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A recent IBM mobile strategy ROI study shows the importance of gaining board-level support. The study surveyed 1,000 C-suite and mobility executives across 19 global industries to better understand the measure and use of ROI in enterprise mobile initiatives. The top influence in achieving high ROI in mobile initiatives is C-level support. These results will help organizations assess and improve their mobile initiatives.

Mobile app ROI study highlights importance of C-level support

IBM commissioned the ROI study into mobile app success in large enterprises worldwide. It found that overall there was a 7% improvement in ROI, where ROI is measured as the P/L bottom-line change to the business as a result of launching the app, against the cost of the app. However, there was significant variance between the lowest and highest performing groups, with three clusters: high achievers, middle ground, and ad hoc. The ad hoc app builders were confined to small environments such as line-of-business and did not collaborate widely. The middle group included more collaborative teams that worked across the lines of business. The high achievers had four consistent patterns:

  • Had C-level support.

  • Collaborated across the business.

  • Had a mobile strategy with a consistent ratio of buy COTS to custom build at 67% to 33% respectively.

  • Used app performance analytics to monitor their apps.

Of these factors the strongest one that led to being a high achiever was having C-level support. This study will help businesses to assess the effectiveness of their mobile strategy and will give weight to the importance of engaging the company board in supporting mobile app investments. The IBM study is available at



Michael Azoff, Principal Analyst, Ovum Infrastructure Solutions Group

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