App development not keeping up with device updates

App development teams in companies are unable to keep up the updates rolled out by device vendors

App development teams in companies are unable to keep up the updates rolled out by device vendors, according to a survey conducted by Vanson Bourne, and commissioned by Borland, a Micro Focus company.

In the study, CIOs say it takes an average of five months to deliver new versions of mobile applications for existing mobile device updates, confirming they cannot keep up with device vendors who release updates every couple of months.

Of the 590 CIOs and IT directors polled from nine countries around the globe, the majority (79 percent) confirmed the teams delivering these mobile apps are a mix of in-house and outsourced support.

"Mobile apps play a critical role in every organisation's business strategy today. However, the consumer in all of us is demanding more, and companies are under increasing pressure to release higher quality mobile apps faster and more often than ever before. A shift in thinking is needed when it comes to mobile quality, performance and development," said Archie Roboostoff, Borland Solutions Portfolio Director, Micro Focus.

The respondents were from mainframe organisations with 500 plus employees, covering multiple industry sectors. Out of the interviewees, 25 are from Singapore.

A third of the 590 respondents labelled their mobile development team as sluggish, middling or outpaced, showing a distinct lack of faith in their ability to develop and deliver against business requirements.

This poses a particular challenge given respondents predict a 50 percent increase in the number of business apps that need to be made accessible on mobile devices over the next three years (from 31 percent in 2013 to 46 percent in 2016).

Timely Mobile Apps

The ability to deliver timely mobile apps presents an even greater problem to mainframe organisations. Seventy-eight percent of CIOs said that having a mainframe makes developing or implementing mobile applications that work with their existing systems more difficult.

Eighty-six percent confirmed mobile application vendors and developers are more reticent to work with mainframe organisations. These findings confirm there is a real need to bridge the world of mainframe and mobile to ease the challenges for mainframe organisations.

The survey also found that the majority of the respondents chose Android as their mobile operating system, with 78 percent of organisations developing their mobile apps for this system today.

Apple iOS came second, with 65 percent developing for it, and Windows Phone third at 52 percent. Although Android is expected to maintain its pole position in two years' time with 77 percent, iOS and Windows Phone will close the gap with 71 percent and 65 percent respectively.

The interviewed CIOs are not predicting a comeback for Blackberry OS. Lagging fourth at 36 percent, respondents estimate a miserly one-percent growth to 37 percent in two years time. Unsurprisingly, Symbian is the clear loser with only seven percent choosing to develop for the operating system.

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Jack Loo

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