Posted by:Ranjani Rao August 5th, 2015

IBM, SAP, Oracle – have all built their mobile app development platforms (MADP) along with bells and whistles that include app management, device management, user experience management, analytics etc.

There are a host of other platform providers also out there from the small to the big to the niche.

But in spite of what analysts have been predicting, MADPs are still struggling to gain traction.

Maybe that is because it gets hard to justify the high cost of the platform when enterprises are not even sure if they have a business case with a clear ROI for their mobile offerings.

Many of these platforms are built on the Cordova (PhoneGap) framework. These platforms also simplify the integration with backend data sources like databases and web services. But all this comes at a hefty cost.

And the cost cannot be justified when the same app can be built easily enough using the Cordova framework directly (it is free), and investing in some backend work for app connectivity where the total cost of the effort comes in much lower than the cost of using the MADP.

MADPs do become cost effective in the long run but they are still not at the point where they are selling themselves. Many of the big MADP providers are trying various means to sell, upsell and cross-sell their platforms. Adoption is slow and not at the rate at which it was envisioned when everybody who was somebody suddenly became a mobility platform provider.

Mobile app development for the enterprise is still young and dynamic and certainly not predictable. We just have to wait and watch.

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