Enterprise app supply will not meet demand – so use RMAD tools, Gartner asserts
The enterprise has a thirst for applications, and it’s becoming more rabid by the day. The problem, however, is that the demand will outstrip capacity. According to Gartner, the demand for enterprise mobile apps will outstrip available development reach by five to one – and it recommends bimodal IT and rapid mobile app development (RMAD) to bridge the gap.
Whether companies utilise RMAD tools, or through a mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) solution, operating a cloud-based backend system for mobile and web apps, mobility is still a nascent trend. Adrian Loew, Gartner principal research analyst, argues the analyst house’s latest prediction shows how many organisations are still questioning their strategy, never mind scaling up to release 100 apps or more.
Gartner asserts there are four best practices organisations should consider to overcome app development challenges:
- Prioritise app development: Gartner argues a lack of value-driven prioritisation for enterprise app development leads to inefficient use of IT resources. Apps shouldn’t be built on a first-come, first-served basis. Mobile development teams need to formulate a process of app prioritisation which understands the needs of business stakeholders.
- Adopt a bimodal IT approach: Bimodal IT, the two-track style of IT advocated by Gartner which advocates agility as well as keeping the lights on, is another important consideration here.
- Use rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools: As Gartner notes, there are many different approaches to RMAD, from drag and drop codeless tools to code generation and orchestration and virtualisation, allowing those with no programming skills to rapidly assemble mobile app prototypes.
- Adopt a mixed-sourcing approach: With regard to mobile development teams, Gartner argues a pure in-house development environment is difficult to achieve given mobile is a relatively new competency to developers. In this instance, UX design, or cellular coverage testing, may be better outsourced.
“Organisations increasingly find it difficult to be proactive against competitive pressures, which is resulting in their mobile apps becoming tactical, rather than strategic,” said Loew. “We’re seeing demand for mobile apps outstrip available development capacity, making quick creation of apps even more challenging. Mobile strategists must use tools and techniques that match the increase of mobile app needs within their organisations.”
RMAD is an interesting play for organisations, but there are still creases to iron out. Red Hat, a vendor which has both an MBaaS solution through FeedHenry and a lesser-publicised drag and drop solution, argues companies use the drag and drop ‘codeless’ platform for prototyping apps and then, if the idea is a good one, flesh it out through mobile developers. This ties in with Gartner’s view of outsourcing a discipline such as mobile UX to streamline operations.
The only exception is when organisations need an emergency deployment. Globo, which also offers a drag and drop platform, holds a similar view. In the consumer world, a 50% uptake is good. In the enterprise, it’s a failure. Employees expect consumer levels of aesthetics, but employers demand full uptake for return on investment. It’s this fine line which CIOs have to traverse in a nascent time.
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