November 13, 2012
Majority of Organizations Support Two or More Mobile Platforms and Increasingly Looking to HTML5 to Reduce Friction, Cost and Limitations of Single Platform, Native Development
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—November 13, 2012—Sencha, the leader in powering HTML5 development for desktop and mobile applications, today released the results of a survey of more than 1,400 mobile developers, managers and corporate executives that assessed the impact of the competitive mobile operating system and platform market on their businesses. Far from consolidating around one dominant platform, the survey results highlight that companies plan to support a growing number operating systems and devices, even though it is increasingly disruptive to their organization.
The battle between Google Android, Apple iOS, and RIM Blackberry-powered devices has created a quandary for corporations. Business users now expect their employers to not only allow them to use their own devices at work, but also support them with Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) programs and policies. Consequently, companies must support multiple operating systems and an exploding number of smartphones and tablets, putting a large stress on development teams to rapidly produce and support applications that work across all devices. With the formal launch of Microsoft Windows Phone 8, the challenge is only becoming more daunting.
Majority Support Multiple Mobile Platforms
A key finding from the survey is that almost half (46%) of companies intend to support Windows Phone 8 within the next six to 12 months. This early indication of broad support for Microsoft’s mobile platform continues the growing trend of corporate support for multiple mobile platforms. According to the survey:
• 83% of companies support two or more mobile operating systems, with 34% supporting three or more;
• Apple’s iOS is the first or second most important mobile platform for 63% of companies (33% ranked it as the most important) while Android was selected as first or second by 57% (20% ranked it as the most important).
• 58% of companies either have or will have a formal BYOD policy within the next 12 months.
Complexity of Multi-Platform Support
Support of multiple mobile devices and platforms, while necessary to ensure a happy and productive workforce, is not without its downside. It puts a tremendous amount of stress on application development teams who must keep up with rapid changes in technology.
• 50% of respondents consider updates to native mobile platforms to be disruptive or highly disruptive to their organizations
• 57% said it took 2-6 months to develop apps for each mobile platform.
Rise of HTML5 and Universal Development
The advent of HTML5 provides developers with a new approach for developing apps that can run on iOS, Android and even Windows Phone 8, encompassing devices from every major device manufacturer including Apple, Samsung, Motorola, HTC and, Nokia, and run familiar desktop web applications on these smartphones and tablets. The survey supports this movement to universal application development.
• 68% of the companies polled believe that their greatest skills in development are in Web technologies such as HTML5, JS, and CSS rather than in native development (iOS was selected by only 14% and Android by 13% as the biggest programming skill in their organization).
• 61% replied that they conduct mobile app development in house for deployment across multiple platforms.
“This survey supports our experience with our customers in the last 12 months – they are not willing to bet on any one platform, and in fact are adding more to the mix with their upcoming support for Windows Phone 8. It is clear that they continue to embrace choice and support a very diverse and growing set of devices,” said Paul Kopacki, Vice President of Marketing at Sencha. “They are also embracing open standards technologies to avoid development costs, vendor and platform lock-in and other challenges that native application development creates. As long as there is choice and competition in the marketplace, technologies such as HTML5 will remain an ideal approach for them to fully tap into the power that a diversity of mobile devices can bring to their businesses.”