In Part 1 and Part 2, we talked about how demand for mobile apps is exploding but there are many barriers to overcome. Companies are looking for new ways to tackle the mobility challenge by choosing the right technology to fit the problem and spreading development among more people.
Alternatives to Native App Development
Everything needs to work on mobile. But it doesn’t have to be a native app. As technology has matured, companies have discovered that they no longer need to take a native-only approach to app development. Progressive web and responsive web have rapidly become mainstream as companies realize that these apps meet their business needs but they’re also much faster and cheaper to build. They also don’t require the same skill set that native app development does addressing one of the most important barriers to mobility.
Nowadays, mobility is about reaching users through all channels, especially mobile web browsers, as users often don’t bother to install an app.
As a result, I.T. professionals preference for native app development has steadily declined to where just 17% prefer it in 2017 down from almost 30% 2 years ago.
User expectations are exceedingly high and they want apps that not only deliver function, but that also look and feel amazing and alternative approaches are increasingly able to deliver.
Citizen Developers offer a viable alternative
Two-fifths (43%) are already supporting or planning to support citizen developers and it’s a trend that’s on the rise. Gartner predicts that 70% of large enterprises will empower citizen developers in the next 3 years.
These citizen developers can genuinely help companies get things done without the need to hire people with hard-to-find and expensive skill sets.
In companies that support citizen developers, over 50% are already prototyping and building departmental applications and almost a third (30%) are building employee-facing applications. Customer-facing and enterprise applications remain the province of professional coders by and large but citizen developers are making strides there as well.
Low-Code, Great UX and Citizen Developers
At frevvo, we see these trends converging in our customers. They’re often using frevvo for employee-facing applications like Purchase Approvals or Travel Authorizations.They definitely want to digitize these on mobile devices and they need to look great otherwise employees won’t use them. But, of course, spending $500K on a native mobile app each time is a non-starter.
Technologies like frevvo allow app development to be spread out among more people. That in turn eases pressure on IT teams, freeing them up to meet business needs.
Automating these applications can deliver tremendous ROI with customers saving over 50% of the cost and seeing positive returns in under 3 months. And we’re working every day to further reduce the required skill sets e.g. with our upcoming Visual Business Rule Builder (more on that in a future article).We’ll write more about it in upcoming articles. In the meantime, check out our website for some examples and this short (4.5m) video on creating beautiful, responsive mobile web forms with frevvo.
Graphs and many of the insights in this series of articles can be found in the OutSystems 2017 State of Application Development Report (opt-in required). Credit: the afore-mentioned OutSystems report for all images in this article.