Data from Forrester’s Forrsights Budgets and Priorities Tracker Survey, Q4 2012 highlights that a total of 53% of IT organizations interviewed in India plan to increase their software spending on mobile applications in 2013. Among all the countries, India ranks second only after Australia/New Zealand and considerably higher than the regional average:

It’s encouraging to see Indian CIOs start to give a high priority to mobility software spending, but our research shows that the majority of mobile application initiatives are skewed toward employees and BYOT (and, to some extent, partners) with little focus on mobile customer engagement. Forrester research findings indicate that mobile applications will be a more critical channel to reach consumer markets in Asia Pacific in the future compared to more developed western markets.  This is especially true in India, where the population is younger (according to the UN, 27% of the population is between the ages of 15 and 29), the mobile Internet user base is growing at the rate of more than 30% annually, and sub-$100 smartphones are further fueling mobile Internet growth.

What It Means For CIOs:

  • Put customers at the center of your mobile strategy. If you’re not establishing the architectures and capabilities to reach these mobile customers now, you won’t be positioned for success three years from now. CIOs have an opportunity to lead their organizations by leveraging technology in strengthening customer relationships.
  • Build governance models to complement new mobile application investments. It’s critical for CIOs to develop a governance model around their mobile application strategy to address key issues such as integrating mobile applications with existing IT infrastructure, ensuring customer data security and privacy, and others.
  • Adopt a collaborative approach with the CMO and business heads. In every aspect of the business — from budget to strategy to execution — CIOs and CMOs need to collaborate better. By co-creating faster, more effective, and smarter customer focused mobile solutions with CMOs, CIOs can put examples in front of business heads to gain their trust and confidence.
  • Co-create with customer-focused mobile startups. Mobile startups can provide lot of flexibility in terms of customization, integration with existing infrastructure, and client service while lowering costs.

Dane Anderson and I will be conducting CIO mobility roundtables in India in April 2013 (April 17 in New Delhi and April 19 in Mumbai). The theme of the roundtable is “The Mobile Customer Engagement Imperative For Indian CIOs.” As part of the roundtable discussion, we will address key questions such as:

  • Why it is critical for CIOs to evolve a customer-oriented mobile strategy for their organization?
  • How can CIOs leverage systems of engagement from customer perspective?
  • Why CIOs should foster collaboration with CMOs and other business heads to make customer-focused mobile solutions successful?
  • How should CIOs build a governance model around their mobile application strategy?
  • How important is it for CIOs to make their IT teams business-ready?
  • Why should CIOs co-innovate with mobile startups?

These events are by invitation only. If you are interested in attending any of the two roundtables, please drop a note to expressing your interest. We’ll get back to you with further details.