The Shortage of Mobile/Cloud Developers Drives Low-Code and RAD Tools, as well as OSS

Charlotte Dunlap
Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:
• Future mobile acquisitions will be driven by pure plays involved with OSS ecosystems (e.g., HP/Stackato).

• Modern app developer shortage leads to less sophisticated toolsets aimed at helping traditional developers be productive in B2E app development.

Vendors of mobile app platforms and platform services are realizing an apparent shortage of mobile and cloud savvy developers. As a result, the industry can expect to see a number of initiatives and solutions rolling out over the next 12 months, based around mobile services, low-code, rapid app development tools, and open source code and toolsets.

A recap of recent events illustrating this growing trend (which were also covered by Current Analysis):

• HP’s acquisition of Stackato PaaS offering by partner ActiveState was largely driven by Stackato’s integration with the Docker ecosystem, including its native use of Docker as a container engine.

• IBM recently reported, based on internal research that only 14% of enterprises have the cloud skills they need to keep up with current market demands around modern app development. IBM detailed how it is leveraging its Bluemix cloud-based development environment to offer open source code and toolsets to enterprise customers, via developerWorks Open. By offering 50 pre-written apps as a foundation, on an open source basis, developers can quickly customize apps that fit their specific needs.

• Alongside Salesforce’s recent GA of its popular app development framework, Lightning, the company released 50 Lightning Components, which are building blocks to help speed mobile app development.

• Mendix Digital Experience provides a new framework with navigation layouts, page templates and design elements targeting developers without deep technical and design skills. The company announced support for the OData standard, joining the majority of mobile app platforms providers, to access resources such as analytics more easily.

Mobile app platforms and services will continue to evolve having a primary objective of easing the app development process, including data integration requirements. The idea of separating front-end development from back-end development requirements around integration began with mobile backend-as-a-service (MBaaS), allowing developers to focus efforts on creating compelling applications, while leaving the backend integration of disparate systems to the service. These services will dramatically simplify front-end development of B2E and B2C mobile applications.

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