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Meeting the Increasing Enterprise Demand for Mobile App Development

Alpha Software

Everyone needs mobile business applications. The demand for apps in the enterprise is at an all-time high, as businesses recognize that it’s a mobile-first world, and turn to apps for generating revenue, increasing customer loyalty, and improving efficiency. But the latest research shows that companies can’t find nearly enough enterprise mobile app development talent, and are facing a growing mobile application backlog.

A recent survey of enterprise development managers in Application Development Trends magazine found that 85% of people said they had a backlog of between one and 20 mobile apps. And 50% reported backlogs of between 10 and 20 apps. There's clearly a demand for more and more B2B and B2E apps within organizations and companies looking for smart ways to tackle this issue because it is now becoming a pressing problem in terms of the organization maintaining its competitiveness.

EnterpriseAppsToday recently shared data from a Q3 Gartner report that predicts the spending on – and demand for - enterprise applications will only grow as CEOs see the intersection of cloud, social media, Big Data (including analytics) and mobile as a way to creatively disrupt business models and generate higher income. Gartner forecasts enterprise application software spending to double from $300B in 2013 to over $575B by the end of 2018.

App Developers Shun the Enterprise

But while organizations adjust budgets to spend more on enterprise application development software, they are realizing another problem: there's a severe skills shortage that threatens their ability to get these mobile applications built. The Application Development Trends survey mentioned above also uncovered that 63% of respondents have between 11% and 25% open vacancies for developers (as a percentage of the size of their current development team) with 29% reporting between 26% and 50% open vacancies. Only 6% say they have no vacancies because of a shortage of developers with the right skill set.

This survey finding isn't an anomaly. VisionMobile’s recent survey reported in eWeek said that even though enterprises are pouring significant amounts of money into mobile development, only 15% of independent mobile developers build apps for enterprises. The vast majority, 85%, instead target consumer apps. And back in July, an article in Forbes warned “The biggest problem for mobile today is a shortage of talented developers.”

Finding the Right Approach to Mobile App Development

So what are companies to do? They have three options: native coding, no-code and low-code. Native coding – while good for some projects – cannot scale to build the hundreds if not thousands of apps organizations need to mobilize all their business projects, especially if the developers with this experience are impossible to find and hire. And while no-code solutions promise to speed development, they repeatedly fall short when developers or domain experts build 80-90% of the application, and only then realize they can't add the custom code that is inevitably needed to deal with real world requirements and integration needs.

Low-code platforms offer the best of both worlds. Low-code platforms enable developers and line-of-business domain experts that are already employed within the organization to quickly build the hundreds of B2B and B2E mobile apps needed. Low-code platforms such as Alpha Anywhere 3.0 can build the vast majority of complex apps with wizards/ genies that have a rich array or options, yet allow developers to customize the code at any time to address the unique requirements of their business applications or processes. In fact, Forrester recently issued a report discussing why low-code platforms can save IT from getting swamped.

As companies struggle with the increasing demand for B2B and B2E applications, they must carefully assess the skills that currently exist within organization and the best tool(s) for the job, or they risk losing their competitive advantage in world that will have 4 Billion people using smart mobile devices by 2020.

More reading:

Enterprise mobile app development demand growing. How to find developers.
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About Author

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Chris Conroy

Chris Conroy runs digital programs for Alpha Software.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.