The market demand for mobile app development services is likely to outrun internal IT organisation’s capacity to deliver them by the end of 2017. This is attributed to the increase in mobile phone sales which is expected to reach 2.1 billion units by 2019. This will definitely fuel the demand for apps in the enterprise that will meet the high performance and usability of consumer apps.
Gartner principal research analyst Adrian Leow said, "Organisations increasingly find it difficult to be proactive against competitive pressures, which is resulting in their mobile apps becoming tactical, rather than strategic. 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 organisations."
According to Gartner, today's employees use an average of three different devices in their digital workplace. With rise in technologies such as wearable devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) this is assumed to will increase to five or six devices. This places an increased amount of pressure on IT to develop a larger variety of mobile apps in short time frames.
However surveys conducted in 2014 by Gartner showed that majority of organisations have developed and released fewer than 10 apps. Also a considerable number have not released any mobile apps at all.
"This is an indication of the nascent state of mobility in most organisations, with many organisations questioning how to start app development in terms of tools, vendors, architectures or platforms, let alone being able to scale up to releasing 100 apps or more," said Leow.
These four practices according to Gartner can help successfully overcome app development challenges:
Prioritise app development: Due to the growing number of mobile apps in queues, apps are built on a first-come, first-served basis. This line of business makes the most noise while having its needs met first. This leads to degradation in the delivered app’s quality and an inefficient use of IT resources.
According to Gartner analysts, understanding the needs of business stakeholders is something that the mobile development teams know. This will be a key factor in defining common criteria for evaluating mobile app projects.
Adopt a bimodal IT approach: The largest part of the effort of delivering an enterprise mobile app is undoubtedly the process of integration. The time and resources required for integration is underestimated during the planning stage with many app development teams relying on the traditional waterfall methodology. The use of a bimodal strategic approach instead of the traditional IT development approach can give the necessary innovation and agility to deliver apps more efficiently and quickly.
Bimodal approaches consist of two models: Mode 1 focuses on creating a stable infrastructure and APIs that allows apps to retrieve and deliver data into back-end systems without having any impact on the enterprise applications. Mode 2 utilizes high productivity, agile approaches for quickly delivering front-end app features required by businesses.
Use rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools: In order to help reduce the gap between mobile app demands and supply the use of proper development tools that can produce apps more rapidly. Innovations in this market have replaced traditional coding approaches like more effective RMAD tools. Even those with no programming skills or coding ability are quickly able to assemble mobile app prototypes and continuously iterate on these designs.
Adopt a mixed-sourcing approach: As mobiles are a relatively new competency to many developers it is difficult to maintain a pure in-house development environment. Organisations would want to have full control over their mobile app development initiatives.
Currently only 26 percent of organisations are adopting an in-house-only development approach. Around while 55 percent are successfully delivering apps using mixed sourcing. An improvement in their in-house mobile development skills is right around the corner.