As part of a new series of regular insight posts, we start with a focus on key lessons in the differences between external and internal mobile development and various mobile application development platforms.
External vs. Internal Mobile Development
A new Apigee report relates that large enterprises still report problems when launching mobile apps. The content of the report clearly shows that companies using external resources for the development of enterprise apps are more likely to be successful.
One of the key insights one can glean is that amongst the companies that claimed to have achieved success with their enterprise apps were much more likely to have used external resources. Only 11 percent mostly or exclusively used internal resources, in comparison with more than 25 percent of those struggling to deploy apps. When asked why they used external resources, 78 percent of the successful companies claimed that access to expertise, both technical and for project management, was an extremely important reason.
Companies that cited failures said that cost reduction was the main reason (41 percent) for consulting external resources and only 28 percent saw value in access to external expertise.
Moving app development in-house
The report argues that companies could leverage existing internal web developers to do cross-platform development using tools such as Cordova (Phonegap). There is also the recommendation that any company taking mobile seriously must control their mobile development through internal resources, even when they leverage external resources for specific expertise and to scale.
The approach to mobile development must change
Research by IDC and Gartner highlights the needs for enterprises to change their approach and processes when it comes to mobile development versus how they work with desktop applications today. Examples of this are user centric design, user testing, agile development practices and closer interaction between end users and development team.
Mobile Application Development Platforms
On September 2nd, Gartner published their latest Magic Quadrant on Mobile Application Development Platforms. Their market analysis covers Adobe (Phonegap/Cordova), Appcelerator, IBM Worklight, Kony, Pegasystems (previously Antenna), SAP Mobile Platform, Xamarin, and several other vendors. Kony, Appcelerator and Adobe came out on top in terms of solutions while IBM and SAP are positioned as leaders based on pure size.
IT Directors and CIOs normally put a lot trust in the results from the Magic Quadrant for two reasons:
(a) They need help to shortlist vendors since there are plenty of different options on the market
(b) If their strategy fails, they can claim that they went with one of the top options.
If you want the best mobile experience, choose native. If you want the most cost efficient cross-platform environment, chose web. Hybrid solutions include using Cordova/Phonegap for web as your core platform with some native functionality.
The only reason to go with another mobile development platform like Xamarin, Kony or Appcelerator would be that it fits with your current developers’ environment and skill set and if you chose SAP or IBM it’s probably because you are already buying other services from them.
Most of the companies in this years analysis position themselves as cloud providers and although integration and middleware services and can be useful for your company, the sane components are available as open source, free of charge, elsewhere.
The full report can be purchased here.
– Magnus Jern, President of Mobile Application Solutions