Winning in Mobile: The Five Essential Components of a Mobile Ecosystem

Author: Jim Lundy                           Date: August 15, 2011

Topic:  Mobile                                   Research Note Number: 2011-7

Issues: What are the trends impacting mobile computing?

What are the technologies and architectures that make up a mobile ecosystem?

Planning Assumption: By 2013 most enterprises will use private app stores to manage their non-consumer apps.

Summary: Tablets and smartphones may have captured the headlines, but there is far more to these devices than fancy new features and dazzling displays. Mobile software, particularly task-focused “microapps,” will have a deep impact on enterprise mobile strategies. Here, Aragon outlines five essential components that make up a mobile ecosystem.        


Tablets, most notably the Apple iPad, have altered the direction of personal computing. Mobility is no longer about devices and their features, form factors and carrier rate plans or service levels. Today, mobility touches everything; from the devices and their software to the way enterprise applications are developed and distributed. The devices themselves are typically the lead marketing feature to attract consumers, and they often capture the headlines. Enterprises often get caught up in this same momentum and hype. But although a compelling and cost-effective mobile device is important, it is far from a guarantee of success. Similarly, a recognized and popular operating system is only one of the essential ingredients, and much more is required.

Five essential components will collectively determine the success or failure of the mobile ecosystem. They are:

  • The operating system
  • The application portfolio
  • The app store, content and content store
  • The platform.

Winning vendors will be able to innovate and lead in each of these areas.

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This note is part of Aragon’s archived research.