Survey: Developers Rank Top ‘Must Haves’ for Enterprise Mobile Apps in 2016

A survey of enterprise mobile app developers ranks their top considerations for success in 2016.  Alpha Software found mobile app professionals says backend integration, security, offline functionality will be ‘must haves’ – and critical to success. Low-code tools to speed up app launches will gain more attention.

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A survey of enterprise mobile app developers ranks their top considerations for success in 2016. 

The survey by mobile app platform provider Alpha Software found mobile app professionals says backend integration, security offline functionality will be ‘must haves’ – and critical to success. Low-code tools to speed up app launches will gain more attention.

 

With mobile-optimized enterprise apps predicted to quadruple, market experts forecast unprecedented levels of app development and deployment in the enterprise, according to Alpha Software CEO Richard Rabins.

 

To put numbers to it, Alpha Software’s survey found a majority of developers (63 percent) said they plan to develop up to five mobile apps in 2016; further, almost one-fourth (23 percent) said they expect to develop six apps or more this year.  

 

Bottom Line: In 2016, developers are accelerating their development and preparing to deliver better user experiences – all within shorter time frames, the survey found.  To get there, here are the features and technologies that those frontline mobile app developers says will help them most:  The survey captured responses from 1950 mobile app developers.

 

Easy integration with backend databases ranked as a “definitely must have” capability by 96 percent of respondents. “The success of an overall mobile enterprise app depends on leveraging the relevant data that the firm already collects,” the study added.

 

What’s notable here is that ‘backend integration” is no longer simply a concern for IT operations.  The survey found mobile app developers also are keenly aware of technologies that can improve “end-to-end experiences” for the end user – and these are now must haves.  “How frontend apps affect – and are affected by – the underlying application architecture and existing backend services, as well as how workflow and business rules play a role,” the survey found.

 

Easier to adopt security.  Ensuring security is on 90% of mobile devs must have list.  

 

End-user priorities.  “An enterprise application is created to simplify the lives of its end-user,” the survey noted.  Top priorities for mobile app developers in this regard include: Ease of use and intuitiveness (92 percent); Accurate data capture (84 percent); and Improved productivity (84 percent).

 

Several other mobile app capabilities were also rated very highly by developers. (The percentage of those as “definitely must have” capabilities ranked at the right.) 

  • Work offline (79%)
  • Multi-channel deployment so devs can create an app just once and run on multiple platforms / devices (78%)
  • Easily use keyboard (77%)
  • Capture photos (75%)

Low-code tools, platforms. Perhaps most notable, the survey found it’s also important to use tools, platforms and environments that can help deliver more and better mobile apps in a shorter time. 

 

In part, the survey said:

 

“A next-generation development solution must do more than simply support multiple devices. Designing for the lowest-common-denominator app is no longer sufficient. A low-code platform must also deliver superior experiences that enable developers to produce compelling mobile apps that meet (or exceed) end users’ expectations. These are going to be end-to-end experiences, optimized for both on-device capabilities and access to backend information from across the business ecosystem.”

 

Developers “are concerned about how a low-code platform performs within the overall enterprise environment and how it stands to transform the business,” the survey added.

 

Alpha CEO Rabins put it this way:

“As enterprise organizations pick up the pace in mobile app development, developers must shift their mindset and employ new tools to keep apace of the explosive demand for better mobile apps delivered faster and more cost effectively. Developers point to easy backend integration, offline capabilities and cross-platform development as key criteria. Low-code environments are the platform of choice, as they allow developers and end-users to meet these criteria quickly.

“Increasingly, these developers are turning to low-code platforms to satisfy the toughest criteria and quickly develop apps from inside enterprise walls. A ‘true’ mobile application is more than just a responsive web application running on a mobile device, it is a well-designed program adapted to the necessary medium.”

The Alpha Software survey, Enterprise Developers Rank Critical Requirements for Success in the Coming Mobile App Explosion -- Surveying the Business Benefits of a Low-Code Platform is available here.  It was prepared in cooperation with Bock & Company




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