A few years back, more than a few analysts might have dismissed Apple’s chances among enterprise users. That was before the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, driven by a combination of tightening IT budgets and more mobile-management tools for IT administrators, loosed a flood of iPads and iPhones into the enterprise.
According to a new survey by Appcelerator and IDC, Apple has taken the lead position among developers looking to create mobile apps for the enterprise. Some 53.2 percent of the 3,500 developers surveyed worldwide said that iOS would eventually dominate the enterprise marketplace, versus 37.3 percent who said the same thing about Android.
That being said, developers aren’t necessarily willing to bind themselves to a single platform, with around 66 percent of those surveyed reporting the use of multiple platform development tools to build apps.
Developers are also apparently interested in upcoming platforms, with 33.3 percent reporting an interest in Windows 8 tablets, which will hit the market later this year. (That comes despite declining interest in developing for Windows Phone; some 25 percent said they were interested in building apps for Microsoft’s smartphone platform, versus 37 percent at this time last year.)
“The big news is that Apple’s iOS took a dramatic lead over Google’s Android in the enterprise app space,” Scott Ellison, IDC’s vice president of Mobile and Connected Consumer Platforms, wrote in a July 24 statement accompanying the data. “For developers, Android appears to be evolving more towards a consumer play, which in turn provides a key competitive opening for Microsoft in the enterprise mobile app space.”
Developer interest helps determine which apps end up offered on which platforms; it can mean the difference between a B.I. or other analytics app appearing on the iOS and BlackBerry platforms, for example, or just iOS. In the past few years, vendors large and small have taken an increasing interest in creating data analytics as a mobile experience, with software for everything from data visualization to reports.