2016 was a prolific year for enterprise mobile app development, and the market rose to as high as $48 billion, proving once again its massive economic potential. Global market research giant MarketsandMarkets™ have conducted an extensive analysis considering the mobile app market, and its results suggest a future improvement of the situation.
Here’s a sneak peek at the topics covered in the report:
global use of mobile software
shares between operating systems
size of organizations both hiring and providing the service
There's even more inside the report, but the key thing is all this research allows MarketsandMarkets™ to come up with an extremely market projection up until next decade. According to this forecast, the mobile app development market will reach $98 billion by the year 2021.
Such data is undoubtedly encouraging for those who build the custom mobile application, but it also means the better competitive environment with more skilled opponents and strict requirements from the clients who are already used to top-class services.
The growing market means a right balance between supply and demand, with a high potential of enlarging the former. As business turns more towards digitization, more significant need in the mobile application to complement the service is a no-brainer. But there is a more substantial spectrum of reasons that determine the interest of business owners and startups. Let's break those down.
Reaching customers anywhere, anytime
A quick example: two decades ago customers would have to attend offline classes to learn languages. Ten years ago they could do this at home, via the internet and their PC or laptop. Right now they can do this everywhere regardless of the time zone, schedule, and other aspects.
Learning a language is a single example, which, however, can be projected on any other industries. What took us tons of time and required personal presence to do, now can be done anywhere, anytime. And mobility ensured by the smartphones and applications is the main reason for that.
Better customer retention
Mobile applications allow funneling the target audience into the needed direction and, unlike a traditional website, the app stays on the user's phone and is ready to boost the engagement via push notifications, the content of the app or other methods, based on the niche.
Smaller companies and startups consider all ways of making profits and app is not the worst way to do this. Using third-party advertisement services allows adding clickable ads to any part of the mobile application and earn extra money after the traffic becomes decent enough. Though only a consequence of having a built mobile app, this factor may also persuade clients of its importance.
Rise of mobile market share
62% of smartphone users have bought something online using their devices in 2015, and the tendency never changed since then. Mobile share keeps rising, and the existing level of technology allows substituting PC/laptops with a smartphone without a sensitive difference. 2017 has seen the mobile share of online purchases rise to 53%. This means that slightly more than half internet users with smartphones made at least one purchase during last year.
The previous section partially explained the interest in the mobile application, but the picture is far from clear. We firmly believe that the market will undoubtedly continue expanding and the following factors are already proving this hypothesis.
The interest in mobile apps is high, and it will continue growing over time due to the reasons explained above. A vast number of people willing to pay for the full development of the app and its design will raise the rewards for service providers and attract more interest in the niche.
Increased demand for this type of services gives birth to new opportunities for skilled developers and startups. It is much easier to learn the specifics of mobile app building than it was a decade ago and new companies emerge on a daily basis, offering a wide range of services with different quality, price and completion estimates. The fight for customers will benefit the overall quality of the service provided, resulting in better apps built for a shorter time, and that can't be bad for the clients and the market as a whole.
Existing app building tools
Both native and cross-platform app development is supported by many specific tools that make the process a lot easier. Swift, Java, Kotlin work well for native apps, cross-platform is supported by Xamarin, Appcelerator, Sencha, NativeScript and many more.
Productivity trend among users
Mobile apps are today's solution to the issue of being productive regardless of surroundings, occupation and current activity. Mobile applications solve this problem almost entirely. People can book accommodation, conduct business texting, do video calls, read documents, reports or books, learn languages, manage various processes - the list can go on for a while yet. Clients seem to be mastering how to ride the trend wave and predict what the users need to fill the customer demand void and developers will be the ones to make the thing real and shiny. Combine all three factors, and a growing market niche is born, sustained and booming.
Massive branch of entertainment
The current web development technology level makes smartphones be almost on level terms with PCs, gaming consoles, etc. Virtual reality applications, screens wide enough and detailed enough to watch a full HD movie and so much more. The share of smartphones used more often will grow not only because of the desire to work and stay productive, but to have fun. And the developers are filling the void already, creating more complex mobile games, virtual reality apps and more. It will only heat up with the growth of technology level and ability to put an immense amount of processing power into the tiny device capable of fitting into our hand.
Security, connectivity, commerce
The clients and their target audience want everything to be safe and protected. They want to be offered smart connectivity. This will lead to the discovery of new technologies and improvement of the existing ones, making enterprise mobile app development a continually evolving industry. Security will also be accompanied by money. Monetization is vital for some industries and businesses to be able to sustain their mobile apps, and we can expect improvements in that field sooner than later.
The constant tendency of tech improvement over all industries leaves no doubt - our tools will evolve. With them, the quality of existing solutions and the possibilities of those only in the project phase will multiply, offering an unknown experience to the target audience.
Monetization will attract additional money to the mobile platforms and allow them to compete with desktop even further. It will, however, demand more from the app developers and, judging by the lack of qualified specialists, is already demanding a bit too much.
Clients that want an app built will rise in numbers, making service providers look for skilled programmers intensively, draining the human resource pool. If done too quickly, it may leave a talent void, where all existing professionals are engaged in the business, and the new generation has not yet learned enough to help.
The popularity of mobile niche will likely attract more interest to it, and thus better conditions for new programmers. It, in turn, will attract more young specialists, covering the talent void and bringing the situation back to level terms.
Regardless of all probabilities, the enterprise mobile app development market will thrive and offer better opportunities for fresh blood, established pros, clients and users.