Unlike some technologies that come and go, mobile applications are here to stay and they are growing in importance. Consider that nearly 65 percent of Americans own a smartphone—a number that has almost doubled since 2011, according to research from Pew Internet. A  key function of the smartphone is the mobile application; many smartphone owners use their devices to access nearly 3 million apps within the two leading app stores combined (Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store).

The market is a robust one, no doubt, and enterprises are doing everything they can to keep pace with consumer demand. In a recent AAJ webinar titled, “Mobile Enterprise Success with Xamarin and IBM”, Ken Parmelee, a project director for IBM’s MobileFirst, shed some light on the difficulties enterprises are having in meeting demand.

Two stats in particular that Parmelee pointed to concern the growth of the app market:

  • Mobile application projects outnumber computer projects by a ratio of 4:1
  • Usage of mobile applications by end-users (whether they are customers or employees) is expected to quadruple in the coming years

However, in the seven years since the first 500 apps were introduced with the launch of Apple’s App Store in July of 2008, little progress has been made to streamline the app creation process and make it easier for developers.

“Mobile app projects are growing but the complexity of delivering on mobile has not really simplified,” Parmelee explained in the webinar (that can be watched here on demand). “You’ve still got multiple operating systems, you’ve still got a number of different things that affect your mobile application including operating system updates and things like that which are constantly changing and are not in your own control.”

Parmelee said this has a negative effect on business and the numbers are there to support it. According to his presentation, 85 percent of enterprises have mobile project back logs of up to 20 mobile apps. Backlog alone is reason enough to outsource that work to a trusted third-party vendor, however before enterprises make that business decision; they might want to consider the reason for much of this backlog.

“Enterprises don’t only need to create the apps, but they need to evolve them quickly as well,” Parmelee added.

If enterprises are to consider outsourcing a portion of their work to a third-party IT vendor that specializes in mobile app creation there are two things to consider. One, the vendor has experience creating mobile apps and two, they specializes in managing your entire app portfolio throughout the lifecycle of each application. Outsourcing app creation but not lifecycle management means you’re alleviating work today, but taking on more tomorrow.

To learn more about mobile app creation and lifecycle management, click here.