Few business or IT leaders would argue that mobile is no longer optional. This reality has never been more true as we navigate a global pandemic that’s changing almost everything about how we go about living our daily lives. Companies, employees, families, and just about everyone is #AloneTogether, making mobile not just a nice-to-have, but the principal method of communicating, be it with loved ones or employees.

While the case for mobile apps is airtight, an existing shortage of developer talent has hindered companies’ ability to push out the apps their employees need and their customers want in a timely and non-complex manner. In fact, Gartner predicts that through 2021, market demand for app development will grow at least five times faster than IT’s capacity to deliver it. That’s a striking number.

The question is: with mobile more important than ever, how can enterprise teams meet demand?

Today we are pleased to launch our State of Enterprise Mobile App Development research report, which surveyed more than 1,700 professional developers, architects, and IT leaders to find out what’s happening in enterprise app development today. The research report was conducted in tandem with our 3rd annual Ionic Developer Survey, released last week.

The results uncover significant information organizations need to catalyze change, including the fact that supply and demand are out of sync and enterprise teams are facing a growing app backlog.

Mobile App Demand > Supply

Approximately 68% of respondents across company sizes reported having delivered a relatively modest one to three apps within the past year, with most of the rest delivering between three and 10. The problem? Across company sizes, 84% reported a backlog between one and nine applications,
and 16% — a significant percentage — have a backlog of 10 or more apps.

To add to this, development speed is often measured in months, not weeks. More than 60% of respondents said it takes them anywhere from three to six months to develop an app from start to finish, and 22% report it takes anywhere between seven to upwards of 12 months to develop an app. Clearly there is room for improvement, especially for teams facing massive app backlogs. Incidentally, our newest project, Ionic X, is aimed at solving this very problem.

The Age of the Web Developer

Still, there were some bright spots.

First, as champions of the web platform, we were excited to see how the role of web developers has evolved. Indeed, the age of the web developer is upon us. Never have web devs enjoyed so much power and influence – with the ability to target almost any platform, exerting their influence up and down the stack. And they do: 94% of web developers have some say over the backend services and providers their organizations use, with 50% having a great deal of influence and even a final say.

Most importantly, web devs are proving that they’re ready to rise to the occasion and address the developer talent shortage.

Teams Using CI/CD Ship More Often

Second, it’s clear that more mature development organizations are shipping faster and more frequently. We compared release frequency with teams that have embraced DevOps tools, and the results are encouraging. Respondents using a CI/CD tool were 70% more likely to release multiple times per week or more, and 42% less likely to release quarterly or less.

Check out the full report

Check out our research report for answers to questions like:

  • Who is responsible for developing mobile applications within organizations?
  • Which platforms are they targeting?
  • The growing role of PWAs
  • What types of apps are right for you?

Bottom line, organizations have various options in order to overcome the many challenges to reducing time and complexity when building apps. And the reasons are distinct — they center around efficiency and improving the user experience.

Download the full report here: State of Enterprise Mobile App Development

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