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Enterprises facing mobile development backlog

Fifty-percent of organisations have ten or more apps in development, according to survey

Half of all organisations surveyed had ten or more mobile apps stuck in development.
Half of all organisations surveyed had ten or more mobile apps stuck in development.

The majority of enterprise organisations are facing a backlog in development of mobile applications, according to a new survey.

Eighty-five percent of enterprises have a development backlog of between one and 20 applications, with a majority (50%) having a backlog of between 10 and 20 apps.

The primary goal of these new mobile app initiatives is either to generate revenue (64%) or to improve the mobile experience of existing apps (58%). With the average application taking anywhere between three and 12 months to get out the door, this slow approach to app development is increasingly damaging revenue opportunities in the enterprise.  

The survey of 228 Application Development Directors and Managers in the US and UK, was  conducted for PaaS provider OutSystems by independent research company Opinion Matters.

"It's clear that organisations are struggling to deal with a deluge of mobile app requests, multiple platforms to support, hundreds of change requests, and complex backend integrations," commented Paulo Rosado, CEO of OutSystems. "To make matters worse, as demand for mobile app developers grows, companies will continue to have a challenge hiring developers. Not only will they be increasingly hard to find, they will also be increasingly expensive."  

Today, the industry is already dealing with a considerable skills shortage. 63% of respondents said they had somewhere between 11% and 25% open vacancies for developers as a percentage of current team size, and over one quarter (29%) had as high as between 26% and 50% open vacancies. With only 6% of respondents clearly stating that they have all the mobile app development skills they need, it is clear that this issue is only going to get more challenging as demand for these projects continues to grow. Enterprises need to find a fast and efficient way to deliver enterprise mobile and web apps, otherwise they will very quickly lose ground.

The top two challenges when building mobile apps are budget (53%) and time (50%). Other challenges ranged from a gap in skills needed to undertake mobile (36%), to both business (25%) and users (33%) having unrealistic expectations (total 58%), to not enough developers with the right level of skills (19%), to the development environment not currently being right for mobile (17%). Only 4% of those surveyed said that they have no challenges when building mobile apps which means that 96% are grappling with issues of one nature or another.