Gartner Blog Network

Building a Resilient Mobile Development Platform Strategy

by Jason Wong  |  June 15, 2017  |  Comments Off on Building a Resilient Mobile Development Platform Strategy

Enterprise IT organizations have been trying to solve the mobile app development riddle for more than a decade. The challenge has been that mobile operating systems, devices, programming languages and frameworks continue to evolve and mature, often at a much faster pace than other technology areas, such as the underlying systems of record applications. Likewise, mobile user expectations for app UX and capabilities are ever-increasing due to the impact of consumer apps. Unlike investments in traditional enterprise software (such as ERP or CRM), an investment in mobile development tools is often short-lived, as technologies change and business requirements evolve.

Moreover, the proliferation of mobile app development tools, frameworks and platforms has added to the complexity of delivering mobile apps. Developers may naturally gravitate toward native development tools (that is, Apple Xcode and Google Android Studio), or other open-source, manual coding tools and frameworks (for example, React Native, NativeScript or Apache Cordova). According to a 2016 Gartner survey, these tools are used by a large percentage of organizations as part of internal mobile app development (54% use native SDKs and 45% use open-source tools). However, these low-level tools alone require large teams of skilled developers in order to deliver mobile apps at scale and velocity. That’s when application development leaders turn to implementing a platform strategy to instill reuse, portability and governance, thereby enabling faster and more productive development cycles. The Gartner survey showed that companies that use mobile app development platforms (MADPs) tend to have a higher number of apps deployed than those that don’t have one. Moreover, a platform approach helps achieve higher-level business objectives.

A MADP can serve as the cornerstone technology for a broad enterprise mobile strategy, but for organizations with complex infrastructure requirements and business needs, a MADP alone is often not enough. Enterprises must adopt a mix of MADP, rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools and mobile back-end services (MBS) in order to ensure a flexible and extensible platform that will stand up to the constant changes in mobility. However, enterprises need to consolidate core functionalities within key platforms as much as possible to prevent tools proliferation.

You may also notice that some MADP, MBS and RMAD vendors fall into other development technology categories in Gartner research, including hpaPaaS (high-productivity application platform as a service), hcaPaaS (high-control platform as a service), and iBPMS (intelligent business process management suite). Mobility is becoming the norm, thus other platforms and tools have added some core mobile services and functions (such as offline data synchronization and push notifications) to support mobile app development.

Mobile Convergence

Convergence of App Development

A multifaceted approach to mobile app development offers a resilient platform strategy. Application leaders responsible for mobile app strategies must contend with constant change in mobile technologies, as well as ever-increasing user and enterprise expectations. These Gartner research notes will guide you towards understanding the various technologies in building your resilient mobile development platform.

Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: mobile-and-endpoint-technologies  

Tags: apaas  hpapaas  madp  mbaas  mbs  mobile-apps  mobile-back-end-services  mobile-development  rmad  

Jason Wong
VP, Research & Advisory
6 years at Gartner
22 years IT Industry

Jason Wong is a VP, Analyst on the App Design and Development team, focusing on enterprise strategies for low-code tools, citizen development, mobile, PWA and web app design and development, and app life cycle management. Read Full Bio

Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.