There’s a Business App for That: The SAP-Apple Game Changer

Blog /Theres-a-Business-App-for-That-The-SAP-Apple-Game-Changer

The humble beginning of enterprise mobility is marked by the extension of email to mobile devices circa 1990s. Pagers, PDAs and BlackBerry dominated the business scene for a while, but then came the smartphone, and enterprise mobility took off in earnest.

The focus of digitalization starts and ends with the consumer, and the ‘consumerization’ of IT arguably began with the smartphone. Apple launched its first iPhone in 2007 and, in conjunction the App Store launched in 2008, has set the standard for distributing apps to mobile devices. On June 8, 2015, the Apple App Store surpassed 100 billion downloads.

Enterprise mobility basically denotes a system wherein employees can work from anywhere, on their devices, and store data on the cloud. Advantages include portability, increased efficiency and productivity, cost savings, improved security via cloud services, and new and/or streamlined business processes. (Not to mention B2C mobile commerce.)

If smartphones were the catalyst for mobility’s emergence in the enterprise, then today’s tablet explosion – and the iPad’s meteoric rise since its launch in 2010 – is providing enterprise mobility’s next great wave.

Many of the drivers behind the iPad’s rise in the enterprise are the same reasons why the iPad currently dominates the consumer market – sleek design, brilliant display, intuitive interface, stable OS, a growing catalogue of easy-to-use business productivity apps, and of course, the cool factor.

Enterprise mobility snapshot

Today, mobile-first has become a business mantra placing mobility at the heart of digital transformation. Increasingly, businesses are adopting BYOD policy to accommodate the mobile device preferences of their employees.

Here’s a selection of stats that illustrate just how big enterprise mobility is (and how far it still has to go):

Enterprise mobility is strong and growing

  • According to a forecast from IDC, the U.S. mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate over the next five years, increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020. By the end of the forecast period, IDC expects mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce.
  • According to a market report published in 2015 by Transparency Market Research the global enterprise mobility market was worth US$ 86.36 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $510.39 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 24.7% from 2015 to 2022.
  • According to a 451 Research report published by SAP, the number of employees using smartphones for work has increased steadily over the past the years, reaching over 50% in 2015 from 42% in 2012.
  • As reported by Sys-Con Media, "The 2016 Mobile Playbook: Why Enterprise Mobility Matters" published by EndUserExperience2Day finds that by 2017, 100% of the line of business (LOB) apps used in customer-facing roles and 75% of LOB apps used in internally-facing roles will be built for mobile-first consumption; and by the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least 5X faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them

BYOD is catching on

  • According to a recent report by Global Market Insights, the global BYOD market size was valued at $94.15 billion in 2014 and is anticipated to exceed $350 billion by 2022; the BYOD market size for smartphones was valued at over $50 billion in 2014, growing at a CAGR of over 17% from 2015 to 2022; Tablets are forecasted to experience significant growth and the segment is estimated to exceed USD 130 billion by 2022.
  • According to Forrester Research, more than half of North American and European companies are developing BYOD programs in response to workforce demand.

Employees prefer Apple

  • According to a newly published JAMF Software Employee Choice Survey, as reported in Patently Apple, 75% of employees want to work with a Mac (iMac or MacBook) and 79% choose iOS over Android at 18%.
  • According to a VMware study, as reported by BNN, two-thirds of corporate enterprises now allow employees to use Apple computers as well as traditional Microsoft Windows products.
  • According to a survey conducted by Citrix, the total number of enterprise mobile devices increased by 72% in 2014 over 2013. Out of the 72% increase in overall enterprise mobile devices, 64% were iOS devices.

The SAP/Apple enterprise connection

It is no secret that SAP and Apple have a long-standing, mutually beneficial relationship.

Apple is an SAP customer (Apple runs its supply chain for managing its global manufacturing and logistics operations on SAP software), and SAP has made it clear that the iPad is its tablet of choice for its employees, having issued 14,000 iPads to its workforce in 2011 (making it the second largest enterprise user of iPads in the world according to BusinessInsider), and issuing approximately 1,000 iPads per months. (SAP had approximately 20,000 iPads in circulation among its workers by the end of 2012.)

Moreover, SAP execs never miss an opportunity to flaunt their iPads for demos of the latest SAP BI/analytics/performance management apps powered by SAP HANA.

But on May 5th, just prior to SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP and Apple took their relationship to a whole new level by announcing a partnership to make it easier for developers to create Apple apps that can access the important information that sits in many SAP systems, while Apple helps developers building software on SAP systems create more user-friendly apps like the ones many workers are accustomed to using in their non-work lives.

Combining powerful native apps for iPhone and iPad with the cutting-edge capabilities of the SAP HANA platform will revolutionize the mobile work experience for enterprise customers of all sizes.

As mobile apps proliferate, mobile technology matures and the business demand for greater efficiency and productivity grows, it becomes increasingly clear that we’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to enterprise mobility’s potential.

Tablets in general and the iPad in particular, interfacing and interacting with core SAP apps, are sure to yield significant additional business value.

The new SAP/Apple partnership covers four basic points:

  • A new SAP HANA Cloud Platform SDK for iOS
  • A new SAP Fiori for iOS
  • Native iOS SAP apps for critical business operations
  • An SAP Academy for iOS

There currently are 62 iPhone apps and 65 iPad apps developed by SAP available for download in iTunes -- along with hundreds more iPhone and iPad business apps developer by SAP partners.

These numbers will grow dramatically in the months and years ahead.

As reported in the WSJ, SAP plans to roll out about 100 enterprise applications using the new software development kit it’s building with Apple, and SAP customers can expect SAP partners to develop many additional business apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Contact NTT DATA today to learn more about how the SAP + Apple connection can advance your enterprise mobility initiatives.

Post Date: 6/23/2016

default blog image Gagan Ghai

About the author

Gagan has 20 years of SAP consulting experience with extensive expertise implementing and configuring complex SAP solutions within a broad industry base. Gagan possesses excellent sales, logistics and supply chain business process knowledge. As a solution architect, product manager and industry solutions lead, Gagan approaches solutions from multiple perspectives to deliver targeted business value to each client. As part of NTT DATA Services’ HANA Center of Excellence, Gagan’s focus is SAP S/4HANA deployment for greenfield implementations and existing SAP customers.