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Citing TEKsystems, Gartner Mulls the Power of Outsourcing Mobile App Development

May 15, 2014
In a recent research note, Gartner analyst Kris Doering points out that the global non-gaming mobile application market will reach $30 billion and 200 billion downloads by 2016.  

Of course, we were very pleased to see our own research cited in that exact same study. 

The motivators for the outsourcing of mobile development projects are clear. Regardless of whether their angle is B2B or B2C, organizations are feeling the pressure to “get mobile.”  A strong combination of competency and efficiency are what they’re looking for. Sixty-seven percent think vendors have better expertise than they do, 56 percent don’t have the requisite mobile developments in house and almost half (47 percent) are sure that they would see results faster with an external partner.

Where this gets interesting is what Doering recommends organizations focus on once they decide to seek outside help: internal alignment, followed by vendor partnerships, is king. 

Companies need to answer some questions before jumping in. None of the questions he brings up are revolutionary; rather, they are equal parts common sense and easily forgotten. Are your sourcing and business leads on the same page regarding the technical and business requirements? Do you have a clear process in place to evaluate mobile apps service providers? Once you’ve chosen a vendor, do you have the people and structure in place to manage that vendor towards a successful application—not just during the project, but during the application’s lifetime as well? 

Ask any group of 10 people to define ‘outsourcing’ and you’ll get about as many different answers. In almost 20 years of being either on the end client or service provider side of the outsourcing equation, I can say with some degree of confidence that there are many ways to ensure your IT projects fail to meet expectations. Not kicking the tires hard on the three questions Mr. Doering mentions is one of them. While developing the right criteria for vendor selection is art form in itself, many companies assume the hard work is done when the ink is dry on the agreement. Not so. In general, outsourcing a project successfully requires strong partnership between the buyer and provider of services throughout the lifetime of the project and beyond. Given the urgency driving most mobile development outsourcing projects, as well as the speed with which mobile development usually occurs, that principle holds doubly true for the mobile world. It does, after all, take two to tango.

Given the extent of TEKsystems’ experience with mobile application development projects, it should (hopefully) not come as a surprise that we’ve defined how best to structure an effective mobile apps strategy. Feel free to tap into our thought leadership on this subject here.

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