Enterprise Mobile Apps Will Outrival Available Development and Delivery Capacity: Gartner

By CIOReview | Thursday, July 2, 2015

FREMONT,CA: Gartner, an information technology research and advisory firm providing technology related insight has revealed that by the end of 2017, the demand for mobile app development services will be a five times faster than the delivery capacity by IT organizations. According to Gartner, mobile phone sales will reach 2.1 billion units by 2019 inciting the demand for consumer apps that meet the high performance and usability in the enterprise.

With technologies such as wearable devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming mainstream, employees in digital workplaces use an average of three different devices in their daily routine, which will increase to five or six devices thus placing an increasing amount of pressure on IT to develop a larger variety of mobile apps in shorter time frames, predicts the report.

Gartner’s Principal Research Analyst Adrian Leow notes that it will be challenging for enterprises to rapidly develop, deploy and maintain mobile apps to meet increasing demand, as it is exceedingly difficult and costly to hire developers with good mobile skills.

“We're seeing demand for mobile apps outstrip available development capacity, making quick creation of apps even more challenging. Mobile strategists must use tools and techniques that match the increase in mobile app needs within their organizations.” adds Adrian.

According to Gartner, prioritizing app development, adopting a bimodal IT approach, using rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools and adopting a mixed-sourcing approach can be considered as four best practices by organizations to successfully overcome app development challenges.

According to Gartner analysts, mobile development teams need to formulate a process of mobile app prioritization that involves understanding the needs of business stakeholders. This will be a key factor in defining common criteria for evaluating mobile app projects. They say organizations need to replace the traditional IT development approach with a bimodal strategic approach that supports innovation and agility to deliver apps more efficiently and quickly.

Analysts observe that integration is often the largest part of the effort of delivering an enterprise mobile app and many app development teams underestimate the time and resources required for integration during the planning stage of the traditional waterfall methodology. Following Bimodal approaches consist of two models, Mode 1 drives the creation of stable infrastructure and APIs to allow apps to retrieve and deliver data to back-end systems without impacting those enterprise applications, while Mode 2 uses high-productivity, agile approaches to quickly deliver front-end app features required by the business.

Analysts mention that using development tools that can produce apps more rapidly is crucial for enterprises to help bridge the gap between mobile app demand and supply as maintaining a pure in-house development environment is difficult to achieve given that mobile is a relatively new competency to many developers. It entails many complexities and specific activities, such as UX design and psychology or cellular coverage testing, which may be more efficiently handled by an outsourced third party experienced in mobile app development. Gartner believes organizations will improve their in-house mobile development skills over time, but currently only 26 percent of organizations are adopting an in-house-only development approach, while 55 percent are successfully delivering apps using mixed sourcing.