Worldwide mobility revenues are forecast to reach $1.57 trillion in 2017 and purchases of mobile hardware, software and services will reach $1.67 trillion in 2020, based on International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Mobility Spending Guide.

Mobile expenditure drivers

This year’s largest chunk of mobility expenditure goes to connectivity services, followed by consumer and enterprise purchases of phones, tablets and portable PCs, both of which will deliver 95% revenue this year. The remaining revenues will come from enterprise purchases of mobility services, applications, application development platforms and security. IDC has also highlighted that applications and application development platforms will represent the fastest growing areas of mobility.

Phil Hochmuth, programme director of Enterprise Mobility at IDC, said, “mobility has moved from niche and novelty usage in business to a core end-user computing technology for enterprise workforces, while devices and apps transform how workers do their jobs, mobile app platforms and services create entire new business models and customer interaction opportunities. To take advantage of all this, enterprise IT buyers must know the relationships, dependencies and requirements of all aspects of mobile computing, from hardware and devices, to management and development platforms, security and services."

Top industries investments

For 2017 and throughout the forecast period, IDC has predicted that banking, discrete manufacturing and professional services will be the top three commercial industries to make the largest mobility investments of expected $166.3 billion. They will make significant investments in application development platforms, applications and the enterprise mobility services that support the planning, development and final consumption of services through a mobile device.

IDC top industry spenders (cr) Figure 1: The telecommunications industry will deliver the fastest spending growth over the 2015-2020 forecast period (4.2% CAGR), followed by process manufacturing, healthcare providers, and construction. Consumer mobility spending is forecast to deliver a CAGR of 2.5%.  

Telecommunications industry will deliver the fastest spending growth of 4.2% CAGR, followed by process manufacturing, healthcare providers and construction, according to the report. Consumer mobility spending is forecast to deliver a CAGR of 2.5%.

Jessica Goepfert, programme director of IDC’s Customer Insights and Analysis, said: "Banking customers are increasingly reliant on their mobile devices for managing all aspects of their lives and are demanding innovative and secure mobile experiences from their financial institutions. Discrete manufacturers are under constant pressure to improve margins–and mobile technologies can help make workers more productive and effective. Lastly, mobile solutions among professional services firms are viewed as a critical means to help manage the industries inherent volatility by bringing a disparate and on-the-go workforce access to information and applications while they are at the office, at a client's site, at a hotel, at home or anywhere in between."

Business size, geography matter

In the field of business, IDC has predicted that small firms with one to nine employees will represent the fastest spending growth of 2.6% and will deliver the largest share of global mobility revenues from mobile devices, connectivity services and mobility services. Meanwhile, large and very large businesses with more than 500 employees will invest more than $2.7 billion this year in mobile application development platforms and mobile applications as they seek to enhance worker productivity and provide new capabilities to customers and partners.

By regions, IDC study stated that Asia/Pacific, excluding Japan, will be the largest overall mobility market in terms of revenues, which are forecast to exceed $500 billion in 2018. The United States will represent the second largest region, followed by Western Europe. Latin American is forecast to deliver the fastest revenue growth (4.1% CAGR) while Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will also see revenue growth greater than the overall market.