Alpha Software Blog

Companies get the importance of mobile, but can't make it happen fast!

The title of this blog post says it all. When it comes to enterprise mobility, there is a disconnect between companies recognizing the importance of business mobile apps to their long term success, and their ability to actually get these apps built in a timely fashion. We came across an excellent article on the problem at Enterprise Efficiency titled "The Enterprise Mobility Disconnect" that is definitely worth reading. We wrote a response to the article which is reproduced below. We hope you find it useful.

Response to "The Enterprise Mobility Disconnect"

Based on countless discussions with enterprises, we are convinced that companies are increasingly recognizing that in order to stay competitive they have to come up with a coherent plan for building business mobile apps, or extending their existing apps to take advantage of mobile. Problem arise, however, when it gets to the realities of implementation. Here are a few observations:
  1. Building business apps today is more complex than in the past because typically the apps have to run on all major mobile devices (Apple, Android and increasingly Microsoft), as well as on the web. In addition, apps need to support a different, new touch and animation-oriented UX and have to be optimized for each device. See Alpha CTO Dan Bricklin's recent article on Responsive App Design.
  2. For implementation, you can have multiple teams building for each target platform/device but that is frightfully expensive, and you run up against the reality of a profound skill shortage in the mobile developer area. Check out this data from the Robert Half Organization on the topic of mobile skills shortages.
  3. Or, you can adopt an HTML5 approach for building your enterprise mobile apps. Even though this is a less expensive and much more practical approach in a multi-platform/BYOD world, it still requires developers with "full stack" skills (server, database, server-side programming, HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3).
When you think about it, that's asking a lot of a developer! And, again, you run headlong into the skills shortage problem described above.

How to leverage existing development staff in building enterprise level business mobile apps

Clearly, what is needed are better development and deployment environments that allow companies to transform their existing development staff and domain experts into effective mobile developers. Once this happens, then it becomes realistic for companies to get serious about implementing their mobile plans. Well, it has happened, in the form of Alpha Anywhere. If you haven't downloaded a trial, please do so at and see for yourself!

Enterprise mobile app development, business mobile apps

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About Author

Richard Rabins
Richard Rabins

Co-founder of Alpha Software, Richard Rabins focuses on strategy, sales, and marketing. Richard also served as CEO of SoftQuad International from 1997 to 2001, when it owned Alpha. In addition to his 30 years with the company, Richard played a key role as co-founder, and served as president and chairman of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council), the largest technology trade organization in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Alpha, Richard was a project leader and consultant with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and a management consultant with Management Decision Systems, Inc. Richard holds a master's degree in system dynamics from the Sloan School at MIT, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and master's degree in control engineering from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on the boards of Silent Systems, Legacy Technology and O3B Networks, and is co-founder of Tubifi

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.