Today more than 90 percent of Americans own a smartphone, and close to half own a tablet. According to Benedict Evans's presentation delivered Oct. 27 and 28 in Sausalito, Calif., 2 billion people are now on smartphones, and by 2020, 80 percent of the adults on earth will own a smartphone. Not surprisingly, there has been a dramatic rise in the use of mobile devices, from scanning social media updates to accessing back accounts and looking for directions. And as more people are now starting to use mobile devices to obtain information and get access to services, more business owners are now realizing the benefits of going mobile.
Mobile users today expect best quality, security, speed, intuitive interfaces, and on-demand access to the latest information across different mobile devices. They are intolerant of flaws in their mobile experiences and are quick to post negative comments on social media and in app stores. All these factors compounded by ever-increasing consumer expectations and infinite technological innovations put significant pressure on businesses. To stay competitive, enterprises have to develop and live test quality apps in record time, and then never stop updating them.
There is an apparent shortage of app developers, however. Independent research company Opinion Matters reveals that 94 percent of enterprises lack qualified app builders. Even if a firm manages to find an app developer, it should be ready to shell out thousands of dollars for a single business app and then wait for a few months for it to be finished, not to mention that time it takes to be tested and then redesigned.
All these factors lead to significant backlogs of mobile app projects. For instance, 85 percent of the respondents to the Opinion Matters survey said they have a backlog of at least one app, while 50 percent said their backlog includes 10 to 20 mobile apps. In the light of this, more enterprises are opting for more affordable, flexible, and rapid ways of app development offered by low-code platforms.
Low-code application development platforms let companies of any size and budget design custom business apps without hiring programmers. With this revolutionary approach of app development, all a user might need to do to is choose a template from the menu options, fill it out, and then effortlessly deploy this new mobile app across all major mobile platforms. Such apps offer numerous features, including but not limited to free access to data from back-end and cloud-based servers and data synchronization across devices.
One of the chief characteristics of the app development process is that nobody can tell for sure what exact features an application should have until it has been live tested a number of times and then redesigned based on user feedback. Naturally, this process can be rather time-consuming and costly. However, thanks to rapid prototyping supported by low-code platforms, it can be expedited, as it allows one to easily build numerous prototypes to be previewed, tested on various mobile devices, and modified long before the app gets released.
So now entrepreneurs can avoid mobile app backlogs by successfully designing top quality mobile applications in record time and without any programming skills. Thanks to low-code platforms, companies can respond to the market changes and consumer requirements in a timely manner, thus winning more customers, maximizing their profit margins, and staying ahead of their less nimble competitors.
Alex Backman is executive chairman and founder of Snappii (www.snappii.com).
Edited by Stefania Viscusi