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Written by Francisco Kattán, VP of Marketing at It's fair to say that we are about  to experience a significant app explosion in the enterprise, and most organizations won’t be ready for it.  According to Gartner the average enterprise will develop 1400 mobile apps by 2024! Since most of these apps will be custom, the total number of apps will be in the millions, dwarfing the explosion we’ve experienced in consumer apps over the last few years. Most IT leaders are already feeling pressured from the businesses and if you haven’t yet, you’re about to…. In this podcast and post, I explain the reasons for this explosion and what enterprises should do to be ready. Review's infographic or download Apperian's Enterprise Mobile App Trends Report to learn more.


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As consumers, we use apps as part of our everyday lives from driving directions, to booking concert tickets, to making dinner reservations.  But in the enterprise it’s a different picture. Some enterprises have launched a mobile app to service their customers and others to mobilize their salesforce. But hundreds of existing desktop applications have yet to be mobilized, each one resulting in multiple mobile apps. In addition, many more mobile apps will be created that won’t have a desktop counterpart. With the typical enterprise development cycles at 18 to 24 months and the inability to hire mobile developers fast enough, many IT organizations are becoming a bottleneck. To make matters worse, the backend systems that these apps need to connect to just aren’t ready often requiring a separate IT project just to make them mobile friendly. So what should enterprises do to get ready? The answer is for IT to democratize the process for app development enabling “citizen developers” in the lines of business (LOBs) to create the apps they need in collaboration with IT.  Gartner recommends that enterprises implement a “bimodal IT” approach.  The idea is to complement the traditional “mode 1” approach with a more rapid mode of development (“mode 2”) that is better suited to support the large number of mobile app projects required. These projects typically require smaller teams and have more aggressive time-to-market requirements. In “mode 2,” business analysts who are closer to the requirements become “citizen developers” and with the right platforms are able to increase the capacity of the organization to meet the increasing demand for mobile apps from the business. Platform recommendations for Bimodal IT To truly democratize app development and deployment in the enterprise, IT should deploy a cloud based platform (private or public cloud depending on IT policies) that can be managed centrally by IT, but made available to all the citizen developers via a browser and with the ability to collaborate in real time in the same way you collaborate with Google Docs today.  It’s also important that the platform treat both citizen developers and IT programmers as first class citizens, with a development environment that offers the simplicity required by non-programmers without limiting the flexibility of IT programmers to code. Finally the platform should incorporate all the backend services and enterprise integration middleware that most apps will require, so developers can focus on the applications they need rather than developing and maintaining infrastructure. Case Study: Susco Corporation Susco is a system integrator that develops and deploys mobile apps for its enterprise and government clients. Before adoptiong a Bimodal IT approah with the platform, Susco did a side by side comparison buiding the same app using both their  traditional platform and also  As you can see in the chart below, the Bimodal IT approach cut the time from 11 months to only 3 and 75% of that time was with a business analyst not a senior developer.  By lowering the skills barrier to enable business analysts without limiting the flexibility for its programmers Susco was able to significantly increase its capacity while lowering overall costs. document_17_02_2016_white bg   For more on how to get ready for the upcoming app explosion, review this infographic.

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