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rep or ts.informat ionweek.com
D ecem b er 2013

$99

Building a Mobile
Business Mindset
688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile
apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year.

Among

Soon, all apps will look like mobile apps and its past time for
those with no plans to get cracking.
By Kurt Marko

Report ID: R7231213

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CONTENTS

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TABLE OF

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3
4
5
6
7
9
11
16
20
22
24
25
37

Authors Bio
Executive Summary
Research Synopsis
How Times Change
The State of Enterprise Mobile App Dev
App Dev Challenges
From App Concept to Reality
Building the Team
Important Mobile App Capabilities
Measuring and Securing
Recommendations
Appendix
Related Reports

Figures
6 Figure 1: Plans for Browser-Based Custom Apps
7 Figure 2: Mobile Operating Systems for Native
Custom Apps
8 Figure 3: Plans for Native Custom Applications on
Mobile Devices
9 Figure 4: Mobile Operating Systems In Use
or Evaluated
10 Figure 5: Biggest Native Application Development
Challenges

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

11 Figure 6: Reasons for Not Developing


Custom Mobile Applications
12 Figure 7: Scope of Deployment
13 Figure 8: Deployment Plans for Mobile
Applications
14 Figure 9: Best Application Deployment
Techniques
15 Figure 10: Native vs. Browser-Based App
16 Figure 11: Means of Providing Custom
Apps
17 Figure 12: Development Environments
for Native Mobile Apps
18 Figure 13: Importance of Cross-Platform
Support
19 Figure 14: Most Important IDE Evaluation
Features
20 Figure 15: Mobile Application Code and
UI Development
21 Figure 16: Dev Environments for BrowserBased Apps
22 Figure 17: Browser-Based vs. Native App
23 Figure 18: Biggest Challenges
25 Figure 19: Mobile OS for Customer Apps
26 Figure 20: Mobile Device Most Likely
Used to Access Custom Apps

27 Figure 21: Reasons for Developing


Mobile Applications
28 Figure 22: Choosing Devices and
Platforms
29 Figure 23: Job Title
30 Figure 24: Revenue
31 Figure 25: Industry
32 Figure 26: Company Size
33 Figure 27: Job Title
34 Figure 28: Revenue
35 Figure 29: Industry
36 Figure 30: Company Size

December 2013 2

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Kurt Marko
InformationWeek Reports

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

Kurt Marko is an InformationWeek and Network Computing contributor and IT


industry veteran, pursuing his passion for communications after a varied career
that has spanned virtually the entire high-tech food chain, from chips to systems. Upon graduating from Stanford University with a BS and MS in electrical
engineering, Kurt spent several years as a semiconductor device physicist, doing
process design, modeling, and testing. He then joined AT&T Bell Laboratories as
a memory chip designer and CAD and simulation developer.
Moving to Hewlett-Packard, Kurt started in the laser printer R&D lab doing
electrophotography development, for which he earned a patent, but his love of
computers eventually led him to join HPs nascent technical IT group. He spent
15 years as an IT engineer and was a lead architect for several enterprise-wide
infrastructure projects at HP, including the Windows domain infrastructure, remote access service, Exchange email infrastructure, and managed web services.

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SUMMARY

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EXECUTIVE

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Building a Mobile Business Mindset

The differences between mobile apps and conventional Windows clients, or even web applications, are far more
than skin deep. Yes, the touch-versus-keyboard interface, APIs, and programming languages are new, but thats arguably the easy part. There are profound differences in how the two are built, the functionality each prioritizes, the release cycles on which theyre developed even the attitudes, values, and work styles of the developers creating them.
The 688 business technology pros responding to our 2013 Mobile Application Development Survey up from 350
respondents in 2012 are getting ready for applification to rock their enterprises.
>> Android phones edged out both iPhones and iPads among platforms in use or under evaluation, cited by 78%;
thats up 12 points, from 66% in 2012.
>> 59% say coding and UI work are being done in-house versus 18% using external providers.
>> When specifying devices and platforms custom apps must support, IT and the business are in sync: Its a collaborative decision was the No. 1 choice, up seven points.
>> 28% have no plans to develop browser-based mobile-optimized apps in the next 12 months; 30% say the same
about native custom apps.
In this report, well:
>>Discuss the road to mobilizing your organization, from picking the right apps, building a development team, and
choosing the development platform to the skills and capabilities your dev team needs to successfully make the transition.
>>Analyze mobile application development trends, from strategies and platforms to security.
Respondent breakdown: 28% have 5,000 or more employees; 21% are over 10,000. Education, consulting, and financial services are well-represented, and 28% are IT director/manager or IT executive management (C-level/VP) level; an
additional 9% are non-IT executives (C-level/VP) or line-of-business managers.

December 2013 4

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InformationWeek Reports
analysts arm business technology
decision-makers with real-world
perspective based on qualitative
and quantitative research, business and technology assessment
and planning tools, and adoption
best practices gleaned from
experience.

OUR STAFF
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SYNOPSIS

ABOUT US

reports

RESEARCH

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

Survey Name InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Application Development Survey


Survey Date July 2013
Region North America
Number of Respondents 688
Purpose To examine mobile platform development options, where and why enterprises
are building mobile applications, and what they are looking for in mobile IDEs and development tools
Methodology InformationWeek surveyed 688 business technology decision-makers at
North American organizations. The survey was conducted online, and respondents were
recruited via an email invitation containing an embedded link to the survey. The email
invitation was sent to qualified InformationWeek and Dr. Dobbs subscribers.

December 2013 5

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How Times Change


At the time, Steve Jobs proclamation of a
post-PC world, catalyzed by smartphones
and Apples fresh take on the failed tablet
concept, seemed the height of hubris. Now its
a truism reinforced by seismic industry shifts:
PCs regularly logging double-digit sales declines, print magazines and bookstores folding, handheld game consoles rendered irrelevant by app stores.
While mobile devices are sleek and convenient, whats really fueled the transition are intuitive and powerful mobile apps. In fact, the
speed of the mobile takeover has been stunning. Flurry, a developer of mobile analytics,
advertising, and monetization software that
tracks more than 300,000 apps from 100,000
developers deployed to 1 billion devices,
now records 1.3 trillion in-app events each
month, roughly double the level of just a year
earlier. And games are no longer the predominant mobile draw; Flurrys statistics
show broad use of newsstand, life cycle, social networking, and productivity apps.
reports.informationweek.com

Nolan Wright, CTO and co-founder of mobile


app platform builder Appcelerator, contends
that mobile is a bigger disruptive technology
shift than the web itself. There will come a
time when we dont use the qualifier mobile
when discussing mobile software development, he says. All development will be mo-

bile development. It will just be software development. We agree, which means mobile
marks a generational change in app development, similar to but actually much larger and
more significant than prior epochal changes
from terminal to PC-based applications and
from standalone client-server software to web

Figure 1

Plans for Browser-Based Custom Apps


What are your plans for browser-based custom applications optimized for mobile devices in the next 12 months?
2013

2012

We currently have browser-based mobile-optimized applications and plan to develop more in the next 12 months

38%
36%
We currently have browser-based mobile-optimized applications but don't plan on developing any more

3%
7%
We dont currently have browser-based mobile-optimized applications but plan on developing in the next 12 months

31%
31%
We have no plans to develop browser-based mobile-optimized applications

28%
26%
Base: 688 respondents in July 2013 and 350 in July 2012
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

R7230813/2

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Building a Mobile Business Mindset

apps. Says Wright: This disruptive shift can either work for you or against you.
Translated: Its better to ride a wave rather
than be swamped by it.
Figure 2

In this report, well explain how to embrace


and capitalize on this app transformation before youre run over like a Dell PC in the path
of an iPad steamroller. Building mobile app ca-

Mobile Operating Systems for Native Custom Apps


For which mobile operating systems have you deployed, or do you plan to build, native custom applications?

65%

Note: Multiple responses allowed


Base: 481 respondents in July 2013 and 258 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals
reports.informationweek.com

2%
3%

Other

4%
0%

HP Palm WebOS

2%
3%

Symbian

7%
2%

BlackBerry Tablet OS (PlayBook)

6%
NA

BlackBerry 7 OS or earlier

9%
NA

BlackBerry 10 OS

21%
18%

Windows Mobile

24%
21%

Windows Phone 7.x or 8

Android Tablet

Apple iPhone

Apple iPad

Android Phone

48%

64%

67%
64%

67%
71%

2012

74%

2013

R7230813/5

pability is no harder than navigating like software development transitions from thick
client-server applications to the web, but it
does require a change in strategies, a new developer mindset, and some updated skills.
The State of Enterprise Mobile App Dev
InformationWeek readers arent exactly
enterprise mobile app laggards, but our
data shows that the level of development
has leveled off in the past year, since our
2012 survey. Once again, we asked readers about their mobile development
plans and found that 46% of respondents
have deployed custom mobile apps, with
a plurality, 41%, planning more in the
next year. Both figures are up two points
from 2012.
However, theres a notable caveat concerning comparisons between the two
surveys: The sample size and demographics changed significantly. We aggressively
courted a wider audience of UBM Tech
readers this year, specifically the Dr.
Dobbs developer community. TechniDecember 2013 7

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2013 State Of
Mobile Security
Incidents of mobile malware are
way up, researchers say, and 78%
of respondents worry about lost
or stolen devices. But while many
teams are taking mobile security
more seriously, 42% still skip
scanning completely, and just
39% have MDM systems in place.

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cally, they were included last year as well but


were far more responsive this year for some
reason. This had the salubrious effect of nearly
doubling the number of responses, but it also
shifted the demographics to include a lower
percentage of C-level IT executives and IT
managers. For example, last year 40% of the
respondents were either IT C-levels or managers, dropping to 29% this year. The wider
audience also shifted the industry and size
mix. Last year, 38% of respondents were from
companies with less than $100 million in revenue, but this year that rose to 42%. Likewise,
we had a much higher proportion working for
IT vendors (13% versus 6%) and notable drops
in those from government agencies (8% versus 12%) and from the healthcare industry
(6% versus 10%).
Our survey validates what any smartphone
shopper already knows: Its an Android and Apple iOS duopoly as the two platforms rule the
mobile world. Still, the results indicate Apple
had best be watching its back this year; Android is the big winner in the platform wars.
More of our respondents now use or are eval-

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

uating Android phones than the iPhone, while


the share using or evaluating Android tablets
jumped 15 points, to close within five points of
the iPad. In fact, IDCs latest market survey estimates that Android tablets have already
leapfrogged iPads in total sales. More users
translates to increased development efforts, as
the share of respondents building native mobile apps for Android phones increased 10

points, while apps for the Android tablet


jumped 17 points. Meanwhile, iPhone and iPad
use as an enterprise mobile app platform has
stalled at about two-thirds of our respondents.
Anyone following the mobile device market
also wont be surprised to find our survey says
BlackBerry is the biggest loser. Last year, 37%
of our respondents used or were evaluating
BlackBerry phones, and 10% were looking at

Figure 3

Plans for Native Custom Applications on Mobile Devices


What are your plans for native custom applications on mobile devices in the next 12 months?
2013

2012

We currently have custom mobile applications and plan to develop more in the next 12 months

41%
39%
We currently have custom mobile applications but don't plan on developing any more

5%
5%
We dont currently have custom mobile applications but plan on developing in the next 12 months

24%
30%
We have no plans to develop custom mobile applications

30%
26%
Base: 688 respondents in July 2013 and 350 in July 2012
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

R7230813/1

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4%

1%

Other

2%
3%

HP Palm WebOS

2%
4%

Symbian

10%

3%

BlackBerry Tablet OS (PlayBook)

10%

NA

BlackBerry 10 OS

11%

NA

Windows Mobile

BlackBerry 7 OS or earlier

24%
24%

28%

20%

Windows Phone 7.x or 8

Android Tablet

Apple iPhone

Apple iPad

Android Phone

53%

68%

73%
78%

66%

73%
75%

78%

its now-defunct tablet. Those figures plum- App Dev Challenges


the transition. When asked about their
meted to a combined 21% for the phone platMaking the case for enterprise mobile apps biggest native application development chalforms (we broke out legacy versus new BB10 isnt difficult, but as in weightlifting, its no lenges, 55% of our respondents cite more
devices this year) and a mere 3% still using pain, no gain, so expect some work making complex code development than web applithe PlayBook. Clearly, BlackBerry is no Figure 4
longer the darling of the enterprise, nor Mobile Operating Systems in Use or Evaluated
have the new 10 series phones stanched Which of the following mobile operating systems are you using, have you used or have you evaluated in the last 12 months?
the exodus. Less than 10% of our respon2013
2012
dents are building native apps for BlackBerrys new OS. For IT execs the message is
this: Dont waste precious mobile development resources on a dying platform.
Windows is on the ascent, but it still posts
modest numbers.
Our survey also illustrates the waning
days of corporate-issued mobile devices:
BYOD is now SOP. Over the past year we
saw a stunning 14-point increase in the
share of respondents allowing any mobile
device, whether company or employee
owned, to access custom, internal mobile
apps, while those limiting access to approved, company-issued hardware dwinR7230813/4
dled to 23%, down 12 points from last Note: Multiple responses allowed
Base: 564 respondents in July 2013 and 287 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized custom mobile applications
year.
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals
December 2013 9

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cations, 52% name cross-platform compatibility and coding for both iOS and multiple Android variants, and 47% say finding or nurturing mobile application development
expertise is tough.
The difficulty of developing native apps, particularly across multiple platforms, is real. But
its also given rise to some innovative new development platforms, such as Appcelerators
Titanium, PhoneGap, Corona, RhoMobile, and
Xamarin, that let developers write in a single
language and deploy to multiple platforms.
For example, Wright says, Titanium uses the
web-centric JavaScript language, which is
much simpler than native Java (Android) or
Objective C (iOS), plus more familiar to enterprise developers. But from that JavaScript
base, developers can target native apps for
Android, iOS, and BB10, with WinPhone 8 support in the works.
The mobile migration isnt yet a stampede;
our data does show a disturbing trend in the
primary reason cited for not developing mobile apps: lack of perceived need. In fact, this
year, the percentage claiming no business

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

Figure 5

Biggest Native Application Development Challenges


What are the biggest challenges or issues when developing native applications?
2013

2012

More complex code development than Web applications

55%
56%
Cross-platform compatibility; coding for both iOS and multiple Android variants

52%
36%
Finding/nurturing mobile application development expertise

47%
43%
Handling offline usage; caching and synchronizing data

31%
34%
Harder to package and deploy

21%
22%
Translating functionality of Windows applications to a touch-screen, non-menu-based UI

20%
28%
Harder to update

14%
17%
Other

4%
3%
Note: Three responses allowed
Base: 481 respondents in July 2013 and 258 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

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R7230813/19

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Building a Mobile Business Mindset

ing to mobilize their business processes and


customer interactions is the big drop in our
(mostly IT) respondents who are dissuaded
from developing mobile apps by cost, lack of

need jumped 14 points to nearly half of those


respondents taking a pass on mobile apps.
Wed suggest they arent thinking hard
enough. One encouraging sign for execs hopFigure 6

Reasons for Not Developing Custom Mobile Applications

reports.informationweek.com

9%
4%

We allow authenticated users from mobile devices on our network,


but dont support them

6%
9%

Technology isn't mature enough

13%
8%

Security risk

Note: Multiple responses allowed


Base: 124 respondents in July 2013 and 64 in July 2012 with no plans to develop custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

We dont have a policy for mobile devices

12%

20%

27%
Cost

12%

13%
9%

15%
Lack of ROI

We dont allow mobile devices to access our networks

20%

27%

28%
Lack of budget

21%

25%
28%

Other projects have higher priority

Lack of staff expertise

31%
33%

34%
No business need

18%

2012

48%

2013

We only support a basic set of mobile usage like email and calendaring

Why doesnt your organization have plans to develop native custom or browser-based mobile applications?

budget, or perceived security risks.


Although native apps are more difficult to
develop, browser-based apps are no panacea.
Youll have to tackle another set of cross-platform incompatibilities thanks to
subtle differences in mobile
browsers and the fact that each
major mobile platform has a different native web client: Safari
for iOS, Chrome for Android, and
Internet Explorer for Windows
Phone. Sixty-five percent of
those developing browserbased mobile apps cite browser
compatibility as a challenge, up
10 points since last year, while
52% list HTML5 support and maturity as an issue when building
browser-optimized apps.
5%
6%

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R7230813/3

From App Concept to Reality


Becoming a mobile-savvy IT organization starts by mapping out
a strategy, then selecting business
opportunities with the greatest
December 2013 11

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mobile app potential. Wright says to first decide how critical mobile is to your overall business strategy. For some orgs, such as retailers

and organizations with big field-service operations, mobile is a natural. Companies with
scores of desk-bound workers, like call centers

Figure 7

Scope of Deployment
To which employees are you deploying or planning to deploy mobile devices primarily for the use of custom enterprise
applications?

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Other

7%
5%

16%
15%
Any employee who asks

Whole departments

14%
12%

30%
30%
Line-of-business managers

Sales

Road warriors

32%
30%

35%
IT executives

32%
35%

40%

42%
36%
38%

38%
34%

37%
IT management/staff

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2012

Non-IT executives

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Specific job types (e.g., patient caregivers, manufacturing,


retail workers)

2013

R7230813/10
Note: Multiple responses allowed
Base: 564 respondents in July 2013 and 287 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

or data processors, may find limited upside. Key


considerations include the app portfolios target audience (employees, business partners,
customers, all of the above), goals (generate
revenue, cut costs, streamline business
processes), and initial scope (how many
apps you plan to build in the near term).
One encouraging sign, at least for productivity and ROI, is that our survey finds
enterprise mobile deployment is increasingly focused on job duties, not job status.
Mobile phones traditionally were a perk
denoting corporate power, but the democratization of smartphones, with more
than half of all Americans now carrying
one, means its no longer a status symbol.
When looking at the employee categories
our respondents target for mobile device
deployment specifically for custom enterprise apps, the demographic shift is subtly,
but notably, focused more on the job and
less on the level. Indeed, our data reflects
the smartphones transition from luxury
accessory to everyday necessity, showing
that mobile apps are more commonly
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Building a Mobile Business Mindset

built for specific job types like retail clerks,


front-line healthcare givers, and manufacturing employees than for execs or road warriors.
Strategy in hand, the first step in building
mobile app capability is changing the way
you approach the development process.
Figure 8

Deployment Plans for Mobile Applications


FAST FACT

46%
of respondents to our
2013 Mobile Application
Development Survey
have deployed custom
mobile apps, with 41%
planning more in the
next year.

For each of the following application categories, what types of mobile applications are you deploying?

Forms/data collection
Customer-facing (any type)
Business intelligence/analytics
Service management/customer support
Interactive product catalogs/documentation
Collaboration
Travel and expense reporting/time tracking
Custom sales tools
Conferencing/video
Field service scheduling/dispatch
CRM
Inventory/material management
Logistics/status tracking
ERP
Manufacturing/process control
Online payment processing

Native mobile app


28%
31%
17%
18%
16%
19%
15%
16%
18%
15%
14%
14%
13%
10%
12%
14%

Mobile skin-HTML app


22%
21%
14%
12%
14%
13%
10%
12%
7%
11%
11%
8%
11%
7%
5%
8%

Mobile-optimized browser app


31%
32%
20%
19%
20%
16%
16%
17%
12%
14%
13%
13%
13%
12%
10%
11%

Note: Multiple responses allowed


Base: 564 respondents developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Application Development Survey of 688 business technology professionals, July 2013
reports.informationweek.com

bile app success. Indeed, during a presentation at a recent mobile industry conference,
Prashant Fuloria, the chief product officer for
Flurry, pointed out that users vote with their
feet. Better user experiences are going to
win, says Fuloria. And right now, those better
experiences are for better or worse
in mobile apps [as opposed to websites].
If they come to my mobile site, they are a
visitor, whereas if they use my mobile app,
Not deploying
they are a customer.
22%
Mobile design is touch-centric and opti25%
34%
mizes use of the small screen. This means
35%
you cant simply port legacy PC applica36%
tions to mobile, says Genefa Murphy, HPs
37%
director of mobile product management,
39%
40%
analytics, and user experience software.
42%
Unlike most legacy enterprise software,
42%
the best mobile apps also arent laden
44%
44%
with features. Murphy says developers
45%
need to break apps into simple, relevant,
46%
task-based use cases that can be accom49%
49%
plished with minimal taps and swipes.
Mobile development is also distinct,
R7230813/11
taking agile to a new level; its rapid, iter-

Streamlined user experience is in, creeping


feature-itis is out. So are lengthy release cycles, as the mobile user expects a basic app
now, with frequent updates. Mobile is very
much about user experience, says Wright,
highlighting the importance of design to mo-

December 2013 13

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ative and data driven. In contrast to desktop


or even web apps, which often go through
lengthy development and testing periods,
Wright says, mobile release cycles are much
shorter, having gone from months to weeks.
Murphy concurs, saying that a common tactic is to build the minimum viable product
just to get something out the door to gather
usage statistics and customer feedback for
improvements.
Mobile apps are also cross-platform. Unlike
the Microsoft monopoly that defines the corporate PC environment, mobile is effectively
a duopoly: Apple and Android. This means
that for mobile apps to have maximal exposure and the biggest audience, developers
need to think cross-platform from the outset.
In fact, for Android, it also means dealing with
multiple variants of the platform since Android fragmentation is still an issue. The latest
survey by OpenSignal detected 11,868 distinct Android devices, up almost threefold
since 2012, running eight Android versions,
with only 38% running the latest Jelly Bean release. Companies should also keep an eye on
reports.informationweek.com

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

Figure 9

Best Application Deployment Techniques


For each of the criteria below, which of these application deployment techniques is the best approach?
Native mobile app

Mobile skin-HTML app

Mobile-optimized browser app

Generic browser app

Performance

85%

4%

7%

4%

Offline functionality

80%

6%

9%

5%

Security and control

71%

7%

13%

9%

Usability

63%

13%

17%

7%

User acceptance/engagement

58%

12%

21%

9%

Device support and compatibility

33%

13%

30%

24%

Support for/integration with existing back-end systems

28%

13%

27%

32%

Supportability

19%

13%

35%

33%

Ease/speed of development

16%

16%

33%

35%

Ease/speed of deployment

13%

15%

35%

37%

Base: 564 respondents developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Application Development Survey of 688 business technology professionals, July 2013

R7230813/22

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use of Windows among their customer and


user base.
The basic design decision when developing
mobile apps is native or mobile, but for the
best user experience and feature set, its still
no choice. Experts and the application marketplace agree: native by a mile. The latest Appcelerator and IDC mobile developer report
found that around 80% to 90% of respondents were very interested in developing for
iOS or Android phones, while only 65%
showed the same interest in HTML5. Our survey respondents overwhelmingly report that
native applications provide better performance, functionality (including offline), usability,
security and control, and user engagement
than browser-based apps.
Yet for development speed and minimal
learning curve, HTML still wins. Wright acknowledges that although it still doesnt offer
the best user experience, HTML5 does leverage existing developer expertise. Rodrigo
Coutinho, R&D manager of OutSystems, an
HTML5 platform developer, says that using
web technologies for mobile apps makes it

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

Figure 10

Native vs. Browser-Based App


What are the primary reasons for developing a native application instead of a browser-based application?
2013

2012

Functionality; can't get the application features we need in a browser application

54%
52%
Security and control; we want to precisely control the configuration and data flows

36%
41%
Application performance

36%
28%
User expectations; won't use browser applications

35%
34%
Offline use; need application that works without a network

33%
29%
Easier to optimize for multiple screen sizes (phone, tablet)

29%
31%
Fits into long-term strategy of deploying applications through an internal store/portal

13%
19%
Other

2%
2%
Note: Three responses allowed
Base: 481 respondents in July 2013 and 258 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

R7230813/18

December 2013 15

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much easier to find skilled developers. Coutinho also says that distributing and updating
apps for multiple platforms is much easier to
do on the web, although we would point out
that without a well-known app store, the
place mobile users have been conditioned to
go for app shopping, it may be harder to actually find them. Coutinho also contends that
in one respect, web apps are more secure
than their native counterparts since they inherently dont locally store any data.

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

can afford to ignore mobile. This argues for


building the app development skill set and
capability internally rather than outsourcing

to mobile specialists. The problem is whether


to go evolutionary or revolutionary.
Murphy argues that building a separate mo-

Figure 11

Means of Providing Custom Apps


How are you providing custom enterprise applications to mobile devices?
2013

2012

Mobile-optimized Web interface

56%
54%
Custom mobile application for a single platform (e.g., iOS, Android)

37%

Building the Team


The structure of your mobile development
team hinges on how strategic mobile is to
your organization. Considering the disruptive ramifications mobile has already had in
the business world, with Facebooks Mark
Zuckerberg predicting that soon well have
more revenue on mobile than desktop,
wed suggest you rethink any strategy treating mobile as a nice to have supplement to
existing PC-based apps and business
processes. We agree with Wright and others,
like Googles Eric Schmidt, that no company
reports.informationweek.com

34%
Generic Web interface

35%
31%
Custom mobile application for multiple platforms

30%
27%
Mobile OS skin around a Web application

26%
25%
Other

2%
3%
Note: Multiple responses allowed
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Base: 564 respondents in July 2013 and 287 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

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2012

Note: Multiple responses allowed


Base: 481 respondents in July 2013 and 258 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

reports.informationweek.com

4%
0%

Dont/won't use development environments

12%
6%
Other

1%
3%

Verivo

1%
2%

Syclo Agentry

2%
4%

DSI dcLINK

2%
4%

Antenna AMPchroma

2%
4%

Sybase Unwired (SUP)

2%
2%

KonyOne

3%
0%

RhoMobile (now Motorola) Rhodes

4%
3%

QNX Momentics (w/BlackBerry SDK)

4%
6%

IBM Worklight

6%
5%

Appcelerator Titanium

12%
8%

IntelliJ (w/Google Android SDK)

16%
11%

NetBeans (w/Google Android SDK)

40%
39%
Microsoft Visual Studio

Apple Xcode (iOS)

Eclipse (w/Google Android SDK)

40%

43%

48%

52%

2013

19%

What development environments do you, or will you, use for native mobile applications?

11%

Development Environments for Native Mobile Applications

Dont know

Figure 12

ment to attract those developers. She says big


firms with established IT departments often
find they just cant recruit mobile-savvy developers since theyre not
perceived as cool places
to work. Instead, shes seen
companies set up separate
entities with a new name
and a different, more
Google- or SoMa-like office
environment. You need
the right location and people with the right attitude,
she says.
Not up to in-house dev? If
youre not Wal-Mart and
cant buy a 10-person mobile app startup, you can always rent one. But using
so-called app shops has
pros and cons. App specialists certainly provide results faster than staffing up
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a new team they already
have the necessary skills
5%

terprise apps. Furthermore, the developer demographic skews much younger meaning
you may need to tweak you work environ-

Dont know; environment selected by outside developer

bile team is often the best tactic since the development process and talent base are significantly different from those for traditional en-

NA

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FAST FACT

3%
of respondents are still
using the BlackBerry
PlayBook.

reports.informationweek.com

reports

with mobile APIs, user interfaces, and app design and are used to the hair-trigger development cycle. The downside is that as mobility
creeps into every corner of the enterprise, all
development will become mobile development. Thus, organizations that have internalized these skills will have a competitive advantage in their ability to rapidly and
cost-effectively build a portfolio of mobile
apps tailored to their business processes and
customers. Using external developers can
quickly get costly once you get past a small
number of apps, while Wright points out that
its often difficult to support and extend code
in-house should you choose to insource mobile development later.
The alternative may simply be retraining
existing developers. This is actually becoming easier through new technology. Although native mobile languages and IDEs
(Objective C with Xcode for iOS or Java with
Eclipse for Android) are foreign to many enterprise developers, new mobile development platforms from Appcelerator, PhoneGap, and Xamarin allow mobile developers

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

Figure 13

Importance of Cross-Platform Support


How important is cross-platform support, i.e., the ability to use a single code base to build native applications for
multiple platforms, when selecting mobile development software?
2013

2012

Critical; a must-have

26%
28%
Important but not a deal-breaker

38%
36%
Somewhat important; could tip the decision

14%
15%
Nice to have but not a major consideration

15%
14%
Unimportant; we only support a single platform

2%
1%
We dont use mobile development software

1%
0%
Dont know

4%
6%
Base: 564 respondents in July 2013 and 287 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized
custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

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to use the same languages theyre already


familiar with on the web, namely JavaScript
or C# (.NET), but compile to native apps on
both platforms from the same code base.

The promise of cross-platform mobile app


dev environments hasnt yet impressed our
respondents as most use vendor-endorsed
and supported IDEs, like Eclipse and Xcode, to

Figure 14

Most Important IDE Evaluation Features


What are the most important features when evaluating IDEs used for mobile development?
2012

Note: Multiple responses allowed


Base: 564 respondents in July 2013 and 287 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals
reports.informationweek.com

9%
4%

Don't know

1%
1%

We don't use IDEs

2%
1%

Other

7%
5%

Support for/integration with developer code repositories

8%
10%

Integration with other development systems and workflows

9%
11%

Adherence to standards

11%
15%

Interoperability with our existing development methodology

13%
6%

Supported languages

14%
13%

Modules for back-end database integration

15%
11%

Developer support services

18%
15%

Ongoing cost (licensing/maintenance)

10%

Debugging and testing features

23%

29%
25%
Initial cost/free

Graphical UI; drag-and-drop

31%
28%

37%
41%

Best support for my preferred mobile device; e.g., BlackBerry,


iPhone, Android, Windows Phone

Cross-platform support

51%
50%

2013

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build native mobile apps. In fact, the share using native coding environments jumped a
sizeable 12 points for Eclipse and five points
for Xcode, although some of this could be attributed to the higher share of Dr. Dobbs
readers. Cross-platform development systems
like Appcelerator Titanium and SAP Unwired
still languish in the single digits.
The dearth of interest in fancy cross-platform tools isnt surprising when you consider
that barely a quarter of our respondents consider cross-platform support a critical, musthave feature when evaluating mobile development software. In fact, a higher share, 31%
consider cross-platform, write-once, deployanywhere features somewhere between irrelevant and moderately interesting just on
the margins of tipping their decisions on
which mobile development platform to use.
Our takeaway is that despite the intriguing
technology and anecdotal case studies, purveyors of cross-platform mobile app development systems have plenty of work to do
convincing IT to spend big money (the Appcelerator enterprise platform starts at $999
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per developer per month) on their software


when Apple and Google give it away for
free. Making it a somewhat easier sell is the
fact that more than half of our respondents
say a big challenge to building native mobile apps is cross-platform compatibility; indeed, the share citing this challenge jumped
16 points this year.
Important Mobile App Capabilities
Aside from actual coding, developing mobile apps is a multistage undertaking requiring skills and processes not always found, or
at least emphasized, when building clientserver or web applications. According to HPs
Murphy, the importance of design means mobile apps often go through more wireframe
UI prototypes and usability testing to finetune the interface. Testing focuses on the efficiency of the touch interface, as the best designs minimize swipes and screens required
to perform specific tasks.
Once the design has been committed to
code, functional testing looks at software efficacy whether it performs as designed.
reports.informationweek.com

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

Wright notes that this has traditionally been


a manual process, with developers putting alpha and beta code into the hands of users
who find and report bugs; however, he says
its possible to automate the process by
recording different usage scenarios and steps,

then playing back the sequence on different


code builds and platforms.
Another important design consideration
has little to do with the interface, but rather
focuses on the APIs apps use to access data
and cloud services along with any that might

Figure 15

Mobile Application Code and UI Development


Who is doing the actual code and UI development for native and Web-optimized/HTML5 mobile applications?
Native mobile applications

Web-optimized mobile applications

All in-house developers (including contract employees)

59%
59%
Specialized, independent mobile app design and development shop

9%
8%
Professional services from mobile app ISV

3%
3%
Other external IT service provider (e.g., vertically integrated IT consultancy)

6%
7%
Mix of in-house and external resources

23%
23%
Base: 564 respondents developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Application Development Survey of 688 business technology professionals, July 2013

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port mobility programs and apps.


Dimitri Sirota, senior VP of security at CA
and co-founder of Layer 7, stresses the need

for a strategy to deploy and manage the APIs


that will enable a company to secure and
leverage data, empower a mobilized work-

Figure 16

Dev Environments for Browser-Based Apps


What development environments do you use for cross-platform, browser-based (HTML5) mobile applications?
2013

2012

30%
17%
Dont know

7%
NA

4%
5%

Dont/won't use development environments

5%
Other

4%
2%

Usablenet

4%
4%

JetBrains Astella

4%
6%

Netbiscuits

5%
4%

Sencha Architect

11%

17%
19%
Adobe PhoneGap

Adobe Dreamweaver

22%

22%
Text-based IDE (like Eclipse)

Dont know; environment selected by outside developer

32%

33%

36%

be exposed to other applications. Wright says


thinking about APIs is critical to delivering the
types of data-rich experiences mobile users
have come to expect (we agree; check out our
Age of the API cover story). Mobile apps typically amalgamate data from more than just
enterprise sources, adding in third-party information from sites like Twitter, Salesforce.com,
and Google Maps. Some development platforms, including Appcelerators, include
ready-made APIs for common online services,
but Wright says youll also need the ability to
quickly build new ones for emergent services
and data sources.
Most organizations have yet to grapple
with the issues around API strategy and
management. According to a survey from
Layer 7, a provider of API management and
mobilization tools that was recently acquired
by CA, about 43% of the 140 IT pros surveyed
have API programs in place, with an additional 27% expecting to launch such an initiative in the next year. The biggest impetus
behind such programs, cited by nearly 72%
of Layer 7 respondents, is the need to sup-

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

26%

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Note: Multiple responses allowed
Base: 497 respondents in July 2013 and 258 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

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force, and engage with the developers driving the app economy.

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

Figure 17

Browser-Based vs. Native App


What are the primary reasons for developing a browser-optimized application versus a native browser application?

Measuring and Securing


Both Murphy and Wright underscore the importance of analytics, which provide visibility
into app usage, performance, and reliability.
These capabilities cant be bolted on as an afterthought. Youre making an investment in
mobile, so dont be blind about it, says
Wright.
Thoroughly instrumented apps provide information key to developing future releases
and bug fixes. For example, does the app
crash more often on one platform than another, or when a certain feature is accessed?
Detailed usage data can also show which features people actually use, where they spend
the most time, and how effective they are
navigating the interface all important information to prioritize future enhancements.
After deployment, app analytics provides insight on the user base: who they are, where
they are, and any problems they encounter.
Analytics can also tie into mobile application

2013

2012

Easier and faster to develop

66%
62%
Easier and faster to deploy

62%
55%
Already had browser applications, minimal changes needed for mobile

47%
42%
No mobile application development expertise

21%
21%
Didn't need to use any native mobile device features; the browser is good enough

18%
20%
Client, whether PC or mobile, is only used for interface data collection; application processing is done on a back-end system

17%
19%
Don't want to support mobile devices; browser applications supported same as on PC

13%
17%
Other

3%
2%
Note: Three responses allowed
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Base: 497 respondents in July 2013 and 258 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

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Figure 18

FAST FACT

65%
of those developing
browser-based mobile
apps cite browser
compatibility as a
challenge.

management platforms to ensure that users


upgrade to the latest version. Although development platforms like Appcelerator prebuild
analytics into the code base, apps can also tie
into third-party mobile analytics products like
Flurry, Kontagent, and Mixpanel.
Note that mobile app developers tend to focus on the user experience and often are
much less interested in working on the backend plumbing. If you think about the web,
most development was server-centric, says
Wright. But theres been a shift on mobile to
the client and front end. Translated: Developers just want the back-end services to work
without much effort on their part. This is
where MBaaS, or mobile-back-end-as-a-service, comes in.
As we recently wrote, MBaaS, which is a
combination of cloud-based middleware, app
state synchronization, and persistent data
storage, offers the promise of native app user
experience plus web app IT security and manageability. The cloud back end centralizes the
apps data store on a platform that IT controls.
Like browser-based web apps, theres no data

Biggest Challenges
What are the biggest challenges when developing browser-based applications?
2013

2012

Browser compatibility; coding for differences in IE, Safari, Android, Opera, Chrome

65%
55%
HTML5 browser support/maturity

52%
43%
Translating functionality of Windows applications to a browser UI

42%
44%
Finding/nurturing Web application development expertise

32%
35%
More complex code development than native applications

24%
29%
Harder to package and deploy

10%
15%
Harder to update

7%
10%
Other

5%
4%
Note: Three responses allowed
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Base: 497 respondents in July 2013 and 258 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

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on the client. Some back-end services also include security features that limit what users
can do with the data for example, preventing information from being emailed or copied
and pasted. Likewise, since apps automatically
sync to the cloud back end, IT doesnt have to
worry about managing or backing up local
copies.
Regardless of the back end used, mobile
apps must pay close attention to security.
Data and network encryption are a must, and
here Coutinho of OutSystems advises investigating software that handles security for you.
His company uses HP Fortify, which he says
finds common security mistakes, like exposure to SQL injection or cross-site scripting attacks, that developers might miss.
Recommendations
Mobile devices and the apps that power
them are just the first wave of a new generation of connected devices often termed the
Internet of things. Wright contends that mobile apps are precursors to a new generation
of software powering intelligent, connected,
reports.informationweek.com

Building a Mobile Business Mindset

app-enabled devices. Whether fitness bands


like Fitbit and Nike Fuel, Google Glass, smart
watches like Pebble and the long-rumored
iWatch, or even the Nest thermostat, appifying devices will soon be commonplace. The
skills gained building enterprise mobile app
capabilities will eventually be applicable to
new devices that arent even on your organizations radar. Heres how to get started:
>> Develop a comprehensive mobile strategy and select opportune app targets.
>> Focus on users what they need and
how theyll use various apps. Mobile apps
must start with a user-centric design.
>> Dont use outsourced talent as a crutch.
Mobile is changing the way people access
and share information in ways that will affect
every business. Its far too major and strategic
a shift to ignore or farm out. Mobilizing your
business requires internal capability to do
well, even if its just designing and optimizing
apps for a particular business process or job
category.
>> Evaluate development platforms that
make mobile development look more like web

programming to leverage existing skill sets.


>> Build a library of reusable components
and APIs that make your second, third, and
10th mobile apps incrementally easier and
quicker to build.
>> Dont short-change resources. Chris
Silva, a mobile analyst at Altimeter Group, says
Walgreens learned that lesson when developing its mobile app, which includes a novel and
incredibly convenient feature that allows customers to scan a prescription bar code to initiate a refill. Solving a tough technological
problem scanning a curved bar code
demanded significant resources, from design
through development and testing.
Going mobile is no longer an option,
whether youre a retailer looking for more
customers or a small plumbing business trying to streamline operations and maximize
the time your plumbers spend actually fixing
leaks versus filling out paperwork and waiting
for parts. Yes, mobilizing your organization
means understanding a new way of designing, developing, testing, and evaluating apps.
But the payoff can be massive.
December 2013 24

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Figure 19

Mobile OS for Custom Apps


For which mobile operating systems have you deployed, or do you plan to build, browser-optimized custom applications?
2012

2%
3%

Other

1%
3%

Symbian

1%
4%

10%
2%

BlackBerry Tablet OS (PlayBook)

6%
NA

BlackBerry 7 OS or earlier

11%
NA

BlackBerry 10 OS

Windows Mobile

21%
20%

26%
23%

Windows Phone 7.x or 8

Android Tablet

Apple iPhone

Android Phone

54%

64%

68%

74%
71%

75%

2013

75%
69%

APPENDIX

reports

HP Palm WebOS

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Note: Multiple responses allowed
Base: 497 respondents in July 2013 and 258 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

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Figure 20

Mobile Device Most Likely Used to Access Custom Apps


Which best describes the type of mobile device employees will most likely use to access custom applications?
2013

2012

An approved, company-issued mobile device

23%
35%
Any device running an approved mobile OS version and centrally managed by IT, whether employee- or company-owned

22%
24%
Any device running a compatible mobile OS, whether company- or employee-owned

55%
41%
Base: 564 respondents in July 2013 and 287 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized
custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

reports.informationweek.com

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Figure 21

Reasons for Developing Mobile Applications


What are the most important reasons you are developing or plan to develop mobile applications?
2013

2012

Business managers and their employees want the option to use mobile devices instead of a PC

53%
53%
Our existing Web-based applications don't translate well to mobile browsers

35%
31%
Efficiency; we believe some tasks are better done on a touch-screen interface

34%
30%
We have new business processes that require mobile devices

30%
30%
We're replacing laptops with smartphones and tablets for mobile employees

18%
21%
Senior managers have a critical application they want to run mobile

16%
14%
Our enterprise software platforms (e.g., Oracle, SAP) have released mobile applications

10%
13%
Other

12%
11%
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Note: Three responses allowed
Base: 564 respondents in July 2013 and 287 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

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Figure 22

Choosing Devices and Platforms


Who is primarily responsible for specifying the mobile devices and platforms that custom enterprise applications must
support?
2013

2012

Senior executive IT management

22%
28%
IT management/staff

19%
25%
Senior executive management (non-IT)

14%
14%
End users

11%
7%
Line-of-business management/application owners

9%
8%
It's a collaborative decision between IT and the business

23%
16%
Other

2%
2%
Base: 564 respondents in July 2013 and 287 in July 2012 developing or planning to develop native or browser-optimized
custom mobile applications
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

reports.informationweek.com

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Figure 23

Job Title
Which of the following best describes your job title?

Other

IT executive management (C-level/VP)

Consultant

10%

7%

IT director/manager

9%
22%

3%
Line-of-business management

7%

Non-IT executive management

42%
IT/IS staff
Data: InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Application Development Survey of 688 business technology professionals, July 2013

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Figure 24

Revenue
Which of the following dollar ranges includes the annual revenue of your entire organization?

Don't know/decline to say


Less than $6 million

14%

Government/nonprofit

24%
8%
$6 million to $49.9 million

14%

12%

$5 billion or more

10%
$1 billion to $4.9 billion
$500 million to $999.9 million

6%
4% 8%

$50 million to $99.9 million


$100 million to $499.9 million

Data: InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Application Development Survey of 688 business technology professionals, July 2013

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3%

6%

8%

9%

9%

Data: InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Application Development Survey of 688 business technology professionals, July 2013

Other

2%

Utilities

4%

Telecommunications/ISPs

2%

Retail/e-commerce

2%

Nonprofit

3%

Media/entertainment

8%

Manufacturing/industrial, noncomputer

2%

Logistics/transportation

IT vendors

Healthcare/medical

Government

Financial services

Electronics

Education

13%

16%

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9%

Consulting and business services

2%

Construction/engineering

2%

Biotech/biomedical/pharmaceutical

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Figure 25

Industry

What is your organizations primary industry?

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Figure 26

Company Size
Approximately how many employees are in your organization?

10,000 or more
Fewer than 50

21%

27%
50-99

7%
5,000-9,999

6%
17%
16%

1,000-4,999

6%

100-499

500-999
Data: InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Application Development Survey of 688 business technology professionals, July 2013

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Figure 27

Job Title
Which of the following best describes your job title?
2013

2012

IT executive management (C-level/VP)

7%
11%
IT director/manager

22%
29%
IT/IS staff

42%
34%
Non-IT executive management

7%
7%
Line-of-business management

3%
6%
Consultant

9%
5%
Other

10%
8%
Base: 688 respondents in July 2013 and 350 in July 2012
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

reports.informationweek.com

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Figure 28

Revenue
Which of the following dollar ranges includes the annual revenue of your entire organization?
2013

2012

Less than $6 million

24%
14%
$6 million to $49.9 million

12%
15%
$50 million to $99.9 million

6%
9%
$100 million to $499.9 million

8%
13%
$500 million to $999.9 million

4%
6%
$1 billion to $4.9 billion

10%
8%
$5 billion or more

14%
14%
Government/nonprofit

8%
8%
Don't know/decline to say

14%
13%
Base: 688 respondents in July 2013 and 350 in July 2012
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals
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R
3%
3%

Base: 688 respondents in July 2013 and 350 in July 2012


Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

6%

6%

8%

Other

Utilities

2%
2%

4%
5%

Telecommunications/ISPs

2%
2%

8%

16%
16%

reports

Retail/e-commerce

2%
1%

Nonprofit

3%
3%

Media/entertainment

5%

13%

12%

11%

10%

9%
9%

9%

Manufacturing/industrial, noncomputer

2%
2%

Logistics/transportation

IT vendors

Healthcare/medical

Government

Financial services

Electronics

Education

9%
9%

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Consulting and business services

2013

2%
3%

Construction/engineering

2%
1%

Biotech/biomedical/pharmaceutical

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Figure 29
What is your organizations primary industry?

Industry
2012

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Figure 30

Company Size
Approximately how many employees are in your organization?
2013

2012

Fewer than 50

27%
11%
50-99

6%
6%
100-499

16%
18%
500-999

6%
11%
1,000-4,999

17%
18%
5,000-9,999

7%
11%
10,000 or more

21%
25%
Base: 688 respondents in July 2013 and 350 in July 2012
Data: InformationWeek Mobile Application Development Survey of business technology professionals

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