While mobile plays a role for 73% of organizations, nearly half of businesses identify security (45%) and back-end integration (43%) as the top challenges for mobile app development, according to new research from Red Hat, Inc. Additional challenges identified include UI/UX design (35%), team collaboration (34%) and cost (24%).
“As organizations shift to become more mobile-centric, back-end integration is where many are hitting a wall—the back-end presents myriad challenges, while other challenges such as security continue to be a concern,” said Cathal McGloin, VP, Mobile Platforms, Red Hat. “In order to solve these mobile issues, organizations should look to maximize efficiency by leveraging mobile platforms to accelerate development while reducing complexity.”
Top Priorities, Challenges
The survey identified the priorities and challenges around enterprise mobility, as well as emerging attitudes toward the Internet of Things (IoT). Key findings include:
1. Over 50% of organizations that are developing mobile apps are still dependent on do-it-yourself back-end integration solutions. When integrating mobile apps into back-end systems, 55% of respondents that develop apps say they use external sources (libraries, marketplace and vendor services) to develop custom back-end integrations, custom-developed back-end integrations coded from scratch, or a mix of both. This demonstrates a high dependency on do-it-yourself approaches to the complexity of connecting apps to enterprise systems.
Although mobile app platforms and mobile backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) exist as effective solutions to integrate apps with enterprise back-end systems, less than one-third (30%) are using them, with one in five (20%) using API management. In addition, 20% either use existing middleware technology or an API from their back-end software vendor to connect their mobile apps.
2. The majority of organizations anticipate the IoT will impact their business. Most businesses are acknowledging the growing relationship between mobile and IoT by actively planning for the next wave of integration that will be required by connected devices. While 20% of organizations have already incorporated IoT projects into their business, 28% plan to do so in the next year, and 70% plan to do so over the next five years. Given the demonstrated pain point of back-end integration, companies should focus on a solution that effectively integrates IoT.
3. Organizations’ priorities for IT resources are geared toward core systems. Despite the appetite for mobile and IoT, when allocating IT resources for the year ahead, more than 60% of respondents are prioritizing maintenance of core systems and apps. This points to shadow IT as an increasing trend, where the business bypasses IT to create and use their own apps.
“Without strategic change, many organizations are losing the competitive advantage mobility can provide, encouraging business units to turn to potentially risky shadow practices for their mobile needs,” said Nicholas McQuire, VP, Enterprise, CCS Insight. “Winning IT strategies must be razor-focused on the needs of the business and end-users, embracing agile methodologies for app development, and adopting the technologies, toolkits and platforms that support this. Mobile-first organizations that have made the shift will be better positioned for the Internet of Things.”