iOS

Poll Results: Apple iOS enterprise development is more hype than fact

There is not as much in-house enterprise app development in the Apple iOS space as one might think.

Several weeks ago, I asked a simple poll question:

Are you developing in-house iOS apps for your enterprise?

However, the results of that simple question surprised me. Almost 70% of the respondents on TechRepublic were either not creating enterprise apps for iOS at all, or they were still on the fence deciding if they ever will. That means a mere 31% were actually developing in-house enterprise apps for their particular organizations.

That seems low to me and it makes me wonder, if the "in house" part of the question was a factor. Perhaps enterprises are opting to have third-party developers create the enterprise applications they require for their mobile and tablet devices? Is that the nugget of information you take away from this poll?

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

11 comments
eljaywilson
eljaywilson

We are doing lots of in-house app development at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Right now, there are only two of us doing this kind of development, but we have produced over 10 native iOS apps in just the past year and a half. 3 of these (including our own in-house "App Store" app) are available to all of the organization's employees along with all of the University of Arkansas for Medical Science's (UAMS) employees. The rest of the apps are specialized for different departments. These include an app for our helicopter pilots to log flights, keep the aircraft within weight and balance limits and provide risk assessment feedback, an app for our security department to check vehicles and issue parking and other citations. We have our own in-house developed and housed APNS system and we see on average about 11 thousand app uses a month (this is going up as more employees become aware of our apps). Our users come from the top of the executive department and throughout all facets of the other departments. All this is coming from a development team that is primarily a Microsoft centered group. At least in Central AR, iOS development is going strong, and we are constantly looking at new ways to use the best tools to provide the absolute best care for our patients.

Stolper
Stolper

We're helping businesses across the spectrum deploy iPad apps for their sales teams. The apps are custom, designed and developed for a particular client, but offered as a SaaS. Our component are modular and re-usable, meaning we're achieving economies of scale in development - but without sacrificing quality. This model - where an app can cost as low as $39/month/user - is getting traction in businesses who want to deploy iPads but lack the skill or the capital for a $150,000+ commitment. Jordan Stolper StoryDesk

bradleyj
bradleyj

I work for a State Government and we have lots of requests for Enterprise apps but the deployment workflow is bogging us down. Plus the BYOD issues complicates it even more. Basically we end up with an two iTunes accounts for each device, one for enterprise apps and a personal one for non-enterprise apps and music, etc. I think Apple is going to have to come up wiht a better strategy for enterprise apps where a single sign-on can apply, that way issued devices can access and BYOD devices can access.

wluffman
wluffman

Apple has never made any serious effort to get its devices into businesses, aside from early attempts to entice executives to use Macs. What adoption they've had in business has come from individual users more than any "push" by Apple itself. I don't see this changing. And if Apple doesn't try to promote itself as a business-oriented tech company, only a "killer app" will change most business people's minds. Most of the people "out in the field" who have adopted tablets do so knowing they don't have corporate IT support. That's fine as long as they don't have device failures as a critical time, or they don't have to run a piece of software that won't go on a Macbook or i-device. Nothing against Apple products, because they really are good; but Windows is already entrenched in the business community, and I suspect Android will gain IT support faster than Apple does because Android OS development seems to be more agile than either iOS or OS X development.

dogknees
dogknees

A lot of enterprises do no internal development at all.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Are enterprises opting to have third-party developers create the enterprise applications they require for their mobile and tablet devices? Or, is the idea that there is a massive influx of tablets and mobile devices into enterprises just a fabrication?

eljaywilson
eljaywilson

We have much the same scenario where I work. We have some issued devices, but mostly the devices are personal ones (BYOD). The individuals are responsible for any personal iTunes purchases, and our enterprise apps are developed and signed by our enterprise certs. There is no "enterprise iTunes account". Can you elaborate further?

phronk
phronk

Yeah. Without a comparison to development on other platforms, it's hard to interpret this. My first thought was that almost a third of all organizations developing for iOS is a pretty damn large number.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Just not my beat - I'll mention it to Mary - she might want to poll the Android Developer Blog.

i8thecat4
i8thecat4

Perhaps companies don't feel the need to develop in house when they can get the app they need in the app store. Granted there are some that have no other choice, but there is a lot of choice out there already.

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