Gartner Says By 2016, 40 Percent of Mobile Application Development Projects
Will Leverage Cloud Mobile Back-End Services
Gartner Special Report Examines Mobile Applications Strategies and
STAMFORD, Conn. -- April 30, 2013
By 2016, 40 percent of mobile application development projects will leverage
cloud back-end services, causing development leaders to lose control of the
pace and path of cloud adoption within their enterprises, predicts Gartner,
Cloud mobile back-end services provide a specialized form of platform as a
service (PaaS) to support mobile application development. These cloud services
— referred to by some in the market as "mobile back-end as a service" —
provide the back-end capabilities commonly required by mobile applications,
such as user management, data storage, push notifications and social network
integration. In addition, some cloud mobile back-end services allow developers
to deploy server-side code.
"Cloud mobile back-end services stand to become a key component of the
application development ecosystem," said Gordon Van Huizen, research director
at Gartner. "As a result, a given organization may begin using them without
first developing the requisite understanding of the issues and risks
associated with employing cloud services for application infrastructure.
What's needed, then, is something of a crash course in the fundamental
concerns of deploying application functionality in the cloud."
A primary goal of mobile back-end services is to make the use of cloud
capabilities, such as data storage, as natural to the mobile application
developer as possible. The programmer develops mobile applications using
familiar storage programming mechanisms, and the cloud service acts as a black
box that stores and retrieves the data as necessary. But as the use of cloud
services by mobile applications grows, the challenge of governing the security
and use of sensitive corporate data also grows. Left ungoverned, this results
in the hidden movement of potentially sensitive data to the cloud, and the
possibility of inadequate security. Governing such interactions between mobile
applications, enterprise systems and the cloud may require additional security
and governance capabilities beyond those found in a particular mobile
application development platform (MADP).
"Governance technology can only be effective, though, if it is used," said Mr.
Van Huizen. "Clear policies must be established and communicated to developers
prior to the use of cloud mobile back-end services by applications that may
access corporate or customer data."
A significant amount of enterprise application development takes place outside
the scope of IT in the form of business unit application development, end-user
application development and development outsourced by business units to third
parties. Historically, most mobile application development not performed by IT
has been outsourced. This is beginning to change with the emergence of visual
app builders and other forms of rapid mobile application development tools.
With the increased demand for mobile applications, non-IT developers will
increasingly look for ways to provide mobile applications that satisfy their
business requirements, and they will begin building their own mobile
"This presents a risk much greater than in the past," said Mr. Van Huizen.
"The advent of more sophisticated rapid mobile application development
environments, the availability of cloud services and increased access to
enterprise systems will expand the potential for non-IT developers to build
applications that commingle sensitive corporate data with cloud-based services
and storage. It is, therefore, necessary to extend awareness of the issues to
the broader organization, as well as the organization's policies for cloud
services, so that mobile applications built outside IT are subject to the same
oversight and governance as those built within IT."
Additional details on cloud mobile back-end services can be found in the
report "What AD Leaders Need to Know About Cloud Mobile Back-End Services:
Don't Enter the Cloud Unprepared." The report can be found on Gartner's
website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=2330315.
Additional information on mobile strategies for development and integration is
available in the Gartner Special Report "The Mobile Imperative: Mobile
Application Strategies and Architecture." The special report can be viewed at
http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/mobile-imperative/ and includes
links to reports and video commentary that examine the impact of mobile
application strategies and architecture on enterprises.
Mobility and its impact on the enterprise will be further discussed at the
Gartner Catalyst Technical Forum on Mobility taking place June 19 in
Frankfurt, Germany and September 25 in London. The new Gartner Catalyst
Technical Forum on Mobility delivers the latest Gartner for Technical
Professionals Research insight and recommendations to address mobile
challenges. Geared toward IT practitioners, it provides detailed, tactical
guidance on technical architecture, policy and implementation approaches to
make your enterprise mobility initiatives successful. More information on the
Frankfurt event can be found at
http://www.gartner.com/technology/summits/emea/catalyst-germany/. Detail on
the London event can be found at
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Robert van der Meulen
+ 44 (0) 1784 267 892
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