With the advent of new wearable technology, developers are presented with an entirely new venue to present the latest in enterprise applications. But with this new technological landscape also comes its share of challenges. A new study titled The Next Frontier in Cross-platform Mobile Development: Wearables and Connected Devices sponsored by Kony Inc. found that there is a lack of clear vision from enterprise stakeholders in wearable initiatives and poor communication between vested parties.
The study surveyed 230 mobile app developers and designers from across the world to investigate the unique challenges associated with developing for platforms other than smartphones and tablets. The responses were collected across a four week period through a third party research site.
“Forward-thinking enterprises are eager to take advantage of the wealth of new devices and form factors entering the market today, but capitalizing on these innovations remains a challenge for today’s mobile app design and development teams,” said Kony exec Dave Shirk in a statement today. “To meet this demand, designers and developers need next-generation creative tools that allow them to more easily adapt their apps to a broader range of interfaces, screen sizes and capabilities.”
The study found that 65% of responses said that wearables and connected devices have already become a challenge for application developers or will become a challenge in the next year. The biggest obstacles for the industry being a lack of communication between ITstakeholders, designers, and develeopers. Next was “an unclear objective from IT stakeholders” followed by “a lack of usability of assets between desktop, mobile, and wearable applications.”
“As more devices hit the market and wearable and connected devices become commonplace in the workplace, enterprises need a platform to achieve greater agility and efficiencies,” the Kony report concluded. “Wearable and connected devices are definitely becoming mainstream, and a key driver for their acceptance will be the growth of enterprise mobile apps built around these devices. It is critical for developers, designers and stakeholders to work closer together to not only to meet business objectives and the demands of the business users, but also deliver an amazing user experience.”
The survey also touched on some general application issues as well, unrelated to wearable specific technology. “A lack of time and resources” tied with “a complexity of omni-channel development” were both listed as the top two obstacles during the development stage of mobile application project. Other obstacles listed were “complexity of keeping up with operating system updates”, “a lack of coding knowledge”, and a “complexity of back-end integration”. When these developers were asked what was preventing them from releasing their applications, the most common response was “a misalignment between IT and line of business” followed by “a lack of time and resources”.