Demand for enterprise mobile apps to “outstrip development capacity” 5-to-1

“Organisations increasingly find it difficult to be proactive against competitive pressures."

According to Gartner, there are four best practices that organisations can consider to successfully overcome app development challenges:

1) Prioritise app development:

Mobile development teams are overstretched and have difficulty effectively delivering the growing number of mobile apps in their queues.

The result is apps being built on a first-come, first-served basis, with the line of business making the most noise having its needs met first. This lack of value-driven prioritisation leads to inefficient use of IT resources and a degradation in the quality of apps delivered.

According to Gartner analysts, mobile development teams need to formulate a process of mobile app prioritisation that involves understanding the needs of business stakeholders - this will be a key factor in defining common criteria for evaluating mobile app projects.

2) Adopt a bimodal IT approach:

Integration is often the largest part of the effort of delivering an enterprise mobile app, with many app development teams underestimating the time and resources required for integration during the planning stage of the traditional waterfall methodology they are following.

Gartner believes organisations need to replace this traditional IT development approach with a bimodal strategic approach that supports innovation and agility to deliver apps more efficiently and quickly.

Bimodal approaches consist of two models: Mode 1 drives the creation of stable infrastructure and APIs to allow apps to retrieve and deliver data to back-end systems without impacting those enterprise applications, while Mode 2 uses high-productivity, agile approaches to quickly deliver front-end app features required by the business.

3) Use rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools:

Using development tools that can produce apps more rapidly is crucial for enterprises to help bridge the gap between mobile app demand and supply.

Significant innovation is driving this market and replacing traditional coding approaches, such as native development tools, with more effective RMAD tools.

There are many approaches to RMAD, including drag-and-drop codeless tools, code generation and orchestration, model-driven development, virtualisation, forms construction, and others.

These approaches are allowing those with no programming skills or coding ability, such as people in business roles, to rapidly assemble mobile app prototypes and continuously iterate on these designs.

4) Adopt a mixed-sourcing approach:

Organisations want to have full control over their mobile app development initiatives, however, maintaining a pure in-house development environment is difficult to achieve given mobile is a relatively new competency to many developers.

It entails many complexities and specific activities, such as UX design and psychology or cellular coverage testing, which may be more efficiently handled by an outsourced third party experienced in mobile app development.

Gartner believes organisations will improve their in-house mobile development skills over time, but currently only 26 percent of organisations are adopting an in-house-only development approach, while 55 percent are successfully delivering apps using mixed sourcing.

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