'App factories' churn out mobile apps for large enterprises


As companies accelerate their enterprise mobility plans, they are finding that they have a backlog of mobile apps that employees want but that IT is struggling to develop at a sufficient pace to satisfy demand.

Cathal McGloin, CEO of FeedHenry

One solution that larger enterprises are employing is setting up "app factories," related Cathal McGloin, CEO of FeedHenry, a cloud-based mobile application platform provider acquired by Red Hat in 2014.

"App factories are centers of excellence where [large enterprises] are staffing their own teams or partnering with outside vendors. They are setting up factories where they develop apps centrally for the entire organization. These tend to be large companies with multiple divisions," McGloin, who is also vice president of mobility at Red Hat, told FierceMobileIT.

As an example, McGloin said his company is working with a multinational pharmaceuticals company that is setting up an app factory in Poland. Another multinational based in Hong Kong is working with FeedHenry to set up an app factory in Asia.

A second solution that companies are using to reduce the backlog of mobile apps is rapid mobile application development.

"We are seeing a plethora of new tools out there designed to create an app using drag and drop. These are simple apps intended to quickly solve business problems," McGloin explained.

"Companies are turning these tools to have nondevelopers build apps," he noted. "This will help spread the number of mobile apps significantly, while avoiding the bottleneck of skilled app developers in iOS and Android," he added.

"These two trends will continue into next year: a lot more drag and drop toolkits that people can do themselves and, for larger companies who are taking mobile very seriously, setting up centers of excellence to churn out these apps in order to dig into their backlog," McGloin concluded.

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