Report: Mobile projects bedevilled by overruns and failed apps

By Andrew Charlesworth
21 Feb 2012 View Comments
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Mobile development projects are plagued by budget and deadline overruns and one in five new mobile applications is deemed "too difficult to use" by the businesses that commission them, according to a report published this week.

The survey was conducted by research outfit Vanson Bourne on behalf of mobile solutions firm Antenna Software, ahead of the launch of AMPChroma, Antenna's cloud-based development and deployment platform for mobile.

Further reading

Spending on mobile projects is set to jump in the next 18 months, according to the survey of IT and business leaders in the UK and US.

A third of companies are planning to launch four or more mobile projects in the next 12 to 18 months.

The survey found that the average business plans to spend £590,000 on mobile projects in the next 18 months, more than double the average £269,000 spent so far.

Of the 1,000-plus executives polled, 43 per cent said their organisations are currently working on a native mobile app for customers, while 42 per cent are doing the same for employees; 45 per cent are currently working on developing a mobile website for customers, with 36 per cent doing this for their workers.

However, 21 per cent of respondents said the resulting applications were too difficult to use; 45 per cent expressed dissatisfaction with the speed at which mobile projects get to market and 42 per cent with the eventual costs.

On average a mobile project takes more than six months to come to fruition, and one in 10 takes a year or more to complete, the survey found.

"This reflects the fact that mobile is still a new technology and is becoming more complex," Mark Watson, executive vice president for technology and engineering at Antenna told Computing.

"This is partly because people are still stuck in traditional development and deployment regimes, when they should build, deploy, and manage mobile projects from the cloud."

On average businesses are working with three separate vendors, "which means they have highly complex environments and the customer is doing all the integration," he added.

The vast array of consumer devices adds to the complexity organisations have to manage, whether they are building native, mobile web or hybrid applications, said Watson.

"At [AMPChroma's] core is a device database that tracks 1,000 characteristics of over 10,300 different devices," he said.

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