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85% of businesses facing fatal barriers to in-house app development

More than four fifths of businesses lack the skills or resources to develop employee-facing mobile apps in-house, new research has found.

Research published by mobile data capture specialist WorkMobile, found that employee-facing mobile apps play a key role in the majority of businesses’ enterprise mobility strategies, with 91% of businesses making use of the technology.

However, while in-house app development offers businesses the necessary flexibility when it comes to tailoring and implementing effective mobile solutions – particularly crucial for businesses with a significant proportion of field-based workers – a staggering 85% are unable to do so successfully.

According to the research, 38% of IT teams are overstretched and don’t have the time or capacity to develop their own apps, while 36% do not have the coding skills and expertise required to do so.

Given the growing digital skills shortage, and the prevalence of apps in both our professional and personal lives, it is unsurprising that 47% of businesses have found it difficult to recruit employees with the right mobile development expertise.

The research also found that even among those businesses that are capable of developing their own apps, many have struggled to make them a success.

More than two thirds (63%) of businesses have experienced problems developing apps within a particular timeframe, and as a result 56% have been forced to abandon the development of an app before completion.

More than a third (36%) have had difficulties developing apps within a designated budget, and 30% have struggled to develop apps for a range of operating systems and devices.

Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile, commented: “These statistics are very concerning in the current climate, given the crucial role that mobile solutions play in a successful enterprise mobility strategy.

“Even pre-pandemic, enabling remote working was the most common pressure CIOs faced from the rest of the C-suite, according to half of those surveyed. And with so many more people now working away from the office, that pressure is greater than ever.

“The past few months have also shown us that in order for businesses to succeed, agility is absolutely key. In-house mobile app development can be a really cost-effective way for CIOs to respond quickly to ever-changing external factors, and ensure employees always have the right tools to do their jobs.

“However, with so many teams facing such significant barriers to in-house app development, they could find themselves struggling more than necessary over the coming months to keep up with rapidly evolving business requirements.”

In light of these difficulties, the research revealed that 64% of CIOs would be interested in using a no-coding mobile app toolkit as an alternative to developing apps in-house themselves.

44% said that they believe no-coding mobile apps would reduce the workload for their team, a third think that they would enable their teams to implement mobile solutions more quickly, and 29% expect they would find it easier to adhere to financial budgets.

Colin added: “It’s clear that effective in-house app development is just not feasible for the vast majority of businesses. Fortunately, technology is evolving and no-coding app development platforms can now offer a fantastic alternative.

“These toolkits make it possible for CIOs and their teams to quickly produce mobile apps that are specifically tailored to the needs of their employees, with no coding expertise required.”

For more information on WorkMobile and no-code mobile apps, visit