Developers Continue to Struggle with Mobile App Development
September 15, 2015

Karen Tegan Padir
Progress Software

Developers need the right tools and processes to move forward with their mobile app development efforts, as indicated by the latest Telerik State of Mobile Development survey.

The most poignant finding of the survey is that 57% of developers have never built a mobile app, indicating that mobile app development remains highly specialized. It's clear that the developer community as a whole needs easy-to-use tools and processes to move forward with their mobile app development efforts in a more substantial way.

Key findings from the survey include:

Timely App Delivery Slow Due to Limited Resources and Other Challenges

Though interest in using mobile apps among consumers and enterprises continues to grow, adoption of mobile application development is slower than expected — 57 percent of developers are still brand new to mobile development or have never built a mobile app, and 47% of developers surveyed develop, on average, just one functional mobile app per year. Some haven't built any at all.

A lack of process may be also getting in the way. Mobile developers expressed frustration over constraints and changing technology and development practices (16%). In addition, they struggle with a range of inhibitors, such as a lack of time (19%) to a lack of tools (15%) to budgetary constraints.

Developing Compelling Mobile Apps Is Key to Success

Improved operational efficiency was cited most often as a key reason for building mobile apps. Other reasons include creating revenue opportunities (39%), increasing employee productivity (38%), improving customer service (35%) and engaging customers in a more meaningful way (34%).

For achieving any of these goals, user experience (UX) is the most important element to consider when developing mobile apps of any type—whether they are external-facing or used for business-critical functions. Forty-four percent of those surveyed indicated UX as the most important part of the apps they build, followed by ease of maintenance (24%), performance (15%) and security (11%).

Organizations Would Benefit from a Flexible, Multi-Platform Approach

While there are developer frustrations with a lack of available tools and ever-changing development practices, most developers don't have their hearts set on a particular approach for building mobile apps. Hybrid is the most preferred (33%), followed by native (25%) and web (19%), but the dividing line is in close proximity.

According to the survey, developers are also developing across all platforms — 76 percent reported developing for Android, 63% for iOS and 40% for Windows Phone. Of those who develop for iOS, 83% also develop for Android. Although multi-platform development is a requirement for the majority of B2B and B2E mobile apps, it is one of the greatest challenges — 36% of respondents listed it as the most challenging part of the app building process, tied with the need to provide a clean UI.

New Development Challenges Are on the Horizon

Looking forward, respondents reported developing for a mix of platforms other than mobile, including web (87%), desktop (62%), IoT (22%), wearables (6%) and others.

According to the survey, IoT trumps wearables, such as the Apple Watch, as the "next big thing" in app development. Smart appliances and virtual reality devices, such as the Oculus Rift, are expected to be more important by 35% and 21% of respondents, respectively. Only 21% of those surveyed have definitive plans to build apps for wearables in 2015. Of the 21%, 45% will be developing apps for the Apple Watch.

Methodology: The survey was conducted in June 2015. The more than 3,000 respondents were a mix of developers (49%), CEOs/owners (14%), architects (14%), IT professionals (8%), CTOs (6%) and others. 47% of respondents work in software companies or ISVs, 33% in non-software companies (enterprise/SMBs) and 20% in development system integrator shops. Although exact geographical data was not available, more than one-third of respondents were US-based.

Karen Tegan Padir is CTO at Progress Software.

The Latest

September 20, 2018

The latest Accelerate State of DevOps Report from DORA focuses on the importance of the database and shows that integrating it into DevOps avoids time-consuming, unprofitable delays that can derail the benefits DevOps otherwise brings. It highlights four key practices that are essential to successful database DevOps ...

September 18, 2018

To celebrate IT Professionals Day 2018 (this year on September 18), the SolarWinds IT Pro Day 2018: A World Powered by Tech Pros survey explores a "Tech PROactive" world where technology professionals have the time, resources, and ability to use their technology prowess to do absolutely anything ...

September 17, 2018

The role of DevOps in capitalizing on the benefits of hybrid cloud has become increasingly important, with developers and IT operations now working together closer than ever to continuously plan, develop, deliver, integrate, test, and deploy new applications and services in the hybrid cloud ...

September 13, 2018

"Our research provides compelling evidence that smart investments in technology, process, and culture drive profit, quality, and customer outcomes that are important for organizations to stay competitive and relevant -- both today and as we look to the future," said Dr. Nicole Forsgren, co-founder and CEO of DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA), referring to the organization's latest report Accelerate: State of DevOps 2018: Strategies for a New Economy ...

September 12, 2018

This next blog examines the security component of step four of the Twelve-Factor methodology — backing services. Here follows some actionable advice from the WhiteHat Security Addendum Checklist, which developers and ops engineers can follow during the SaaS build and operations stages ...

September 10, 2018

When thinking about security automation, a common concern from security teams is that they don't have the coding capabilities needed to create, implement, and maintain it. So, what are teams to do when internal resources are tight and there isn't budget to hire an outside consultant or "unicorn?" ...

September 06, 2018

In evaluating 316 million incidents, it is clear that attacks against the application are growing in volume and sophistication, and as such, continue to be a major threat to business, according to Security Report for Web Applications (Q2 2018) from tCell ...

September 04, 2018

There's a welcome insight in the 2018 Accelerate State of DevOps Report from DORA, because for the first time it calls out database development as a key technical practice which can drive high performance in DevOps ...

August 29, 2018

While everyone is convinced about the benefits of containers, to really know if you're making progress, you need to measure container performance using KPIs.These KPIs should shed light on how a DevOps team is faring in terms of important parameters like speed, quality, availability, and efficiency. Let's look at the specific KPIs to track for each of these broad categories ...

August 27, 2018

Protego Labs recently discovered that 98 percent of functions in serverless applications are at risk, with 16 percent considered "serious" ...

Share this