September 12, 2014
Enola Labs

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While consumer apps still get the majority press coverage, it’s no surprise that the enterprise app market is growing, and it’s definitely making some money. According to VisionMobile, an app economy research company, the business market for apps is expected to reach $58 billion by 2016, and the entire app economy will double in size by that time. With the expanded reach of businesses to enterprise app stores and internal productivity applications, developers are looking to make more money in the enterprise app market than in consumer-facing applications.

Using VisionMobile’s compiled data, if you multiply the average revenue of a developer by the average size of a development team it would take to create an enterprise app, enterprise development teams would make 16 times what a consumer app team makes.

Appcelerator recently reported that there’s been a significant shift in developers from consumer to enterprise-facing apps. Enterprise developers have risen from 29.3 percent of Appcelerator’s survey respondents to 42.7% in 2013. At the same time, consumer-based developers dropped from 70.7 percent of respondents to only 57.2 percent.

As the market for enterprise apps grows, so too do the opportunities for developers.

Even within the same company, enterprise apps offer more opportunities for more apps.

According to an article in Entrepreneur, many enterprises have around 10-15 critical applications, and each of those apps will spawn six to eight new specific apps. If an enterprise is also developing B2B and consumer-facing apps, that’s quite a lot of apps for just one business, which creates immense opportunity for developers. While the enterprise app community isn’t taking off nearly as quickly as the consumer market, it is increasing and will only continue to rise. According to a 2014 survey by Gartner, a majority of CIOs rank mobile as part of their top three spending priorities for this year.

Enterprise app development offers room to become a permanent part of the solution.

Enterprises are not just looking for app shops- they need someone to develop and maintain. Developers for these enterprise functions have to think beyond just the app into testing, monitoring, optimizing and performance measures. In addition, many enterprises making the shift into mobile do not have existing IT solutions to handle updates and management necessary for a successful mobile application.

For developers that understand the life cycle of an app, getting involved in enterprise development could mean longer contracts, and greater opportunities for involvement. Businesses need these developers in order to produce functional, user-friendly apps that can withstand updates and changes throughout their lifespan.

Enterprise apps are more likely to be successful.

It’s pretty common knowledge that creating a consumer app is often a gamble - there’s absolutely no guarantee it will be successful. When developing enterprise applications, there is typically already a substantial amount of money behind the business and the app, making it more likely that developers will see a payout generally greater than that of a consumer application. While there is also no guarantee an enterprise application will be successful, there is more planning and usually a larger wallet behind the applications, creating a more stable safety net for developers.

Enterprise apps are where the money is.

What it boils down to, is that the enterprise applications have money for developers that consumer applications do not. According to VisionMobile’s findings, 16 percent of apps targeting businesses make over $500,000 per month, while only 6 percent of consumer-focused apps generate that kind of revenue. In addition, only 32 percent of business applications fall “below the poverty line” (less than $500), while almost half (48 percent) of consumer apps rank in this area. Enterprise apps have the ability to create a sustainable business for developers, with more sound business models and a more loyal client base.

What This Means For Your Business

If you company is looking to take the mobile plunge, the market is ready for it. If you are a developer, your radar should be focused in the enterprise app market if you’re looking to maximize profits. Specialized industry apps, productivity apps, mobile SaaS, and mobile application management apps are all top opportunities in the growing enterprise mobility industry.

Have an idea for an app that could revolutionize your business? The engineers and designers at Enola Labs would love to work with you.