A new study from 451 Research and Kony Inc. shows that more than half of the 480 respondents plan to deploy 10 or more enterprise mobile apps in the next two years.

That’s good news. The rest of what the study [PDF] found isn’t.

There are two main problems highlighted by this research. For one, the majority of developers and IT management within the enterprise are currently grappling with who has ownership of mobile projects.

More worryingly, many IT departments are ill-equipped to meet the rising demand for enterprise mobile apps, citing budgetary constraints, a skills gap, technology fragmentation, and more as reasons they may struggle to keep up with app development. In general, capabilities are lagging far behind expectations.

That’s the report. But what does it mean in practice?

For us, this study signifies a need for today’s companies to do three things:

  • Build out capabilities in-house, and use an app development platform to make development cheaper and easier. While there are outsourced app developers, companies concerned about cost and agility would do well to build limited capabilities for app development in-house, and augment them with tools like the ones we mentioned in our post last week. Today’s app development platforms streamline the development process and make it much easier and cheaper to manage.
  • Develop a crystal clear strategy around enterprise mobility. Companies also need to have a strategy that defines who’s in charge of mobile app development, who’s in charge of management and testing, what the company’s EMM policy is, and what the company hopes to gain from enterprise mobility. This strategy should set a framework for measuring success, and also give clear direction on how to attain it.
  • Have systems in place for enterprise mobility management. Finally, companies must remember that development is only half the battle (or less). No matter how you develop your apps, you also need to be able to manage them from development to deployment and beyond. Internal structure does help with this, but a tool like App47 can greatly streamline the process and give companies a single portal for management.

While you certainly could take this research as a sign that we’re headed for the app-ocalypse, we see it as an exciting time for businesses to build out their capabilities and really take advantage of everything that enterprise mobility has to offer.

Moving your business towards enterprise mobility maturity and away from a fear of app development can be made much easier through today’s excellent tools. That’s true from development through management.

Taking these three steps to heart isn’t all today’s companies need to do, but it is a great foundation that can help enterprises buck the trend and truly thrive in enterprise mobility.