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Gartner: The Future for Developing Mobile Apps is Codeless

One of the enterprise's biggest problems with building mobile apps is the time and expense required to write them -- a recent survey by Kinvey found that more than half of CIOs say it takes between seven months and a year to write a single mobile app, and the cost of development per app averages $270,000. In addition, enterprise IT staff typically lack the skills to develop mobile apps, which often leads to costly outsourcing. With app developers in short supply, mobilizing your workforce can be excessively costly and time consuming with no guarantee your mobile business app will be well received.

Gartner mobile apps predictionsBut that's going to change, according to a just-published prediction from Gartner. The analyst firm says that by 2018, more than half of all business-to-employee (B2E) apps will be written by enterprise business analysts using codeless development tools. This is great news for businesses without the budgets to hire application developers to build their apps. IMPORTANT  CAVEAT -- SEE LAST PARAGRAPH.

That's particularly important because Gartner says that by that year, people will use their tablet or smartphone first instead of traditional computers when they go online. That means enterprises face escalating demands for writing mobile apps at a time when developer resources are scarce.

Why Codeless Mobile App Tools Are Important

Codeless tools can dramatically speed the development of mobile apps while reducing costs. Gartner concludes: "Conventional mobile application development platforms (MADPs) are rapidly introducing graphical tools for the design of screens, workflow and data sources to reduce the scope of possible projects. The use of codeless tools for the rapid development of straightforward projects by IT and enterprise business analysts will become an alternative to outsourcing, limiting the use of development partners to more-advanced projects."

This is even more important than you might think. Gartner says that the majority of B2E mobile apps won't be written by developers, but instead by business analysts. That implies that codeless tools may spur a shift away from developer-heavy staffs, and towards a world in which domain experts and business analysts write their own mobile apps, because graphical, codeless tools give them to power to do it without having to learn programming.

Gartner notes that IT departments that want to grow their companies' digital businesses should "provide clean APIs for internal applications and also support codeless tools [to] create a framework that enables and accelerates the growth of reliable digital business."

If they don't, Gartner warns, they'll only hasten their own demise, because "Those that resist will be bypassed and promote shadow IT."ase

Codeless Mobile Apps? We Partly Disagree

We think that Gartner is mostly right, BUT we think a more accurate statement might be "largely codeless" or "low code."

The reason being is that real-world IT challenges will very often require something very custom that frequently relates to the way the company does business and could in fact be part of the secret sauce of the  business!

In these cases, being able to drop down and inject code on either the client or the server side is critical because, after all - getting 95% of the job done is not what the business needs. Getting 100% of the job done is essential!

So in summary, codeless gives you  the productivity demanded in today's fast moving and fluid world and also allows you to empower a broader base of developers -often departmental people  with incredibly valuable operational and  domain expertise - but lets not forget that the ability to code when needed is a critical capability of any robust enterprise-level development platform. And this is fact the approach that Alpha Anywhere takes and why it is fast getting the reputation of being the complete platform that you can rely on to deliver real-world results.

For key differentiators of Alpha Anywhere which include a video on Alpha Anywhere's low code/ fast learning  approach please click here.

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About Author

Dion McCormick
Dion McCormick

Dion McCormick, Lead Solutions Engineer at Alpha Software, is a recognized expert on agile application development. He helps enterprise development teams around the world transition from slow legacy approaches to high-performance mobile, web, and desktop development using the Alpha Anywhere platform.

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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.