Mobile apps are clearly already the hot place to be for consumer software developers. The large and rapidly growing install-base of smartphone and tablet users means much of the best development talent is focused on trying to make the next Angry Birds.
But the picture in the enterprise space is less clear. The mobile app model right now is facilitated by impulse purchases through app stores, but large businesses don't operate that way and it remains to be seen whether they will see sufficient productivity ROI on investing in apps for their employees' mobile devices.
Well a recent survey carried out by enterprise computing IT giant IBM of 2,000 of its worldwide developers reveals that more than half of them reckon mobile app development will surpass all other app development by 2015.
"To best understand where enterprise technology is headed, one must pay attention to those who have a pulse on market demands - the developers and IT specialists responding to these demands and creating the next generation of business applications," said Jim Corgel, GM of IBM developer relations.
The survey was published in order to bring publicity to the launch of IBM's developerWorks mobile application for the Apple iPhone, which is designed to give developers access to tools and community support. Among its other findings were:
- 91 percent anticipate cloud computing will overtake on-premise computing as the primary way organizations acquire IT over the next five years
- Mobile and cloud computing are followed by social media, business analytics and industry-specific technologies as the hottest IT career opportunities beginning in 2011
- 90 percent believe it is important to possess vertical industry-specific skills for their jobs, yet 63 percent admit they are lacking the industry knowledge needed to remain competitive
- Telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, and energy and utilities rank as the top four industries in which respondents identify as having the greatest opportunity to expand their careers.