In their 2014 survey titled the “State of Mobile Apps,” MGI Research found that 71% of mobile projects deliver only average or poor ROI.

Surely, then, the idea of enterprise mobility ROI must just be snake oil—right?

Not so fast.

We don’t doubt the accuracy of MGI’s survey results. In fact, we’d be more surprised if they weren’t true. But the reason a majority of mobile projects seem to be delivering “average or poor” ROI is not because of an inherent flaw in enterprise mobility. Instead, it comes down to two things: how enterprises are developing and using apps, and how they’re measuring them.

A recent article for EnterpriseAppsTech by Mary Brittain-White offers a good look at the first factor at play in an apparent lack of ROI. Enterprises, Brittain-White says, have one big problem related to this issue: what they’re choosing to mobilize.

Because it’s easiest to develop apps that solve simple problems—say, filling out vacation requests and mimicking other desktop functions—many companies develop those apps first. The apps that offer the greatest ROI often require the shifting of business processes and collaboration between many different business units. It’s not that the apps themselves are difficult to develop; rather, implementing them and getting backing from executive management takes more time.

In essence, many companies choose to mobilize non-core activities first because they require the least brain damage. The trouble is, those non-core activities also have an ROI that’s tougher to track.

Even then, however, which processes are being mobilized isn’t the only thing at play, here. Many companies simply don’t have the right tools in place to effectively measure ROI. Even if a business unit were to mobilize a mission-critical, high ROI function, knowing the exact ROI will be difficult if not impossible without the right tools in place.

Without knowing who’s using the app, how they’re using it, which functions they’re using, how productivity has increased, how much the app crashes, how many users there are, and more, there’s simply no way of knowing ROI. Only when you have a tool that streamlines analytics tracking can you truly start to measure the ROI of your app or apps.

Seeing substantial ROI requires both an acute awareness of which business functions most need to be mobilized, and the right tools to help measure rather than guess. (We’d even bet that those non-core function apps could show more ROI with the right tools.)

ROI from enterprise mobility is not snake oil. It’s real and it’s attainable. But seeing true enterprise mobility ROI requires effort from the enterprise—both in implementation and in measurement.