CIOs Predict 50% Increase in Number of Business Apps Moving to Mobile but are Struggling to Deliver the Goods

A third of IT leaders describe their mobile development team as sluggish, middling or outpaced, according to new global research

14 March 2013

CIOs say it takes an average of five months to deliver new versions of mobile applications for existing mobile device updates, confirming they cannot keep up with device vendors releasing updates every couple of months. That’s according to an independent global research study undertaken by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Borland, a Micro Focus company (LSE: MCRO.L).

Of the 590 CIOs and IT directors polled from nine countries around the globe, the majority (79%) confirmed the teams delivering these mobile apps are a mix of in-house and outsourced support. However, a third labelled their mobile development team as sluggish, middling or outpaced, showing a distinct lack of faith in their ability to develop and deliver against business requirements. This poses a particular challenge given respondents predict a 50% increase in the number of business apps that need to be made accessible on mobile devices over the next three years (from 31% in 2013 to 46% in 2016).

Mainframe causes further complications

The ability to deliver timely mobile apps presents an even greater problem to mainframe organizations:

  • 78% of CIOs said that having a mainframe makes developing or implementing mobile applications that work with their existing systems more difficult
  • A whopping 86% confirmed mobile application vendors and developers are more reticent to work with mainframe organizations. These findings confirm there is a real need to bridge the world of mainframe and mobile to ease the challenges for mainframe organizations

The OS race

CIOs made a clear choice to back Android as their mobile operating system, with 78% of organizations developing their mobile apps for this system today.

  • Apple iOS came second, with 65% developing for it, and Windows Phone third at 52%
  • Although Android is expected to maintain its pole position in two years’ time with 77%, iOS and Windows Phone will close the gap with 71% and 65% respectively
  • CIOs are not predicting a comeback for Blackberry OS. Lagging fourth at 36%, respondents estimate a miserly 1% growth to 37% in two years time
  • Unsurprisingly, Symbian is the clear loser with only 7% choosing to develop for the operating system

Additional findings

  • Operational efficiency trumps customer retention as the main reason to go mobile: In order of priority, CIOs want to support mobile applications to improve operational efficiency, improve operational cost-effectiveness, capture new customers, and retain existing customers.
    • Developing for the mini-tablet will more than double: Today, 23% of organizations are developing mobile apps for the mini-tablet, but this is estimated by CIOs to rise to 48% over the next two years.
    • Mobile development teams are outsourced and outpaced: 37% of CIOs outsource 25%-50% of their mobile application development work. A staggering 51% of CIOs in the UK describe their mobile development team as middling, sluggish or outpaced.

    Archie Roboostoff, Borland Solutions Portfolio Director at Micro Focus, said: “Mobile apps play a critical role in every organization’s business strategy today. However, the consumer in all of us is demanding more, and companies are under increasing pressure to release higher quality mobile apps faster and more often than ever before.

    A shift in thinking is needed when it comes to mobile quality, performance and development. Our Silk portfolio helps prevent mobile app developers and testers from struggling to keep pace, enabling them to deliver better software faster as mobile technology demands continue to accelerate.”

    Notes to Editors

    The independent research survey was undertaken by Vanson Bourne in February 2013. It covered 590 IT decision makers in nine countries including UK (100), France (100), Germany (100), USA (100), Brazil (100), Australia (35), New Zealand (15), Hong Kong (15) and Singapore (25). The respondents were from mainframe organizations with 501+ employees, covering multiple industry sectors.

    About Borland

    Originating in 1983, Borland Software Corporation is a world-class provider of requirements, test and change management solutions. As part of Micro Focus Ltd, a member of the FTSE 250, Borland offers tools that are open, agile and work across the entire Application Development Lifecycle to enable customers to build better software, faster. For additional information please visit

    To find out more about the Borland Silk product set visit:

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