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Can Small Businesses Survive the Big Enterprise Mobility Revolution?

The sweeping digitization that’s spreading across the world is forcing businesses to embark on digital transformation initiatives in every aspect of their operations. An increasing number of businesses are warming up to the idea of launching their own apps. Some are using apps to deliver a superior experience to their customers, while others are using mobile apps to enhance the productivity of their workforce. Large enterprises are even launching multiple apps for their internal teams, which is making them more competitive in their industries.

For many reasons, small businesses have not been able to catch up with this enterprise mobility revolution, although they have embraced the BYOD culture.

Does this mean that small businesses will lose the competition to their larger counterparts over time?

To answer this question, we must first understand the challenges.

  • Cost

Faced with less capital and smaller teams, small businesses are unable to create and deploy apps for their customers and their employees. Successive surveys by Clutch in the years 2016 and 2017 shed light on a startling fact. Roughly 42% of small businesses in 2016 had mobile apps, while another 25% planned to have one by 2017. Come 2017, the percentage of small businesses that had mobile apps was still 42%, and a good 23% still wanted to have a mobile app by 2018. Clearly, the will to create apps is there.

  • Features

With close to 30,000 websites hacked every day, the importance of security cannot be overstated. Therefore, security is baked into enterprise apps. Any business that is serious about its data, networks, and application security focuses heavily on securing its apps. Not all small businesses have the skills, expertise, or the money to create such highly secure apps, maintain them, and update them regularly.

This is also true for user experience, app integrations, and other critical features that enhance the productivity of the workforce. As large enterprises can commission the launch and maintenance of such apps, an argument can be made that they are getting more productive by the day.

Windfall for Big Enterprises

For nearly three decades, the internet and digital technologies have been powerful democratizing forces. They have allowed small businesses from around the world to challenge the monopoly of the largest organizations. However, the rise of big enterprise mobility may be bringing a profound shift to this status quo. As they deploy better consumer and enterprise apps, large businesses can collect a wealth of data, analyze it, and maintain their competitive advantage. Even having enterprise apps and enterprise app stores gives them unprecedented expertise in creating delightful mobile experiences.

All this expertise and experience translates into outstanding customer-oriented products and services, which the small businesses will find hard to match.

A New Equilibrium

Despite the overwhelming challenges facing small businesses, it would be premature to say that they are hopelessly outgunned in the war of competition. Where there is demand, the supply will be created. Sure, large businesses are creating highly personalized products, services, and experiences for their users, but small businesses have a good number of alternatives too. For instance, although they do not have the capital to create and deploy in-house AIs, they can “rent” AIs from third parties to deliver superior features and experience to users. Likewise, they can bring onboard enterprise mobility management services to give wings to their enterprise mobility strategy within budget and at scale.

The big enterprise mobility revolution has created a state of flux in the world of business. It will reshape businesses of all sizes and force them to come up with creative solutions, ultimately making them more competitive.