5 Myths Of Enterprise App Development In A Mobile-First World

Enterprise App

My company recently analysed customer data and industry RFPs from organisations with more than 1,000 employees and identified five myths surrounding the building of enterprise mobile apps in today’s mobile-first world. Here are the common pain points:

Myth #1: Enterprise Apps Take At Least 6 Months To Develop & Deploy

Industry received wisdom dictates that apps, especially those designed for enterprise, can take at least half a year to build and launch. With some organisations requiring anywhere from 10-100 apps to serve different business units, the time required to build apps can appear prohibitive. The right platform can halve app development time to just 60-90 days. The key is to reuse code and backend services where possible in order to speed integration.

Myth #2: Data Is King, But It’s Too Complicated For Apps To Access Legacy Systems

Enterprise organisations that have already made large investments in systems, such as ERP, are hesitant to develop mobile apps that cannot seamlessly plug into existing mission-critical technologies. On average, a suite of enterprise apps connects to between 2 and 6 backend systems and APIs, including Sharepoint, Oracle, MySQL and SAP. Because 2 in 3 of these backend systems do not have accessible APIs, this can slow down the development process or make mobile apps unusable. Using an enterprise-grade mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) with an API infrastructure solves this issue by enabling legacy systems to be easily accessed by mobile devices.

Myth #3: Mobile App Developers Must Keep Up With A Myriad Of Coding Languages & Frameworks – It’s Impossible!

Learning new development languages in order to build individual apps for each device platform can be tedious, and for some enterprises entails constantly hiring fresh developers with different skill sets. According to Forrester, when creating hybrid cross-platform apps, developers often employ as many as 10 different coding languages for enterprise app development projects. Common coding languages required include HTML5, JavaScript, Objective C, C#, Sencha Touch and Node.js. and these don’t even include languages proprietary to traditional MEAP platforms. To simplify development, developers can use mobile app platforms using a “Bring Your Own Toolkit” approach that allows them to use the languages and toolkits they are most comfortable with.

Myth #4: Enterprise Apps Are Always Data-Heavy, Placing High Loads On Handsets & Backend Systems

The best mobile app platforms take large amounts of data from the backend and transmit a small filtered set of data to the handset: reducing overall demands. For each enterprise app session, the size of data transferred for each app should be less than 1MB.

Myth #5: Having A “Chief Of Mobility” Is The Best Way To Handle Company-Wide App Development

This myth assumes that one central figure will successfully oversee app development and deployment across the enterprise. In reality, the average enterprise mobile app development project requires at least 20 personnel, including business heads, developers, project managers, IT and employees. By collaborating and using the same technology standards and requirements, a Mobile Centre of Excellence or Mobile Steering Committee can guide mobile projects across multiple business units without creating new silos.

Today’s technology allows for the swift creation of apps without vendor lock-in. Businesses should take advantage of the new technologies at their disposal. Agile, open, collaborative and powerful cloud-based mobile application platforms now render obsolete long-held notions around lengthy and complex app development and deployment.

Cathal McGloin

Cathal McGloin, CEO of Mobile Backend-as-a-Service provider FeedHenry, is a serial entrepreneur. He has championed start-up ventures in IT and Telecoms, including Performix Technologies which he founded and Aran Technologies where he was President/VP Sales. He is an engineer with MBA, with experience in US, Europe, Ireland and UK markets. His previous enterprise IT career was with Siemens, Germany and Cap Gemini, UK.