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FM firms facing barriers to in-house app development

By 04/12/2020No Comments

According to new research, more than nine out of 10 facilities management companies lack the skills or resources to develop employee-facing mobile apps in-house.

A report published by mobile data capture specialist, WorkMobile, found that employee-facing mobile apps play a key role in facilities management firms’ enterprise mobility strategies, with 100 per cent of businesses making use of the technology.

However, while in-house app development offers businesses the necessary flexibility when it comes to tailoring and implementing effective mobile solutions – particularly crucial following the recent rise of remote working and social distancing – a staggering 91 per cent are unable to do so successfully.

The research found that more than half (55 per cent) of IT teams in the industry don’t have the time or capacity to develop their own apps, while 18 per cent do not have the coding skills and expertise required to do so.

Given the growing digital skills shortage, and the prevalence of apps in both our professional and personal lives, it is unsurprising that 40 per cent of FM CIOs have found it difficult to recruit employees with the right mobile development expertise.

The research also found that even among those businesses that are capable of developing their own apps, many have struggled to make them a success.

Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of IT teams in the FM sector have experienced problems developing apps within a particular timeframe, while 29 per cent have had difficulties developing apps for a range of operating systems and devices. As a result, 82 per cent have been forced to abandon the development of an app before completion.

Colin Yates, Chief Support Officer at WorkMobile, commented: “These statistics are very concerning in the current climate, given the crucial role that mobile solutions play in a successful enterprise mobility strategy.

“Even pre-pandemic, enabling remote working was the most common pressure CIOs faced from the rest of the C-suite, according to half of those surveyed. And with so many more people now working away from the office, that pressure is greater than ever.

“The past few months have also shown us that in order for businesses to succeed, agility is absolutely key. In-house mobile app development can be a really cost-effective way for CIOs to respond quickly to ever-changing external factors, and ensure employees always have the right tools to do their jobs.

“However, with so many teams facing such significant barriers to in-house app development, they could find themselves struggling more than necessary over the coming months to keep up with rapidly evolving business requirements.”

In light of these difficulties, the research revealed that 64 per cent of FM CIOs would be interested in using a no-coding mobile app toolkit as an alternative to developing apps in-house themselves.

Forty-four per cent said that they believe no-coding mobile apps would reduce the workload for their team, a third think that they would enable their teams to implement mobile solutions more quickly, and 29 per cent expect they would find it easier to adhere to financial budgets.


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