Since the launch of Apple’s iPhone in mid 2007, the use of mobile apps has exploded. Today’s enterprise is increasingly mobile and apps enable employees to have better access to information and customers to access products and services. At the same time the range of devices is widening as tablets become ever more popular, Android goes from strength to strength and other platforms continue to offer important benefits.
The cost of developing and maintaining apps increases with the number of platforms supported, the number of apps and the complexity of the apps; more often than not enterprises have little control over them because they are tied to third party developers. While creating and managing a single app on a single platform might be relatively straightforward in a native environment, doing so across multiple platforms and for multiple apps rapidly becomes cost ineffective. Apps need to:
- Support multiple platforms and form factors.
- Be constantly maintained, improved and upgraded.
- Be secure.
- Have access to content and back-end systems.
IBM Worklight is a mobile application platform (MAP), software which enables cross platform app development and maintenance. In June 2012, IBM commissioned Forrester Consulting to examine the total economic impact and potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realise by deploying Worklight. The purpose of this study is to provide readers with a framework to evaluate the potential financial impact of the Worklight platform on their organisations. Our financial analysis compares the cost of creating and managing a single app in native environments and on the Worklight platform. The app is complex, in that it needs to connect to multiple back-end systems, requires a high level of security, has many different user screens and is supported across four platforms.
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