Gartner Survey Predicts Changes In Enterprise Mobile App Development Spend

The average proportion of the budget for overall application development allocated to mobile in 2016 is only 10% -- a 2% decline from 2015, a new Gartner study reveals. Yet, the study also found 42% of organizations anticipate increasing spending on mobile app development by about 31% this year.

"Demand for mobile apps in the enterprise is growing, but the urgency to scale up mobile app development doesn't yet appear to be a priority for most organizations," said Adrian Leow, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "This must change, particularly given employees often have the autonomy to choose the devices, apps and even the processes to complete a task. This places an increasing amount of pressure on IT to develop a larger variety of mobile apps in shorter time frames."

Custom mobile app development is the focus for the majority of enterprises developing mobile apps, rather than customizing configurable apps or building from off-the-shelf templates, the Gartner survey also found. The firm said it believes that mobile has become a “natural behavior,” given that most development teams are using custom app development for all of their apps.

Other findings were that the range of mobile apps being used across the enterprise varies among user groups and lines of business in terms of the apps’ adherence to corporate and security policies. Public apps that employees are using personally, such as Dropbox, create a management problem when they are brought in to the business, Leow noted. "IT's ability to inventory and distribute these apps is fragmented at best, and more often it's incomplete."

Leow believes the development of an enterprise app store is the way to solve the issue of app management fragmentation and rogue apps. The survey found that organizations have an average of 26 mobile apps in their own enterprise app store, with a third of those mobile apps being custom-built, while the remainder are prepackaged apps (such as Box, Evernote and SAP Fiori).

Gartner surveyed global IT and business leaders responsible for mobile strategy and/or custom mobile development within their organizations in September 2015 to understand organizations' activities in mobile app development.

The firm previously estimated that the number of mobile app downloads in 2017 could generate more than $77 billion in revenue.