Lack of cloud confidence curbs mobile apps development

Businesses may want to create more mobile apps, but their ability to deploy them is being limited by poor cloud skills

A study of IT decision-makers has found that although UK businesses want to drive mobile application development, they are being held back by slower app development compared to other countries.

Oracle's Cloud Agility study revealed that many organisations cannot manage workloads flexibly or develop, test and launch new applications rapidly, leaving them poorly prepared to deal with competitive threats.

Among the 251 UK IT decision-makers of the 1,004 European respondents in the survey, only 13% were confident that their organisations could develop and deploy a mobile app in less than a month.

In the one-to-six-month deployment window, 29% of UK organisations said they would be able to deploy a mobile app within six months, compared to 40% in Germany.

The study also found a lack of awareness among businesses around how technology, such as platform-as-a-service (PaaS), could be used to help address the challenges of developing and deploying mobile apps more quickly.

Overall, only 34% of respondents said they fully understand what PaaS is, and 20% admitted they do not understand it at all. For those that said they do understand PaaS, 28% cited reduced timeframes for application development as a main benefit, far behind less strategic benefits such as savings on the cost of internal IT infrastructure (45%).

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The survey also found that 59% of businesses either cannot, or do not know if they can, shift workloads between public, private and hybrid clouds, and migrate on-premises applications to the cloud.

John Abel, engineered systems leader at Oracle, said: "There is a skills gap in understanding how to use PaaS. The survey results bear out the assessment that businesses are not fully aware of how PaaS can increase operational agility."

As Computer Weekly has previously reported, Oracle is shifting its business to become more cloud-focused. In June, it extended its cloud platform with Database Cloud for Exadata, Archive Storage Cloud, Big Data Cloud, Integration Cloud, Mobile Cloud and Process Cloud add-ons.

In a recent earnings call, Oracle CEO Safra Catz said: "Many of our customers are not cancelling support and moving everything to the cloud overnight. They are adding cloud capabilities."

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Many of our customers have developed and deployed their customer-facing apps in DAYS - PaaS is the way to go! www.mobilesmith.com
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I see the mobile apps as two pieces - the front-end, which is probably native iOS or android, and the back end, which might be web services through something traditional. Once the web services are in place, the native stuff is easy -- if you have programmers that have the skills.

So I suspect what this survey is finding is that the companies do not have internal staff with the native app skills, are unlikely to outsource, do not have the backend services yet, and do not have the development management insights to get the train started.

Sadly, I have to say, that's not much of a surprise.
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