How CIOs are working a smarter 9-5 to beat the 5:1 backlog

How CIOs are working a smarter 9-5 to beat the 5:1 backlog
Cathal McGloin is VP Mobile Platforms at open source solutions provider, Red Hat ( He was formerly CEO of FeedHenry, the cloud-based mobile application platform provider that was acquired by Red Hat in October 2014. Cathal is an engineer with an MBA and has been involved in founding and operating several technology businesses in European and US markets. Prior to his role at FeedHenry, Cathal founded Performix Technologies and was President/VP Sales at Aran Technologies. His previous enterprise IT career included roles with Siemens, Germany and Capgemini, UK.


Industry analysts warn that mobile app demand will soon outstrip internal IT departments' capacity to develop them. According to Gartner, “By the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organisations' capacity to deliver them."

To counter this, I anticipate that CIOs will continue to guide their organisations in the adoption of new working practices and coding tools to enable them to meet the demand for mobile apps this year.

New coding tools

Enterprise adoption of rapid mobile application development (RMAD) tools and lightweight scripting languages will be an important mobile trend for CIOs to track in 2016. Broader adoption is likely to drive innovation as RMAD vendors enhance and extend the functionality of their offerings.

A survey of IT decision makers from 200 large Western European and U.S. enterprises, undertaken by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Red Hat in October 2015, identified a shift towards lightweight scripting languages to help support faster and continuous delivery of custom mobile apps. A quarter (26 percent) of respondents told Vanson Bourne that they plan to primarily use Node.js as their language for back-end development within the next two years, while 21 percent report that they will primarily use other JavaScript languages to support their mobile app development strategies.

As organisations continue to adopt agile technologies to meet mobile app demand, I anticipate that RMAD tools will play a greater role for lines of business as they try to meet the growing need for apps, without placing demands on an over-burdened IT department.

Increased collaboration across the organisation

App demand can encourage further collaboration between IT specialists and business managers as enterprise mobility matures. I believe that 2016 will see an increase in the number of enterprises establishing app development factories, or mobile centres of excellence.

The same Vanson Bourne survey found that 37% of respondents had already created collaborative mobile centres of excellence, with IT departments and lines of business working together to support the delivery of mobile apps to the business.

As enterprises become more strategic about mobility, I anticipate that business managers will play a greater role in mobile app development strategy, decision-making and budgeting. CIOs will work much more closely with business departments when developing their organisations’ mobile app strategies, sharing what they have learned about mobile best practice.

Cloud service providers and telcos will extend services to support enterprise mobility

I believe that cloud service providers and telcos will broaden their offerings to support enterprise mobility. Some forward thinking telcos have begun offering enterprise app development services, and I predict that more will take up this business model in 2016, as well as smaller cloud service providers.

We will also see handset vendors teaming up with telcos and full stack providers to provide hardware, pre-packaged semi-custom apps, and support offerings to help enterprises to get their apps to market faster. This will be an important trend for CIOs to track during 2016 to enable them to guide the selection of platforms to support their organisations’ mobile strategies.

I anticipate that cloud vendors will play an increasing role in the mobile market, broadening their mobile offerings to support enterprise developers and the business managers with MBaaS, RMAD, analytics and more. The entry of cloud giants such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform into the enterprise mobility market is likely to lead to further market consolidation in 2016.

Standalone MBaaS vendors, RMAD tool providers, and niche mobile solution vendors will have to compete with the broader portfolios, established channel partners, and global market reach of the enterprise cloud providers.

However, these larger cloud providers will be challenged to ensure that their mobile entities continue to enable innovation and agility and do not get buried within the confines of other infrastructures. There will still be a requirement for mobile specialists who understand the technical challenges of mobility for enterprise customers across the globe.

IoT will drive back-end integration, just as mobile did

According to IDC, “the worldwide Internet of Things market will grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9%.”I anticipate that enterprise mobility platforms will evolve to support IoT initiatives as true innovations and business cases emerge between now and 2020.

The focus is likely to continue to shift to back-end integration, increased agility in the application development lifecycle, analytics, platform as a service (PaaS) and DevOps.


As the enterprise mobility market consolidates, I expect we'll see ecosystems of mobility solutions form to address the complete landscape from MDM to development, integration, deployment, analytics, and management. These frameworks, platforms and tools should be open and standards-based to allow them to integrate and work together more efficiently.

CIOs are moving into a key role in navigating the supplier landscape, guiding their organisations on the best technology fit and enabling the required integration, based on their organisations’ mobile strategies.

Harvard Business Review (HBR) Analytics Services Research recently completed a survey of 436 business leaders, sponsored by Red Hat, as part of the Enterprisers Project. HBR found that less than a quarter of the business respondents felt extremely confident that their organisation has the right level of technology knowledge and skills to be successful at the digital aspects of their business. CIOs at organisations that were identified as Digital Leaders by HBR were significantly more likely to be mentoring business leaders to help improve their digital skills.

As enterprises deal with rapid changes to their technology and processes, CIOs have a golden, important opportunity to provide digital leadership. By educating their business peers on how technology can be used to transfigure business processes and help them work smarter, CIOs can help to empower them with the knowledge to bring about digital transformation. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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