- Huge backlogs slow productivity - As suspected, well over half of IT professionals (62 percent) surveyed reported having a backlog of mobile apps, some with more than 10 apps waiting to be developed. Interestingly, it was the IT professionals in the tech and financial services industries that were most likely to report having a backlog.
- The skills gap is hampering growth - Although 88 percent of respondents said that mobile functionality is either a requirement or very important, 37 percent of organisations reported facing a shortage of mobile developers and 44 percent reported a knowledge gap in the skills needed to undertake mobile. Since app developers with highly sought after skills can be difficult to find and expensive to hire, most organisations don't actually have all of the skills that they need in house.
- Development times are excessively long - More than three quarters (76 percent) of IT professionals said that it takes more than three months, on average, to develop a mobile app. For 11 percent of respondents, the time required stretches out to over a year. Not surprisingly, this is leading to considerable dissatisfaction, with nearly half (44 percent) of respondents saying that they're not happy with the current velocity of their application development team.
- Barriers to success are overwhelming - IT managers face all kinds of challenges when it comes to mobile development. Time and budget constraints were the biggest cited, followed by a gap in skills, an onslaught of competing priorities and a shortage of mobile developers.
- Mobility requirements are soaring - Mobility was the most common business requirement for apps, up from sixth place in our 2015 survey. In addition, 88 percent of respondents noted that it was either a requirement or very important to incorporate mobile functionality into their current and future applications.
- Experimentation is on the rise - Organisations are focused on finding the right technical approach to building their apps, which has led to significant experimentation. In fact, 43 percent of IT professionals said they're either using, or considering using, low-code or no-code platforms to support their IT strategy. The same percentage also said that their organisation is enabling citizen developers to take advantage of this technology, to ease the skills gaps and budget constraints they face.
- Low-code is growing - Companies that have adopted low-code development platforms are seeing improvements in terms of faster mobile app development times and are less reliant on third parties for delivery. While low-code development is still in its early days of adoption, the companies that have been using it are seeing noticeable differences in two key areas: both their app development times and their reliance on outsourced IT have gone down.
Some companies have already proven that the key to cracking the mobility challenge is bringing in the right technology to enable people in non-IT roles to build solutions. By empowering organisations with the right technology, app development work can be spread among more people. That, in turn, eases pressure on IT teams, freeing them up to meet business needs. This reality is having a widespread impact on a variety of factors, including hiring practices and, more specifically, the types of skill sets today's companies are seeking. It's also paving the way for the rise of citizen developers, who when enabled with low-code platforms, are able to achieve considerable results.
With digital transformation on the agenda of so many organisations, the demand for more and more enterprise apps shows no sign of dwindling anytime soon. Low-code platforms are certainly helping to bridge the resource, skills and agility gap and ensure that IT departments are able to meet the demands of both the business and the end customer.
If you are interested to read more about our survey to download a copy of the full report, please click here.