We live in the age of mobility, where mobile phones and tablets are redefining the way we carry out our day to day transactions. In fact, mobiles are slowly replacing laptops and desktops with a plethora of enterprise mobile appsflooding the market every minute. Can you image a single day without a mobile in your hand? Difficult, isn’t it? Such is the impact that mobility has created in our lives. Needless the say, it is the organizations in the mobility space that are facing this crunch to meet the ever growing needs of the consumer demands with lack ofadequate manpower, infrastructure, etc.

Gartner recently released an interesting report of mobility demand vis-à-vis available demand capacity. The report “The Enterprise App Explosion: Scaling One to 100 Mobile Apps.” will be addressed at Gartner’s Application Architecture, Development and Infrastructure Summit in Sydney, 20-21 July 2015.

According to Gartner, by the end of 2017, the market demand for mobile app development services is expected to grow at an exponential rate – five times faster than internal organizations’ capacity to deliver them. Put it in figures, it translates to the fact that mobile phone sales will reach 2.1 billion units by 2019, which will accelerate the demand for apps in the enterprise that meet the high performance and usability of consumer apps.

According to Gartner principal research analyst Adrian Leow, enterprises are plagued with a challenge to rapidly develop, deploy and maintain mobile apps to keep pace with the exponential demand, since it is painfully tough and costly to hire a developer with good mobile skills. Apart from that, organizations are also finding it tough to respond proactively to competitive pressures, resulting in their mobile apps becoming tactical, instead of strategic.

He further noted that mobile apps would outpace the available development capacity, which means, developing new apps would be a challenging and a costly proposition. There is a constant need for mobile strategists to use tools and techniques that match the increase in mobile apps’ needs within the organizations.

Some of the key points noted by Gartner are as follows:

  • Employees in today’s digital marketplace use an average of three varied devices for carrying out their day to day activities,
  • This is expected to increase to five or six devices, due to advent of new technologies such as wearable devices, and internet of things (IoT), eventually becoming the focus of attention.
  • Employees get more freedom to choose the devices, apps and even the processes with which to accomplish a task.
  • Companies are mounted with pressure on IT to develop varied mobile apps within short time frames.

A recent survey conducted by Gartner on mobile app development found that the majority of organizations have developed and released less than 10 apps with significant amount of participants not having released a single mobile app.

In the wake of the above discussion, Gartner came out with some 4 best practices that organizations can ponder to overcome the app development challenges:

1. Prioritize app development

Mobile app development teams are constantly plagued with a challenge to deliver an increasing number of mobile apps to cater to the varied requirements of the customers. However, the net result is mobile organizations just build apps on a first come-first served basis with lack of value-driven prioritization. This way, organizations are unable to gauge and assess the right requirements of the customers, resulting in degradation and delivery of poor quality apps. To mitigate this aspect, Gartner suggests that mobile development teams need to devise a strategy of mobile app prioritization with focus to understand the requirements of business stakeholders. This is going to be a crucial aspect for evaluating mobile app projects.

2. Adopt a bimodal IT approach

In the wake of traditional IT approaches failing to cater to the desired requirements, particularly the integration phase that is the often the largest part of the effort of delivering an enterprise mobile app, Gartner suggests having a bimodal IT approach for mobile development organizations. The major reason being is most of the app development teams underestimate the time and resources required for integration during the planning stage of the traditional waterfall methodology and hence a more dynamic bimodal approach has to replace this approach. Bimodal approach supports innovation and agility to deliver apps more efficiently and quickly.

It refers to having two modes of IT with each mode designed to develop and deliver information and technology intensive services in its own pattern.

  • Mode 1 drives the creation of stable infrastructure and APIs to let apps to retrieve and deliver data to back-end systems, without having any impact on those enterprise applications.
  • Mode 2 leverages high-productivity and agile approaches to quickly deliver the front-end app features required by the business.

3. Use rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools

Organizations have to drift away from the conventional approach of time consuming coding and developmental approaches to build mobile apps to rapidly meet the growing demand of the consumers. Organizations have to adopt development tools that can produce instant apps to help bridge the gap between mobile app demand and supply. Significant innovation is driving this market and replacing the traditional coding approaches, such as native development tools with more agile RMAD tools.

Some of the approaches to RMAD include drag and drop codeless tools, code generation and orchestration, model driven development, virtualization and forms construction. By adopting this approach, even people with zero programming skills, such as people occupying key business roles can easily work on these apps to swiftly assemble mobile app prototypes and consistently iterate on these designs.

4. Adopt a mixed-sourcing approach

Gartner believes that organizations depending only on in-house development will be plagued with challenges to achieve full control over the mobile app development initiatives. Since mobile is a relatively new technical competency area to many developers, it generates many complexities and specific activities involving UX design, psychology or cellular testing, which may be efficiently managed by an outsourced third party, experienced in mobile app development. Gartner is of the opinion that organizations can enhance their in-house mobile development skills over a period of time, but presently, only 26 percent of organizations are adopting an in-house only development approach, while 55% are successfully delivering apps leveraging mixed sourcing.

Innovapptive is poised to overcome the above challenges by adopting a more strategic and a tactical approach. With state-of-the-art infrastructure coupled with strong professional team of experts including SAP/ABAP consultants, UI/UX developers, Android developers and functional experts, Innovapptive has strategically made its presence in the SAP mobility segment. With a slew of solutions (77+) targeted towards specific business domain and functions in the SAP space, Innovapptive is focused on enabling instant mobilization for global 2000 customers by accelerating their time to market and value.

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