06 Mar 2017

Rapid Application Delivery Platforms

How fast is fast?

Rapid Application Delivery Platforms: How Fast Is Fast?

Application development and delivery (AD&D) teams are under increasing pressure to deliver more projects in less time while maintaining – if not improving – application quality. The need to support digital access across an expanding range of devices and platforms increases complexity and creates additional challenges. The key to managing this complexity while meeting volume, speed and quality demands, according to many analysts, is deploying a Rapid Application Delivery (RAD) platform. RAD platforms promise to speed up development and delivery processes by abstracting away, to various degrees, configuration, coding, testing, QA, deployment and maintenance cycles. But what can AD&D teams reasonably expect from a RAD platform? How fast is fast? That is exactly what TechValidate sought to find out in a worldwide survey of about 200 enterprise IT decision makers who use OutSystems Platform in their organisations.

Mobility Is Critical

As a starting point, TechValidate wanted to establish a crucial context – understanding why enterprises are creating apps by considering the apps’ business goals and processes. Not surprisingly, 43 percent of respondents cited mobility (mobile apps and mobile-friendly web sites/portals) as the most critical functionality in 2015.
Mobility was by far the most commonly cited priority, more than doubling response rates for the second most cited priority (modernising or replacing legacy systems, at 21 percent).
Over half of surveyed IT organizations plan to build between
51%-100% of their apps
with a mobile component

Mobile Architecture Matters

When it comes to building mobile apps, AD&D teams can choose from three common mobile architectures: hybrid, mobile web, and native. While native allows developers to fully leverage on device features and functionality, hybrid and mobile web make it possible to build a single application for use on multiple platforms. This is a benefit for teams that have lengthy development queues and need to satisfy a diverse user base. So it’s no surprise that survey results indicate that these architectures are the most popular.
The majority of respondents report that they intend to use hybrid (65 percent) and mobile web (60 percent) this year, versus just 26 percent planning to build native apps.

Mobile Architecture

Apps Must Deliver Impact

Respondents were also asked about the kinds of apps they built in 2014 and planned to build in 2015. Interestingly, the lists were nearly identical. In 2014, AD&D teams focused on process automation (e.g., forms, routing), reporting and analytics, and document/ records management, in that order. In 2015, AD&D teams again plan to focus on process automation, and reporting and analytics. However, more than a quarter of respondents also plan to build their own CRM app, nudging document/ records management out of the top three. This indicates that enterprises are not getting the features and functionality they need from the numerous packaged and SaaS-based CRM applications on the market today. As a result, businesses are looking to their AD&D teams to fill the gap.

Top Apps Enterprises Plan to Build in 2015

Language Facilitates Integration

Digging a bit deeper, respondents were asked which development languages they used and integrations they required when building apps. At 58 percent, JavaScript was the most popular modern language used by respondents prior to the adoption of a RAD platform, followed by C# at 56 percent, HTML5 at 51 percent, and Java at 50 percent.
The preference for robust languages may be driven by the significant back-end integrations AD&D teams are handling. The survey asked enterprises to indicate how many cloud-based, packaged on-premises, and custom-developed systems they needed to integrate when building apps. The majority of survey respondents cited integration with 1-5 systems of each type, but many respondents needed to integrate 10, 20, or even 40+ systems.

Organizations Must Integrate New Apps With a Large Number of Existing Systems

How Fast Is Fast

The challenges of delivery speed raise a crucial question: just how much time can AD&D teams save by using a RAD platform? TechValidate asked survey respondents to indicate how much improvement they’ve seen in app delivery speed (development, deployment, management, and change) for a typical application. For 44 percent, speed has improved at least six times. In other words, teams are developing, deploying, managing, and changing applications 600 percent faster with a RAD platform than they could without. For nearly a quarter of respondents, app delivery speed has accelerated at least 800 percent.
Even without a RAD platform, 21 percent of respondents reported needing just three months or less to deliver an app. After deploying a RAD platform, however, that number more than triples, with nearly 75 percent of respondents delivering apps in fewer than three months.

Time Is Vital

The complexity of the demands AD&D teams are tasked to fulfill becomes evident when considering the average time it took respondents to deliver applications. From the requirements phase to delivery of apps into users’ hands, 40 percent of respondents cited taking at least six months to more than a year (before deploying a RAD platform). After deploying a RAD platform, fewer than 10 percent of respondents needed six months or more to deliver an app.
It is no wonder that the majority of respondents (77 percent) cited saving time as their top reason for preferring a RAD platform to traditional development and delivery methods. In addition, the next two most-cited benefits also include a time-saving element: simplified lifecycle management (e.g. app updates and iterations) and increased efficiency.

Customers Deliver Faster with Rapid App Delivery vs. Traditional Methods

Customers Save Time/Money with a Rapid App Delivery vs Traditional Methods.

Speed Enables Volume

Naturally, with application delivery timelines shrinking, AD&D teams are concurrently increasing the number of apps they deliver. For 23 percent of respondents, the volume of apps delivered increased between 600 and 800 percent. A full fifth of respondents (20 percent) cite even better results, with the number of apps delivered rising more than 800 percent.

Quality is Maintained

Importantly, reducing delivery timelines and increasing the number of apps deployed did not negatively impact the reported quality of apps. On the contrary, survey respondents cited notable improvements in quality when using a RAD platform. More than a third of respondents (39 percent) indicated at least 600 percent improvement in application quality. This is an important point because the ability to deliver more apps more quickly is of li le value if quality suffers. With AD&D reporting increasing application delivery speed, volume, and quality in conjunction, RAD platforms appear to deliver on all levels.

Conclusion: RAD Platforms Deliver

The demand for enterprise applications shows no signs of abating. Fortunately, top RAD platforms such as Outsystems offer an effective way to meet this demand, enabling substantial improvements in app delivery speed, volume, and quality. As more companies recognize the value of RAD platforms, the technology will garner more attention from analysts and the media, some of which may sound to good to be true. However, as these results indicate, the proven benefits of using a RAD platform are anything but hype.

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About Rainmaker Labs

Rainmaker Labs Private Limited (BRN: 201107298M) is a venture capital backed technology company that has been live in operations since March 2011. Headquartered in sunny Singapore, we are a fast growing technology company specializing enterprise mobility solutions. By providing state of the art enterprise solutions to our clients, Rainmaker Labs is leading the way businesses use mobile solutions to interact with people, customers and partners.
Rainmaker Labs understands enterprise mobile technology and we leverage on our domain knowledge for our clients to take advantage of tremendous opportuni es within this space, enabling them to extend and extract addi onal value from their IT investments.
We at Rainmaker Labs pride ourselves in Research & Development – to ensure we provide cutting edge competitive advantages for our clients. Our emphasis on partnership and collaboration with our clients makes us the best fit for driving digital transformation.
To learn more about Rainmaker Labs, please visit us @ http://www.rainmaker-labs.com

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