IT struggling to deliver mobile apps


Strong demand for mobile apps is putting pressure on under-resourced IT departments

IT departments are ill-equipped to meet the rapidly increasing demand for mobile apps due to budget and resourcing limitations, skills gaps, legacy infrastructure issues, overall technology fragmentation and immature lifecycle workflows, a new study has shown. As a result, many companies are looking to external resources to meet business demand for mobile apps.

According to a new 451 Research global survey, sponsored by provider of enterprise mobility solutions, Kony, there is an increasing demand for new enterprise mobile applications. However, the survey of IT professionals found that while more than half of almost 500 respondents from North America, Europe and Australia plan to deploy 10 or more enterprise mobile apps over the next two years, more than two thirds of those will be developed by third parties due to a lack of internal resources.

Said Chris Marsh, principal analyst, 451 Research: “There is strong demand for new mobile apps, and companies are broadening their focus beyond core processes and application silos; however, enterprises are still very much in the early stages when it comes to mobile app strategies. IT is still in the driver’s seat when it comes to both the bulk of internal mobile app development, technology procurement and project management, although line of business want input and greater collaboration. Line of business is also starting to bring a great amount of funding support to the discussion.”

According to the study, the types of mobile apps in highest demand by enterprises in all industries including, healthcare, financial services, insurance and retail, are customer relationship management apps for sales, marketing and services, customer engagement and general employee productivity apps.

A growing proportion of companies will look to IT for the bulk of their internal mobile app development. However, the mix of development diversifies beyond just IT, with 42% of mobile app development work being done outside of IT.

Added Dave Shirk, president of products and marketing, Kony: “The global market for enterprise mobility is expected to grow from $72 billion to $284 billion by 2019, nearly quadrupling in size. Companies need to be prepared to meet this demand for mobile business solutions with proper alignment between lines of business, IT developers and IT management, to effectively manage and lead enterprise mobility projects.”

The study showed that developers need to prepare for an ‘App-ageddon’ as companies look to IT for the bulk of their apps development. There will be a 25% increase in time spent on internal apps projects in the next two years to 63%, from 43% now.

The mix of development is diversifying beyond just IT. IT is doing the majority (58%) of mobile app development work currently, while 42% is being done outside of IT. However, in two years, the study revealed that this figure will increase; two thirds of apps will be developed externally, by business application vendors (21%), system integrators (16%), digital agency partners (14%) and developer partners (14%).

The study also showed that the majority of developers and IT management within the enterprise are currently grappling with who has ownership of mobile projects; 55% of developers think they should lead mobile app projects, while 61% of IT management respondents said they should be leading, forcing enterprises to tear down internal barriers to align business and IT on mobile projects.



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