Mobile is Causing a Shift in the Enterprise

CIO Magazine recently wrote a thought-provoking article about the power shift in the enterprise between IT and the Lines of Business (LOB) when it comes to mobile and I’d like to provide our perspective. The editor used the news of our partnership with (see page 2 of article) to show evidence that mobile development, traditionally an IT function, is moving to the LOBs.  As you may have heard, launched the “Mobile Pack for” and positioned it as a way to reach out to a much broader base of developers, including business users, to innovate on the on the Salesforce Platform.  We’re quite excited about this partnership and believe there is a very large opportunity to enable developers in the LOBs to innovate.

The Problem

Demand for mobile app development in the enterprise is far outstripping the capacity of most IT organizations.  While IT is preoccupied  with building one or two consumer facing apps for the app stores, tons of other apps, especially employee facing apps that are critical for running the business remain in the backlog.   Most enterprises have dozens of employee facing apps, including salesforce automation, ERP, field service automation, marketing automation, and human resources self service that have yet to be mobilized.  On top of existing apps that need to be mobilized, there are many more new apps that need to be created to enable new use cases that are enabled with mobile devices.  This surge in demand is turning IT into a bottleneck for the business.

It Begins with the C-Suite

Because these apps are so critical to running the business, business units and LOBs can’t wait and are taking on mobile app development projects to meet their business needs.  This is an emerging trend that is picking up steam and is enabled by cloud based platforms such as   Leading industry analysts firm Forrester has documented this trend with their report titled Tracking the Renegade Technology Buyer.   Forrester reported that 24% of business decision makers earmark a full 21% or more of their budget for IT type expenditures.  They also reported that many more CMOs than CIOs (more than twice as many) own the mobile strategy for the enterprises they polled.

Turning IT from a Bottleneck to Supporting the Business

With its visual development environment enables a much broader base of developers to create mobile apps.  It enables the people who are closest to the business problem to participate in the development process or even develop complete apps.  But the IT organization does not need to be out of the loop.   In fact, because of’s cloud based collaboration features (similar to Google Docs), it enables IT teams to support and participate in the development process, whether it is to audit apps to ensure they meet security guidelines or to more actively participate in development and QA.   Compared to traditional tools that are downloaded throughout the organization, a cloud based approach enables IT to more easily to support the business teams rather than be a bottleneck.

Mobility has become crucial to the success of a business.  Employees utilize mobile apps to increase productivity and customers use them to interact with their favorite brands.  As demand for mobile apps increases beyond the capacity of their IT organization, business users are taking a much more active role in the development of mobile apps, in many cases supported by their IT organizations with cloud based platforms such as

What are your thoughts?  We’d love to hear your perspective via a comment.