Increased Demand for Mobile Devices and Apps for Work Signals End of Traditional ‘PC Era’

Corporate app stores are top of the agenda for businesses, according to Rackspace survey

SAN ANTONIO & LONDON--()--The growth of BYOD and mobile device usage in general are driving a shift in the way employees expect and demand IT services to be delivered, according to a new report by Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX), the open cloud company. The new study has found that 66 percent of UK and US respondents claim their employees are demanding more business-level apps, which they can install on mobile devices to access corporate IT systems.

The Rackspace research forms the third part of a ‘Cloud Computing: State of Play’ report in collaboration with Manchester Business School. It indicates that over three quarters (82 percent) of businesses think that mobile software applications and services will soon become the standard means through which employees access IT systems for work purposes.

In line with this trend, 59 percent of respondents say they will invest more heavily in new business apps over the next year. The key focus areas for businesses developing corporate apps are document management (67 percent), expenses management (52 percent), customer relationship management (45 percent) and VoIP (30 percent).

Additionally, 28 percent of respondents have plans to develop their own dedicated corporate app store to more tightly distribute and manage business applications.

“This increased focus on enterprise apps and mobility makes it imperative that CIO’s transition workloads to the cloud so employees can access corporate data from any device, irrespective of geographical location,” said John Engates, Rackspace CTO Rackspace. “This is why Rackspace has invested in a mobile-ready stack which reduces configuration time for developers, allowing them to focus on designing applications while Rackspace manages the backend operations. This will help businesses to speed up the development cycle and progress their mobility and app strategy in line with employee demands.”

Enterprise mobility growth signals a move away from the PC era

The growing popularity of mobile devices and BYOD schemes is the driving force behind employee demand for business apps and this also signals that the PC era may be coming to an end. A recent IDC study by Jay Chou and Loren Loverdei found that PC shipments fell 14 percent over the January to March period in 2013, marking a total of two quarters of significant decline. IDC claims this is directly related to the focus on tablet computers and smartphones in both consumer and corporate purchasing, with these devices being favored over traditional computers. According to another IDC report, Frank Gensii states mobile technologies will account for nearly 57 percent of the IT industry’s overall growth in 2013. In addition, 33 percent of all new apps will target mobile environments, per David McNally and Joseph Pucciarelliiii of IDC via a recent webinar.

This marked shift in the business IT landscape creates added complexity for IT teams, charged with managing the people, policy and process issues involved. IT staff are finding that their role is evolving with more focus on providing governance and brokerage services to users.

Dr. Brian Nicholson at Manchester Business School said: “There is no doubt that cloud computing is enabling a more flexible workplace using a range of devices. What’s interesting to see is how staff are wanting to access their corporate IT services; they’re demanding the same consumer app experience in the workplace from their laptops, smartphones and tablets. With our reliance on the PC declining, the onus is on the businesses to deliver their IT services in a format that enables staff to access corporate cloud apps from any devise or location.”

Mobility and remote working help businesses reduce office spend

In addition to impacting IT operations, by enabling remote working mobility is having an effect on businesses in terms of office space and talent acquisition. Over three quarters (84 percent) of cloud-enabled UK and US businesses surveyed agreed that cloud computing and mobility enable employees to work remotely.

Significantly, almost three quarters of survey respondents (71 percent) stated that the move towards remote working reduced office spend by an average of $320,000 a year. Additionally, cloud and mobility enabled 55 percent of respondents to access a broader talent pool, employing staff based in different cities, counties or countries.

About the research

Quantitative research was conducted by Vanson Bourne of 1300 companies in the UK and US (split equally) during December 2012. Manchester Business School carried out qualitative interviews with companies that use the cloud by telephone during December 2012 and January 2013. You can download the report here.

About Rackspace Hosting

Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX) is the open cloud company, delivering open technologies and powering more than 205,000 customers worldwide. Rackspace provides its renowned Fanatical Support® across a broad portfolio of IT products, including Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. Rackspace has been recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company, is featured on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For and is included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Rackspace is headquartered in San Antonio with offices and data centers around the world. For more information, visit www.rackspace.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace Hosting could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements about historical results or third party data that may suggest trends for our business or industry; any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of Rackspace for future operations or growth; any statements of expectation or belief regarding future events, and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the items mentioned. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the possibility that expected growth or success may not materialize because of the lack of acceptance of cloud computing in the marketplace or specifically, Rackspace’s cloud computing services, Rackspace's failure to execute on its operational plans, rapid technological changes that adversely affect the demand for Rackspace services, and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, filed with the SEC on March 1, 2013. Except as required by law, Rackspace Hosting assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

i Authors of the IDC study - IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, April 10, 2013
Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker
Loren Loverde, Program Vice President, Worldwide PC Tracker

ii Author of the IDC Study IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform
Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC

iii Contributors to the IDC Webinar IDC Insights Predictions 2013: CIO Agenda
David McNally, IT Executive Advisor, IDC
Joseph Pucciarelli, Vice President & IT Executive Advisor, IDC

Contacts

Rackspace Hosting
Rachel Romoff, 210-312-3732
Rachel.romoff@rackspace.com

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Contacts

Rackspace Hosting
Rachel Romoff, 210-312-3732
Rachel.romoff@rackspace.com