By Brian Albright, Field Technologies magazine
More companies are opting to develop their own mobile apps using MEAPs (mobile enterprise application platforms) to address deployment complexity.
In a 2011 report, Infiniti Research predicted that the MEAP market would reach $1.6 billion in 2014. Companies are going the development route rather than purchasing off-the-shelf (OTS) applications because of the unique processes and requirements of these line-ofbusiness mobile solutions. “[For] most large enterprises, OTS mobile applications just do not work,” says Jim Somers, chief marketing and strategy officer at Antenna Software. “While mobile extensions of certain enterprise applications may address some aspects of what companies are trying to accomplish, they typically require extensive customization and only serve as a Band-Aid to the true mobility problem. Frequently we see OTS applications that aren’t designed with the mobile experience in mind — but are simply desktop applications shrunk to the mobile scale. This just isn’t the way that mobile workers do their jobs.”
According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report in 2012, companies are turning to mobile application development platforms (MADPs, a term used interchangeably with MEAP) because of the proliferation of mobile operating systems, each of which has its own presentation style and software stack, as well as multiple types of mobile devices with different capabilities. Until 2009, the majority of enterprises wrote OS-specific native applications but rapidly shifted to hybrid and Web-oriented architectures. In 2011, just 40 percent of developers were primarily targeting native platforms, and by 2015 Gartner predicts that 80 percent of all mobile apps will be hybrid or Web-oriented.