With mobile application development poised to overtake programming for other platforms, and with enterprises looking to create targeted, industry-specific solutions to leverage the new devices, developers are admitting they lack the industry knowledge and skills needed to remain competitive, according to IBM’s 2010 Tech Trends Survey.
Mobile development (for smartphones and tablet devices) will surpass development on all other traditional computing platforms by 2015, according to more than half the respondents in IBM’s survey. Accordingly, enterprises are focusing on creating applications that are less general, such as ERP systems, and more industry-specific. But 63% of developers indicated their skills and knowledge are lacking in terms of being able to create applications for the new devices that add business value to the organization.
The survey response that hit IBM executives the hardest “is the whole thing around mobile, and how quickly it will overtake” other platforms, said Mark Hanny, vice president of ISVs and developer relations at IBM. “We know mobile is important, but the implication now is that developers might not have the right skills to go about developing for the iPad, iPhone and Android.”
IBM, through its developerWorks site, is offering workshops and tutorials to provide the skills developers will need for the future, Hanny said.
As these mobile devices proliferate, IBM said that analysts see the market for mobile application sales growing from US$6.2 billion this year to nearly $30 billion by 2013.
Meanwhile, 91% of respondents also believe cloud computing in the next five years will overtake on-premise computing as the primary way organizations acquire their software and platform assets.
Hanny said that, in the past few months, he’s seen software suppliers indicate they want to moor their software to a services model in the cloud, driven by customer demand and the revenue opportunities there. “They’re seeing it as a way to grow their top-line revenue,” he said.