The Reality of Mobile App Development
I have had countless conversations with professionals in the construction industry—from contractors and builders, to consultants and analysts, to technology providers—about mobile apps, and even custom development. It seems to be one of the hottest topics in the industry. So why, then, is one analyst suggesting enterprise spending on mobile app development remains low?
This is a statement made by one firm last week. A look at the numbers shows that Gartner, www.gartner.com, Stamford, Conn., suggests the average proportion of the overall application development budget allocated to mobile is only 10%, which is a 2% decrease from 2015.
This is according to a survey of IT and business leaders who are responsible for mobile strategy and/or custom mobile app development within their organizations. The challenge, according to Gartner, is while demand for mobile apps in the enterprise is growing, the urgency isn’t there yet.
I have seen some interesting case studies in the construction industry. For example, back in 2013, I heard about an example from LVM, a division of Dessau, Montreal, Que., a large engineering firm focused on planning, design, and construction of buildings, as well as structures for energy, water, transportation, and more. The company needed to create and launch a mobile app in a week’s time. With the help of a third-party, it was able to effectively deploy the app for inspectors.
Perhaps this is because in the construction industry—an industry that is very mobile by nature—custom app development is becoming more essential than other industries. Gartner’s survey takes a wide-sweeping look at enterprise development overall, while the 2015 Constructech IT Playbook takes a look specifically at the construction industry.
While the numbers are a bit higher in the construction industry (with 36% using custom apps, up from 27% in 2013), the number of respondents that have not used custom-developed apps—and have no plans to do so in the near future—also remains high at 42%. This could be due to the fact that the process can be both time consuming and costly. Also, it can be challenging for construction companies to predict what mobile trends are coming next. With technology changing so rapidly, custom development is a bit risky.
Perhaps this is an opportunity for the vendor community and technology consultants to offer more services to the construction industry. The need is apparent. The good news is, according to Gartner, 42% of organizations expect to increase spending on mobile app development by an average of 31% in 2016. Mobile app development certainly is ripe for innovation in the future. Let’s see where it goes next.
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