The State of Application Development

View from the Cloud

The State of Application Development

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor  |  July 14, 2015

In a world gone application crazy, inquiring minds are interested in which apps and what capabilities are on the minds of enterprise IT shops. In fact, Atlanta, Georgia-based OutSystems, specialists in providing high-performance applications development via a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution in collaboration with TechValidate, decided to find out directly from more than 200 IT decision makers at enterprises worldwide what was on their minds concerning critical apps for 2015.

The results of the survey, are illuminating, as it is a complex development landscape, but mobile is unquestionably where it’s at. A few of the top line findings include:

  • Mobility emerged as a top focus in 2015.
  • 43 percent rated mobility (apps or sites that are mobile-friendly) as their top business functionality or process that is critical for applications.
  • Over half of surveyed IT organizations plan to build between 51 percent – 100 percent of their apps with a mobile component.
  • The dominant mobile architectures for 2015 will be Mobile Web (60 percent) and Hybrid (65 percent), with only 26 percent of enterprises planning to use Native mobile architectures.
  • Off-the-shelf apps are not keeping up with enterprise needs.

Despite a plethora of packaged and SaaS (News - Alert)-based applications available, many enterprises are finding it faster to build their own apps, rather than customizing packaged ones. The top enterprise applications that organizations plan to build in 2015 include:

Complex back-end integration with numerous systems is becoming the norm and, in fact, when building applications, organizations are finding themselves doing significant integration with existing systems:

  • 79 percent of organizations needed to integrate with at least 1-5 cloud-based applications
  • 66 percent of organizations needed to integrate with at least 1-5 on-premises applications
  • 61 percent of organizations needed to integrate with at least 1-5 custom developed applications

As the report notes, for many enterprises, all of this is cumulative, as it is common to see integration with up to 15 existing systems for any given application.

Paulo Rosado, CEO of OutSystems said, “The survey results echo the challenges we hear from customers: They are increasingly focused on delivering mobile applications, they aren’t getting what they need from off-the-shelf from packaged applications, and they desperately need the ability to integrate quickly and seamlessly with a wide variety of technologies. This confluence of challenges within enterprise application development is leading organizations to seek alternatives to dramatically simplify the delivery of applications, regardless of the underlying technology requirements.”

A chart that offers food for thought is the one regarding the top apps on the schedule for 2015 by function. While the process automation ranking is not surprising, the fact that reporting and analytics and executive dashboards and scorecards rank #2 and #3 confirms two important trends. The first is that interest in analytics validates that BI is emerging as a necessity for figuring out how to create sustainable value and competitive advantage. The second is confirmation of what we all see day-to-day, where C-levels are busy running their businesses off of their mobile devices. And, while this may not be the dominant driver of the concentration on mobile apps, it should not be underestimated. 

In conjunction with the release of the report, it should also be noted that OutSystems released new functionality for its Rapid Application Delivery platform, Platform 9 Amsterdam. The new capabilities highlight why OutSystems has included “Rapid” as part of its platform’s generic name. In a world where being fast-to-market and fast in the market are priorities, particularly when it comes to addressing the needs of mobile devices, the need to be rapid is at a premium. 




Edited by Maurice Nagle
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