Mobile Cloud Demand Skyrocketing: Report

Mobile cloud deployments

Model Metrics on Tuesday said that its customer demand for mobile cloud has grown three-fold this year as large enterprises seek cloud application deployments to tablets and smartphones and leverage a mix of cloud and mobile technologies.

According to the Chicago-based solution provider, 80 percent of its customers now include smartphone and tablet adoption plans within their cloud deployment initiatives. All told, Model Metrics' mobile projects have tripled this year.

"We continue to see this ever-increasing interest in having mobile be part of projects," said Dave Dahlberg, Model Metrics CMO in an interview Tuesday.

To accommodate the massive increase in mobile cloud demand, Model Metrics has added a host of new service and support plays around development technologies and mobile device platforms, and recently launched a custom cloud-based mobile application for field sales workers called Digital Sales Aid. The company has also launched a cloud design agency within Model Metrics called Model FX that has a heavy tilt toward mobility.

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"The innovation of the cloud extends beyond company walls," Model Metrics CEO Adam Caplan said in a statement. "The possibilities go beyond exposing business applications on mobile devices; the real innovation comes from rethinking how business success can be achieved by combining the power of the cloud and mobility."

Model Metric's new stats jibe with a similar report from earlier this year in which Model Metrics said that mobility is a top priority for its cloud computing customers, followed by engaging communities with social technologies and the need to transition business processes to the cloud.

Model Metrics' findings come as mobile cloud initiatives continue to take hold in the enterprise.

According to Juniper Research, the mobile cloud market is expected to grow 88 percent annually in the five-year period from 2009 to 2014, pushing the total cloud-based mobile application market from more than $400 million in 2009 to $9.5 billion by 2014. Another piece of research from ABI Research estimated there will be just shy of 1 billion mobile cloud users come 2014, noting that "by 2014, mobile cloud computing will become the leading mobile application development and deployment strategy, displacing today's native and downloadable mobile applications." ABI also predicted that more than 240 million businesses will use cloud services through mobile devices by 2015.

"With the growth of cloud computing and proliferation of mobile devices, businesses are discovering not only productivity gains from conducting transactions on the road, but also competitive advantage by mobilizing the cloud on the latest smartphones and tablets including the iPad and Android-based devices," Model Metrics said in its report.

According to Mihir Panchal, mobile practice lead at Model Metrics, the true mobile tipping point came with the launch of the Apple iPad 2 earlier this year. The original Apple iPad got users and organizations thinking more mobile and the launch of its successor made mobile initiatives a reality, he said.

"People want to use [the iPad], they want to replace their computer," Dahlberg said, adding that while tablets haven't become a true replacement for laptops, they've proven themselves as a true alternative device option and they're starting to find a niche in corporate environments.

And the mobile cloud is infiltrating all types of businesses, Dahlberg said, hitting everything from manufacturing and financial services to life sciences and sales organizations.

"I would say there aren't any industries that aren't thinking about it," he said.