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Report: 'Mobile Strategist' Role Consolidating Mobile Dev Efforts

A new survey finds 75 percent of companies have created some kind of "mobile strategist" role to consolidate app development efforts as part of an overall enterprise mobility plan.

Along with defining a mobile app development and deployment platform, the strategist is charged with measuring mobile's impact on an enterprise by analyzing results of mobile initiatives as part of an overall goal to drive business impact, according to survey results released today by Kinvey Inc., which provides Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) products and services.

Boston-based Kinvey commissioned the survey -- "Meet the New Mobile Strategist" -- of 100 CIOs and 100 mobile leaders at enterprises with more than 500 employees.

"Seventy-one percent of app development is currently being led by product lines or functions (for example, marketing, sales, human resources and so on) rather than centralized via enterprise IT," the survey report said. "This fragmentation causes mobile apps to cost too much and take too long, a source of CIO frustration."

That frustration has been borne out in several studies, such as this one by Forrester Research Inc. and this one by Appcelerator, along with Kinvey's own "State of Enterprise Mobility" survey (requires registration). Released last November, that survey found that "mobile app development is costly, slow and frustrating" and that "app development is decentralized and fragmented," leading 50 percent of CIO respondents to report that the process takes too long and is "a source of frustration" to 24 percent of those polled.

This widespread frustration is the driving force behind the new mobile strategist role created to drive business impact, Kinvey said.

That's done in several ways, as respondents reported on their mission:

  • 76 percent cite their goal for mobile is to engage customers wherever they are.
  • 75 percent are looking to create new revenue paths.
  • 72 percent have a goal to reduce overall operating costs.

Actual app development is a primary focus, coming in at No. 3:

  • 47 percent report their role is to create the overall mobile strategy.
  • 40 percent focus on measuring mobile’s impact and results.
  • 39 percent are responsible for creating a development platform.

Kinvey reported that there's still plenty of room for improvement in enterprise mobile strategies, as only 22 percent of strategists believe their companies are "ahead of the curve," but 58 percent believe they're at least "on par" with other enterprises, indicating some progress is being made.

"While there will always be improvements and tweaks to be made, ultimately it is a great sign for the future of mobility that enterprises are creating positions focused specifically on driving mobile forward," said Kinvey CEO Sravish Sridhar. "The research shows companies are finally recognizing the value mobile can deliver. One thing we can expect to see in 2015 and beyond is continued attention on specific ways enterprises can improve mobile processes, such as through more effective and efficient app development and deployment."

(Note: Longtime industry expert Dan Kusnetzky offers his take on IT surveys at VirtualizationReview.com).

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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