As the market looks back at mobile app development in 2015 many surveys are now coming out that detail what mobile app projects companies did and didn’t do in 2015. A recent article in FierceMobileIT summarizes data points on 2015 enterprise mobile application development and predicts the future. In “2015 Missed the Mark as 'Year of the Mobile App' in Enterprises,” author Fred Donovan does a great job interviewing mobile analysts to investigate why the market didn’t explode in 2015, and what lies ahead for mobile development within enterprises in 2016.
First, Donovan interviews John Jackson, vice president for Mobility Research at IDC, who explains that security and back-end data integration were key hurdles for companies looking to go mobile in 2015. While Jackson states that, according to IDC research, the average number of apps mobilized by large U.S. enterprises jumped from 3.6 in 2014 to 5.8 in 2015, he observes that progress is still very slow:
"We have looked at rates of mobilization of business processes and applications across enterprises, and they have in general remained astonishingly low. When you look at large enterprises, they haven't really mobilized more than their calendar, contacts and email.”
Next up is Jack Gold, founder and principal analyst at J. Gold Associates. Gold also reports that mobile app growth within enterprises fell far short of where it was expected to be in 2015. “For most companies, they are still struggling with how to develop mobile apps effectively and quickly,” he says.
Eric Klein, director of mobile software at VDC Research, offers his perspective next. Donovan reports:
“Klein cited rapid mobile application development as a growing area for small third-party vendors, such as Alpha Software, Capriza, Reddo Mobility, StarMobile, PowWow and SkyGiraffe. They offer ‘click-and-build apps,’ he said.”
RMAD to the Rescue
What are these analysts seeing their clients do to eliminate these logjams? Many are seeing Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) platforms as a way to turn the tide. RMAD is the use of low-code development tools to speed the development and deployment of mobile apps. RMAD allows a wider range of employees to build mobile apps and allows companies to better address specific business needs. In his article, Donovan interviews each analyst to understand why RMAD has the potential to dramatically ramp up the number of mobile apps enterprises can produce. He begins with VDC Research’s Eric Klein:
“Klein cited rapid mobile application development as a growing area for small third-party vendors, such as Alpha Software, Capriza, Reddo Mobility, StarMobile, PowWow and SkyGiraffe. They offer ‘click-and-build apps’…‘These vendors have proven that they can offer someone with not a great deal of development skills the ability to rapidly create an application, skin it the way you want to skin it, connect it to a backend, if that is required, seamlessly.’ Klein said.”
Donovan reports that Jackson at IDC has a similar opinion: "These are development resources aimed at the non-coder, the business analyst in line of business that wants to mobilize a form, for example. These are non-code, low-code solutions with backend connectivity," Jackson is reported to say.
Rizzo at Blue Hills Research also sees the value in RMAD technology, telling Donovan that, “There are a lot of tools to make it relatively easy to do [mobile app development], so that developers don't have to learn anything they don't already know and understand.”
2016: The “Year of Mobile App” in the Enterprise?
Looking ahead to 2016, these analysts expect things changing dramatically:
- Jackson explains: "It's not taking off like a rocket, but it looks like 2015 will mark the upward inflection point in terms of enterprise application."
- Klein points out that there are 15-20 million rugged devices in enterprises, the majority of which run on legacy Windows operating systems that are scheduled to be sunsetted – another mobile app demand driver within enterprises. In fact, VDC Research predicts year-over-year growth in the enterprise mobile app market of 16 percent to 17 percent next year.
- Gold anticipates a shift from the "traditional model of building client server based apps coding everything from scratch…into one where there are enough 'good enough' automated tools…to build mobile apps for workers."
- Rizzo expects enterprises will be “looking to the workforce to utilize their mobile devices much more and traditional desktops and traditional laptops much less."
Read recent VDC Research data predicting how the firm expects mobile app development to explode in 2016.
Read Tony Rizzo’s perspective on Alpha Anywhere and why it could be the best RMAD platform on the market.