There's a tremendous backlog in enterprises for developing mobile apps, and it's only getting worse. A Gartner survey warns that by the end of 2017, "demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations' capacity to deliver them."
Some people may believe the solution is for IT to hire more developers. But there simply aren't enough mobile developers available to fill demand. A better solution, says Jack E. Gold, founder and President at J. Gold Associates, LLC., a technology industry analyst firm, is for lines of business to take control of building their own mobile apps, using development tools that can be used by non-developers as well as developers.
Writing in Computerworld, Gold says, "I estimate that no more than 15%-20% of proposed mobile apps actually get created and deployed, and in some companies the number is far less." Businesses, he says, don't have enough developers on staff, have cut their IT budgets, and take far too long to build mobile apps --- on average 12 to 18 months.
His conclusion: "What's really needed is a way to enable the line of business units to create any needed apps quickly and without (or at least with minimal) IT resources."
Knowledge Workers Can Build Mobile Apps
Gold points out that knowledge workers in enterprises have been creating presentations, documents, and spreadsheets for many years, and so are perfectly comfortable with the idea of building content when it's needed. So the key to building mobile apps quickly, he says, is to "try to take the development process to the knowledge worker at the line of business -- the one who knows what is needed to get the job done and to get the app completed and deployed in days or weeks."
That's easier said than done, of course. Most non-developers don't have the skills or tools to build mobile apps. So he suggests that people in lines of business need to be given the right tools for creating mobile apps.
At Alpha Software, we agree. Alpha Anywhere takes a low-code approach to building mobile apps, letting even non-developers build sophisticated apps and forms that run across all devices. At the same time, we realize how important it is for IT professionals or seasoned developers to be able to add code at any point to tackle critical requirements around data integration, business logic, offline synchronization conflict resolution or security authentication. Rapid Mobile App Development solutions must serve the needs of BOTH business users trying to fast-track mobile apps, as well as IT professionals responsible corporate data and policies. Alpha Anywhere's coding-optional approach meets both these needs, while speeding up the process.
View a video by Alpha Software CTO Dan Bricklin on Alpha's unique approach to rapid development combined with the confidence that you will not run out of power.
Read Jack Gold's full article in Computerworld