Mobile still lags in enterprise mobile app development

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 05 June, 2017

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Despite the growing importance of mobile devices to the enterprise, more than a quarter of enterprises worldwide have not built, customised or virtualised any mobile apps in the last 12 months, according to Gartner.

A survey from the research firm found that mobile makes up only 11% of the average enterprise software budget, and organisations’ actual spend is consistently lower than they forecast.

But 68% of respondents reported expecting to increase spending for mobile apps, and the proportion of respondents who have not built, customised or virtualised a mobile app in the last 12 months is down from 39% during a similar survey a year earlier.

Gartner Research Director Adrian Leow said the results nevertheless show that enterprises are responding slowly to increasing demand for mobile apps.

“Many IT teams will have significant backlogs of application work that need completing, which increases the risk of lines of business going around IT to get what they want sooner,” he said.

“Development teams need to rethink their priorities and span of control over mobile app development or risk further erosion of IT budgets and the perceived value of IT development.”

The main barriers inhibiting mobile initiatives include a lack of funds, worker hours and skills gaps, with other barriers including a lack of justification in terms of business benefits and ROI.

The survey also suggests that enterprises that have undertaken mobile app development have deployed an average of eight mobile apps to date, while another 2.6 are in development and 6.2 are planned for the next 12 months.

“It’s encouraging to see significant growth in the number of mobile apps that are planned, but most of this growth is in mobile web apps as opposed to native or hybrid mobile apps,” Leow said.

“This indicates that some enterprises may be frustrated with developing mobile apps and are instead refocusing on responsive websites to address their mobile needs.”

Meanwhile, a surprisingly high 52% of respondents have begun investigating, exploring or piloting the use of bots, chatbots or virtual assistants in mobile app development, Leow said.

Image credit: ©

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