How to build transformative mobile development teams in your organization

By Jasmine Henry

Though enterprises understand the value of a leading internal mobility capacity, they’re struggling to find the talent they need for transformation through mobile development. Candidate shortages and internal skills gaps have created increasingly massive development backlogs. Eighty-eight percent of leaders rate mobile functionality as a requirement or very important, per OutSystems. However, 37 percent face talent shortages and 76 percent have app development times of at least three months.

In a 2016 worldwide survey of business and IT leaders, research and advisory firm Gartner found enterprises are balancing expanding backlogs against a desire to innovate with mobile. The majority of organizations are investigating mobile AI features such as chatbots and virtual assistants. As executives face pressure to deliver increasingly sophisticated mobile experiences, it’s necessary to create an internal team of mobile experts to transform a mobility strategy into user-ready apps.

Building competitive advantage through internal mobile talent

In an April 2017 article titled, “The Battle for Talent,” Forrester Research Inc. CMO Victor Milligan explained there is an “excruciating scarcity of talent” as the market flexes its muscles on digital and moves toward customer experience. Sourcing qualified candidates increasingly requires tapping into nontraditional talent pipelines, including the freelance economy, new global locations and assembling remote, project-based teams.

Download Gartner report on managed mobility services

Today’s most disruptive technology startups are hacking skills shortages and lengthy app development cycles to be first to market using tools that can transform the enterprise. Process improvements through DevOps automation and cross-platform hybrid technologies can strengthen the impact of mobile teams. Technologies that use a single code base to deliver mobile experiences across device types, automate security testing and simplify governance processes could be critical to the success of development teams.

The types of talent mobile development teams need in 2017

Ranked the second hardest technology job to fill by Indeed, today’s top mobile app developer candidates are required to show up with knowledge of native programming on iOS and Android and cross-platform user interface delivery.

In TechRepublic, Senior Director of Software Engineering Sha Ma emphasized the importance of developer portfolios that prove candidates have “done multiple projects with responsive designs to enable seamless UI experience across multiple web and mobile screen sizes.”


In an interview with Enterprise Mobility Exchange, VDC Research Director Eric Klein highlights the importance of individuals who can solve key mobility challenges of interoperability, security and long-term app support. He said today’s teams need backgrounds in varied programming models and testing frameworks to address all of the nuances and requirements of today’s fast-moving mobile landscape.

Forward thinkers with excitement for today’s most transformative mobile trends might also strengthen your capacity for digital transformation. The highest-impact candidates could offer a passion for perfecting omnichannel customer experiences, using real-time behavioral insights to deliver a dynamic user experience or a successful history with tactics such as feature flipping in apps.

Understanding the potential of candidates for enterprise mobility teams

With mobile trends in a state of flux and geographically distributed teams becoming an increasingly common way to combat skills shortages, considering personality traits such as adaptability is a critical way to measure candidate potential. A survey on hiring trends for app developers in 2017 by Rik Tam reveals today’s organizations believe there is no room in enterprise mobility for developers who are “unable or unwilling to adapt to changes.” When asked to briefly define the right candidate, the most important word was “empathy” as a prerequisite to delivering a solid user experience for end users.

Cognitive intelligence tools can improve candidate experiences and help firms evaluate total candidate fit and retention potential in addition to technical skills. Firms such as ATB Financial have adopted HR analytics for AI-bolstered candidate and talent management, including the ability to identify motivated and engaged candidates during the recruitment process.

Leading mobile developers deliver competitive advantage

Finding the right mobile development team members can represent more than technology talent acquisition to firms. The right candidates can enable digital transformation and deliver a competitive advantage through cutting-edge, engaging internal and external mobile experiences. Winning the war for mobile talent might require today’s executives to shift their thinking, including adopting broader talent pipelines and smarter tools for candidate assessment and internal agility.

Written By

Jasmine Henry

Jasmine E. Henry, MS

Jasmine is a commentator on emerging technology and freelance writer in the greater Seattle area. With a professional background in analytics, big data, mobility, and security that spans both the for-profit and government sectors, her professional interests include artificial intelligence…

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