Businesses Turn to Internally Developed Mobile Apps

Sixty percent of respondents had apps created internally, while 35 percent had custom apps created by a third party, an Apperian survey found.

mobile apps and development

All categories of apps are growing, but apps developed in-house are growing the fastest, exhibiting double-digit growth compared to last year, according to a 2015 survey of more than 300 IT and mobility professionals conducted by Apperian and CITO Research.

Sixty percent of those surveyed use homegrown apps, while 35 percent have custom apps created by a third party, and 63 percent purchase apps from a vendor. Another 52 percent download enterprise apps from a public app store.

Just more than half of respondents (51 percent) are tracking which apps are being used, while 48 percent can see who is using them and 42 percent can see how frequently apps are used. The other half of respondents said they do not have this visibility at all.

"Investing in internal app development helps to create a culture focused on mobile excellence. When apps are developed internally, organizations tend to invest more in the success of the app and engage in strategies that increase the adoption of those apps, like internal marketing and private app stores," Alan Murray, senior vice president of products at Apperian, told eWEEK. "Developing apps internally also leads to the greatest satisfaction with mobility programs."

He said for companies looking to gain a competitive advantage with mobility and, in some cases, change how their industry works, developing apps internally with intimate knowledge of customers and business processes is the way they can do that.

Nearly half of respondents (47 percent) are investing in apps that support core business processes to increase adoption and drive return on investment (ROI), while user interface and user experience (UI/UX) investments ranked second, with 43 percent of respondents looking to provide a great experience for users.

More than half (52 percent) of respondents are already rolling out apps to more than 2,000 users, while a third (33 percent) are delivering apps out to 1,000 users or fewer.

Sixty-four percent of survey participants cited improved business processes as the top benefit of apps developed in-house. Increased user satisfaction and competitive advantage ranked second, tying at 60 percent of respondents each.

When it comes to barriers, 67 percent of respondents cited security as the top challenge to achieving their mobility goals, followed by the ability to determine ROI (32 percent) and a lack of budget (29 percent).

"With more and more companies focused on streamlining and improving their business processes and the growing adoption of BYOD, custom-built mobile apps are key to taking full advantage of the continuing mobile revolution," Murray said. "We expect organizations to not only build more of their own apps, but also supplement their app development investments with delivering vendor-developed apps for specific business processes."