Emerging Developer Opportunities in Enterprise Apps

Enterprise mobility such as BYOD, MDM, mobile SaaS and vertical app markets continue to grow at a tremendous pace. Given the scope of enterprise apps market, there are plenty of opportunities for the developers and channel partners as well. Read on to know more about them.

 

Apps are changing at the way professionals in the enterprise world communicate, work and increase the productivity. As BYOD policies and enterprise app are becoming increasingly popular among businesses, the market and opportunity for developers is also on the rise. Taking into account the several business benefits enterprise mobility offers, it’s no wonder that it has emerged as one of the top IT priorities and key investment areas for the global CIOs. Last year, a Gartner survey conducted depicted a majority of the CIOs ranked mobile as a top three spending priority for 2014. According to UK based mobile analyst company, Vision Mobile, enterprise app development has grown into a huge market and is expected to grow to $58 billion by 2016. According to the Vision Mobile Developer Economics Q3 2014, 16% of worldwide developers are currently building mobile apps for the enterprises.

A growing number of business users depend on enterprise apps to help them be more productive in their work. Enterprises are allowing employees to use apps at work place and also inside their corporate Intranet to increase their productivity. Various organizations, whether it is mid or large based companies are integrating enterprise based apps within their business processes. This requirement creates a market for custom made enterprise apps and services thus translating this demand into bigger opportunities for enterprise mobility app developers. Enterprise apps are profitable in several ways; the potential for improved customer retention with respect to carriers is one of the many benefits.

In this article, let’s take a look at the opportunities for developers and also the for other channel partners which is created by emerging trends in enterprise mobility such as BYOD, MDM, mobile SaaS, professional and other vertical apps market.

 

Booming Enterprise Mobility App Market

According to various analysts, the enterprise mobile app market is set to explode in coming years. According to Global Mobile Enterprise Business Application Revenue, 2012-2018, market researchers predict that the mobile enterprise business application market will nearly double from $31 billion in 2012 to $61 billion by 2018. According to the Gartner Research – ‘To the Point: Deliver New Mobile Value Through Process Change’, 2014, more business would adopt mobile technology. Gartner states in this report that by the end of 2014, 50 percent of business processes that involve human tasks will require near-real-time responses that are mobile-enabled. In other words, for the mobility based business process, numerous applications will be needed to drive those business processes on mobile devices. This is where the developers can grab the opportunities to create enterprise based mobility apps to make their fortunes. In other words, it’s basically an app-centric world – enterprise based mobility apps is the most rewarding revenue model in the business and productivity sector. It is estimated that on average $67,000 per app per month revenue business is generated in the Industry. There is huge potential for enterprise app developers and this is attracting many more skilled ones – it was reported that in 2003, approximately 900,000 developers in the world are said to be a part business app eco-system.

Significance & Early Adaptation

Earlier, enterprise mobility apps enabled organizations manage resources such as inventory and their supply chain using smart-phones through web-enabled applications or SMS. Companies such as Magic Software, which is based in Israel offers applications including Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP) provides worldwide services in the global mobile market. According to Appcelerator’s survey respondents — since late 2010, enterprise-focused developers have risen from 29.3% to 42.7% in the second quarter of 2013. Another statistics from an old survey also clearly indicates the relevance and significance of enterprise mobility for the Indian CIOs. According to Accenture 2013 CIO Mobility Report, 50 percent of the CIOs surveyed in the study tagged mobility as one of their top two focus areas with almost 77 percent of the Indian CIOs planning to focus their enterprise efforts on improving field and customer service delivery with instant data access, capture and processing.

Taking into consideration the interests of CIOs in enterprise mobility apps, vendors and developers are pursuing this opportunity and developing mobile apps to meet the business needs in specific verticals. In-fact, IBM is one of early entrants that adopted enterprise mobility before other companies could join. Way back in 2013, IBM identified Banking, Insurance, Government, healthcare, telecommunications, automotive and retail as the top enterprise sectors adopting mobile applications.

While the enterprise sector requires customized apps, one of the factors that makes enterprise mobility apps interesting and profitable is the fact of specialization required to help out organizations compete for customers.

 

 

Opportunities in Enterprise App Market

Developers working on enterprise based apps can prefer various verticals and sectors and also in different services across platforms. The following are some of the opportunities in which the developers can build their apps for the enterprise sector.

BYOD & Productivity based Apps

Enterprise based apps draws a clear distinction between personal and official usage of mobile device and hence data and apps are handled in separate partitions with respect to security, privacy, audits and standards. Hence, enterprise based apps, calendars, lists, emails, storage continuous to be the target for the developers in the enterprise IT area. Developers can consolidate and build apps fetched from enterprise app store and thus enhance the productivity of employees in organizations without having to compromise crucial official data and also offering employees the convenience of using their mobile devices.

Mobile SaaS

The traditional concept of Software-as-a-Service (Saas) delivering the ERP, BI, CRM, HR services to small and large based enterprises has always been a booming business. Enterprise mobility apps enhance the same capabilities through Mobile SaaS in which anytime/anyplace access is provided to these core business services.

Various Vertical based Apps

Specific Industry based apps in verticals such as in BFSI sectors like banks, insurance, stock markets, mass requirements across governments and telecommunication sector other specialized sectors like real estate, automotive, transportation, and healthcare sector provides a much wider opportunities for developers. Today, enterprise based apps are extensively used in healthcare sector especially in the US where mobile web applications are designed to help hospitals manage their patient records and drug inventories.

EMM – MDM/MAM/ECM

For enterprise that adopts BYOD policies requires apps and services that deals with security and complexity of the decentralized IT department. It is with this aspect that apps relating to Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) comprising Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Content Management (MCM) provide sophisticated app & device management models that can be designed and developed by the developers.

 

 

Customized Apps & Services

Certain enterprise based apps and services are packaged and delivered by the developers that are based outside of app stores. However, according to Industry experts this model of app development would slowly make way for the exclusive enterprise based app store.

Connecting Enterprise Mobility to Cloud

The significance of mobile connecting to the cloud became a necessity when smart-phones and cloud services was to be integrated in the enterprise sector. For catering the needs of enterprises, developers need the tools necessary to provide integration and support for large companies. These tools include IDEs, APIs, device and app management, tracking and analytics, cloud integration, design, strategy, security, and consultation.

Today, one can find numerous companies where enterprise mobile is focused on cloud services and this is where developers can make use of the opportunities. Usually, enterprises prefer services that are effortless to plug in and maintain and this is how the culture of ‘as-a-service’ movement started. This illustrates the significance of mobile cloud services and enterprise app development eco-system.

MADP Opportunities for Channel Partners

The Mobile Application Development Platform (MADP) space presents various channel partners with opportunities for creating enterprise based apps. The IT giants in the enterprise sector such as IBM, Oracle and SAP have already started working to merge the enterprise based mobility and cloud computing frameworks needed to create an MADP. On the other side, host of vendors who specialize in enterprise mobility based app development tools are consolidating their solutions in the cloud. To add one more perspective, popular cloud vendors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) have come out with MADP based tools that offers optimized solution to their unique cloud platform. Today, more and more solution providers which specialize in designing enterprise mobility apps that integrate with backend SAP applications are trying to solve business challenges. Today, we should accept the fact that a value system that is created by MADP has standard connectors to backend systems. This approach known as Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) implies quite amount of work is necessary to incorporate a mobile app with enterprise apps running on-premise or in the cloud that can be leveraged across multiple projects. In this context, Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), which refers to backend services for mobile applications that provide data storage, user management, push notifications, and other pertinent mobile APIs becomes relevant to channel partners.

IBM Bluemix, MobileFirst Platform & Channel Partners

Traditionally, BaaS has been the center of clash between the giant IT enterprise vendors namely IBM, Oracle and SAP. A few months back, SAP was projecting SAP Mobile 3.0 platforms that would leverage the SAP HANA in-memory database platform running in the cloud. Take IBM for instance; 6 months back, it was projecting that its Open Cloud Architecture based Bluemix cloud integration service as a force multiplier when its Worklight platform for developing mobile applications was able to support it. In addition to this, IBM tied up an alliance with Apple, thus creating a significant opportunity for the channel partners of IBM. One of the reasons why developers choose IBM Worklight is because of the fact that integrated development environment offers the flexibility to work across multiple programming languages.

Fast forward time from 6 months back to the current period — with the addition of code scanning and quality assurance capabilities IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation (formerly IBM Worklight) provides a mobile application development solution. For the developers, IBM offers significant tools from the Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) perspective. MBaaS in general terms refers to backend services for mobile applications that provide data storage, user management, push notifications, and other relevant mobile APIs. Bluemix on the other hand is the cloud offering from IBM which enables organizations and developers to create, deploy, and manage applications on the cloud. Bluemix is an implementation of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture based on Cloud Foundry, an open source Platform as a Service (PaaS). Functionally speaking, Bluemix is an open-standard cloud-based platform for building, managing, and running apps of all types, such as web, mobile, big data, and smart devices. The capabilities of Bluemix include Java, mobile back-end development, and application monitoring, as well as features from ecosystem partners and open source. In other words, several of the identical MobileFirst features are also available as MBaaS services on IBM Bluemix! Symbolically, the above description can be represented by the following equation

 

MBaaS = IBM Mobile Cloud Services = (Bluemix + MobileFirst)

These case studies clearly indicate that each industry vertical has some specific business functions, which can be optimized and enhanced to derive business benefits, if the relevant enterprise applications are mobile-enabled.

 

Way Forward

Mobile workforces rely profoundly on enterprise based apps to conduct their business and increase their productivity. Most of the enterprises are using mission-critical applications to run their business and are looking for next generation enterprise apps that will drive the revenue markets, customer services and employee productivity. Various enterprise app developers and solution providers are coming up with interesting and unique enterprise mobility solutions for specific industry verticals. With enterprise apps being extensively used by the corporate sector, it’s not a surprise that several developers are looking forward for the next giant wave focusing on enterprise based mobility apps. Industry experts predict that organizations would reallocate large portions of IT budgets to develop apps that cater to their business requirements, triggering a wave of demand for enterprise app developers.

 

Enterprises should understand the nuances across the Android and Apple ecosystem and integrate all mobile process such as mobile devices, carriers, and API architecture and work closely with the app developers and channel partners. Given the current and future trend in mobile and IT space, app developers in the enterprise sector have a unique opportunity to consolidate their skills and domain expertise across exciting new verticals. Even though enterprise mobility apps may not be exiting and inspiring to the developers in the initial phase, in terms of revenue and market – it certainly has a lot to offer. For the channel partners — with the offshoot of MDM solutions from a diversity of vendors available in the markets, it is time for the enterprises to evaluate how to securely balance a company’s enterprise mobility needs with a strong BYOD strategy and MDM solution that is appropriate for specific company’s requirements.

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