably understand the importance of mobile apps in the business world, but not everyone is a convert just yet. And while most business professionals use smartphones and the apps that come with them, not all of those professionals grasp the potential for enterprise mobility to propel their companies forward.

New research suggests that might be changing.

451 research conducted a global survey of 484 IT management, IT develop and line of business professionals across a range of industries and regions. The resulting “Enterprise Mobile Application Report” details a number of trends in the burgeoning enterprise mobility landscape.

First, the report detailed the majority of companies expect their internal IT departments to take on an outsized role in leading mobile development efforts into the future. However, it also shows those same IT departments are ill-equipped to meet the demand for mobile app development and deployment due to budget or resource limits, a gap in prerequisite skills, outdated or legacy infrastructure, and/or general technology fragmentation. So while companies expect their IT departments to do more, those departments don’t have the necessary resources to deliver on their own. As such, a healthy majority (65%) of companies intend to bring in external partners to aid in or outright lead mobile development efforts over the next two years.

In addition to the locus of development, the report also shows huge anticipated growth, both in gross apps produced as well as the variety of apps therein. 51 percent of companies surveyed plan on having 10 or more mobile customer apps deployed and supported within the next two years. When it comes to employee apps, that number jumps to 57 percent of companies. So, more than 50 percent of companies expect to have at least 10 customer apps deployed and/or 10+ employee apps deployed. Now, there may or may not be overlap in those respective populations, but the base conclusion is that enterprises are planning on building new apps in the near future. A lot of them.

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The study goes on to highlight six app types that at least 40 percent of the companies plan on developing and deploying within the next two years:

· CRM – Sales (54%)
· CRM – Marketing (49%)
· Customer facing website or application (47%)
· General productivity app (44%)
· CRM – Service/support (43%)
· Field service applications (41%)

So, in addition to building and/or deploying a lot of apps in the next two years, there is a healthy variety of the app types these companies will be focusing on, regardless of the industry in which their enterprise resides.

Overall, the enterprise market is ripe for mobile expansion. From sales and marketing to field services and productivity, the leading IT professionals in the world foresee a massive uptick in enterprise mobile apps in the next couple of years.