The demand for high-quality enterprise mobile applications won’t let up --- Gartner says that employees use three separate mobile devices every day for work, and that as wearables and the Internet of Things (Iot) become mainstream, they’ll be using six devices.
By 2019 mobile phone sales will total 2.1 billion, and that’s not counting other types of mobile devices. As Gartner notes, this increase in sales “will fuel demand for enterprise mobile apps that meet the high performance and usability of consumer apps.” Overall, by the end of 2017, the demand for developing mobile apps will grow at least five times faster than IT can deliver them, Gartner says.
How bad is the problem? A Gartner survey says that in 2014 a majority of enterprises released fewer than 10 apps, and a significant number hadn’t released any at all.
Rapid Mobile Application Development (RMAD) to the Rescue
What to do? A Gartner report, “The Enterprise App Explosion: Scaling One to 100 Mobile Apps,” has some answers. One key is the use of rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools which allow applications to be written by people with little or no coding experience, as well as by professional developers. This lets domain experts and business users write apps.
The report has other suggestions. It warns that when enterprises try to develop mobile apps quickly, they may sacrifice app quality, and as a result the apps may not generate a positive ROI. So the report recommends that the application development team create a process that includes “understanding the needs of business stakeholders and defining common criteria for evaluating mobile app projects.”
In addition, the report says that enterprises should create an agile API layer. This makes it easier to integrate mobile apps with the rest of the company’s infrastructure, and makes it simple to connect mobile applications to multiple enterprise data sources.
Finally, it says that enterprises should adopt a “mixed-sourcing approach for mobile app development,” by outsourcing the more complex application development activities to a third party, rather than handling them in-house.
Read why Gartner identifies Alpha Anywhere as one of two "sophisticated" RMAD tools on the market.