The mobile app culture has spoiled everyone, survey shows

Survey confirms enterprise users want the same simplicity and ease as they get from mobile apps. But user design and quick app turnarounds aren't part of the enterprise DNA, yet.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Application development is increasingly becoming consumerized, and today’s savvy enterprise users have become much more demanding. They want the same simplicity and ease of access that their mobile apps provide. Can enterprises deliver?

iPad photo by Joe McKendrick 5-2013
Photo: Joe McKendrick

That's the key takeaway from a new survey of 750 IT decision-makers, commissioned by Avanade, which measured the impact of the consumerization of IT on the application development process. IT decision makers are reporting an increased expectation from their businesses around three areas, the survey finds: "firstly on user experience and design; second on a move towards faster shorter development cycles; and third an increased pressure to drive transformational digital applications."

Here are key findings from the Avanade study:

Shadow IT is now so widespread that business departments have their own IT projects going on. Individual business units are developing their own applications in 79% of the organizations in the survey. In 85% of instances, these applications are built with the assistance of external developers.

There's a strong need for rapid iterations and releases of applications, but it's easier said than done. Almost everyone, 94%, say that there is a need to accelerate the time it takes to bring new applications to market. As a result, the survey finds, 71% of respondents say they are undertaking fewer top-down multi-year development projects. However, only 29% say that their application development processes are agile enough to keep up with these accelerated cycles.

Everyone believes in good user interface design, but... At least 86% believe that good UI and design are critical to customer satisfaction and productivity. Yet only about 37 % say they are currently prioritizing it, Avanade reports. IT decision makers agree that users' expectations of enterprise applications has "fundamentally changed." Plus, finding the right skills in user design is a challenge, IT leaders admit.

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