Mobile app development is still IT’s game – but line of business is gaining ground

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Another day, another research report which hits Enterprise AppsTech’s desk on the fragmented relationship between IT and line of business when developing enterprise mobile applications.

This time 451 Research, in a study sponsored by Kony, argues that while more than half of companies plan to deploy 20 or more apps in the coming two years, IT departments are already becoming stretched due to budget limitations, skills gaps and legacy infrastructure.

In the main, IT does the majority (58%) of mobile app development. However, the researchers argue this will change in the coming years; by 2017, two thirds of apps will be developed externally, from business application vendors (21%), system integrators (16%), digital agency partners (14%) and developer partners (14%).

The report also details the sense of uncertainty over who is leading mobile app projects. 55% of developers polled said they should lead mobile app projects, compared with 61% of IT management respondents.

Elsewhere, the most popular apps for respondents in all industries were CRM apps for sales, customer engagement, and general employee productivity apps. Partner apps were also cited; of the companies looking to build 20 or more employee apps, approximately 60% are also planning 20 or more customer and partner apps. In this instance, 71% believe this is IT’s responsibility.

Chris Marsh, principal analyst at 451 Research and author of the report, argues enterprises are still in the early days for strategising on apps, yet line of business is starting to bring serious funding support to the table. He said: “There is strong demand for new mobile apps, and companies are broadening their focus beyond core processes and application silos.

“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,” he added.

A recent proclamation from analyst house Gartner argues that enterprise app demand will outstrip available development reach by five to one. To combat this, enterprises need to focus on realignment through bimodal IT – a two track IT system which concentrates on agility and keeping the lights on – and rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools.

 

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