- The newest MEAP platforms are being repositioned to address modern app development issues as operations plays a larger role involving the leveraging of cloud services.
- New advancements in AI, low-code tools, integration and API management, and serverless computing all play into DevOps’ need to abstract infrastructure complexities while improving management around app deployments.
Application platforms providers are repositioning traditional mobile platforms to address broader, modern app development including web, IoT, and chatbots. Vendors such as IBM, Kony, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, Salesforce, and Adobe are helping to drive this new era of app development in which modern applications need advanced platform services to respond to continuous integration, continuous deployment (CICD), a prospect which presents enterprises with boundless opportunities to improve businesses, along with extreme challenges.
In GlobalData’s newest “Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms: Competitive Landscape Assessment,” we analyzed notable mobile trends, including the evolution of mobile services to tackle larger DevOps issues, emphasizing comprehensive solutions for enhancing apps through AI, low-code tools, integration and API capabilities, and serverless computing architectures for easing the deployment process. (For more on these mobile trends and insights into the solutions being offered by leading competitors, click here.) This increased attention towards business IT and operations represents the key priority among new solutions releases over the past year by virtually all of the leaders participating in this market segment. The technology is represented largely in the form of abstracting infrastructure complexity around the app deployment process through application lifecycle management (ALM) technologies including API management and AI-enabled automation, as well as the use of improved deployment formats including containerization and, more recently, pipelines which address best practices for typical app development and deployment scenarios.
In our assessment of this marketplace, we awarded highest honors to those vendors’ products best able to react to these market transitions through thought leadership and innovation, namely IBM MobileFirst and Kony AppPlatform. As leaders in this space, IBM and Kony have demonstrated solid strategies around best-of-breed integration and API management for increasingly sophisticated apps accessing backend data, along with the ability to address operations’ most pressing deployment requirements either through comprehensive ALM solutions and serverless computing architectures exemplified by IBM or following Kony’s example of broadening partnerships and ecosystems to access such advanced solutions through integration with third-party services.
Throughout the competitive landscape, we’ve seen a shift in mobile service providers’ platform strategies and releases to address the increased needs of a DevOps model, through a variety of technologies and architectures, solutions, third-party service integrations, and new channel programs. The idea is to reach a broader audience of customers, including SMB and mid-sized enterprises, as well as internal customer stakeholders (e.g., non-coders and LoB), via low-code tools, pre-built templates, and app management and insights through the use of AI.
The quest to improve low-code capabilities (typically leveraging AI) continues, with Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP at the forefront, targeting LoB users looking for solutions that address SaaS business application requirements – for example, marketing and customer support. With IBM Watson as the analytics technology to beat, Salesforce is presenting new opportunities to developers around AI in the form of APIs for building intelligent apps via Einstein Platform Service. In its response to Watson, Oracle will be offering AI-infused chatbots to developers as SDKs to improve customer engagement via popular messaging platforms. Adobe Creative Cloud, a component of its MEAP, will be leveraging AI and ML as part of its development and branding strategy.
Over the next 12 months, we’ll see continued momentum around a growing cloud ecosystem in order to stay competitive with broad platform services, including third-party offerings. Most dominant will be partnerships with Microsoft and Amazon for offering the highest levels of mobile innovation to the broadest audiences of developers and enterprises.