Gartner recently published its latest Magic Quadrant for the Mobile Application Development Platform space (July 2018), and let’s just say the results were interesting. Or to be blunt, let me quote the immortal revolutionary leader, Fielding Mellish:
It’s a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.”
Let’s unpack a few things from the MQ:
A Look at the Top 5
Now let’s look at the Top 5 vendors in the new MQ (order is based on my reading of the placement of the companies in the quadrant, not on raw scoring):
Kony, I get. It’s been around a while and is used by some big companies. I used it on a project…once. And I’d like to keep it that way. Kony Visualizer is great for building prototypes and demos. But it has limitations.
Microsoft makes a lot of sense. We use Xamarin a lot, and we’re pretty impressed. Also, since the acquisition (a year and a half ago) that led to its being bundled “free” with Visual Studio, adoption throughout the enterprise has been pretty strong. Admittedly, Azure App Services and analytics are still maturing, but things are only going to get better.
I’m a little surprised to see Oracle. But let’s talk about OutSystems and Mendix’s place on this list. Here’s where we really get to the “travesty of a mockery of a sham.” I don’t know a single large enterprise that uses either platform. I posed this to the Emerging Technology Council, and only one member used Mendix—six years ago. But again, I don’t truly understand the evaluation criteria Gartner uses.
OutSystems’ focus appears to be mobile websites, not mobile apps, and Gartner states the vast majority of customers use the free version of the product, with only 1,100 actual paying customers, primarily SMBs. It doesn’t seem to be playing in the same ballpark as actual MADPs. So how is it #1?
Mendix, which somewhat inexplicably was just acquired by Siemens for $700M, also seems to rank way higher than it should. They have only 750 paying customers (again, many are SMBs) according to Gartner and “reference customers gave it a below-average score for overall satisfaction with its MADP.” I mean, if reference customers grade it below-average, what would customers who don’t provide references say?
Who Got Snubbed?
A few who didn’t make the leaders list (or the list at all) kind of surprised me:
• Progress Software are the somewhat-new owners of Kinvey. And with NativeScript and NativeChat under tow, they have a pretty good set of tools for the enterprise. Our experience with NativeScript is pretty shallow, but we’ve been working with Kinvey for a while and have had good experiences, especially once you figure out some of the patterns (that don’t seem to work the way you’d expect). Factor-in Progress’ footprint in the enterprise, and I’m kinda surprised they didn’t make the Leader segment.
• Axway acquired Appcelerator about 2 years ago. I’m not sure what I think about these guys not being on the list. A few years ago—as AppC—they seemed like a top player in the space. But as SOASTA left the mobile testing space and the partnership with Crittercism (nee Apteligent, nee Cisco) fell away, much of the value of the integrated Appcelerator platform was lost. But it’s still in use in many enterprises, so I thought it might fit into the Niche Player category, especially when there are a host of names in that quadrant I don’t even recognize. Maybe putting them on the quadrant would’ve been like the last 2-year, $48M contract the Lakers gave Kobe, but sometimes respect should be paid.
The shame of it all is that the people who can typically afford to buy a Gartner subscription are enterprises who need the professional grade tools, not RMADs. And the SMBs that may not have the maturity of larger enterprises—and could really use the recommendations that come out of MQs and Forrester Waves—also aren’t getting good guidance if the analysis has to be taken with a cup—not just a few grains—of salt.
If you’re going to compare apples to oranges, perhaps a decision tree is necessary to help get to the right choice (e.g. if you’re an SMB building mobile web sites or simple apps, look at these guys. If you’re an enterprise building complex mobile apps that connect to a variety of ERP and CRM systems, look at this other group of platforms.). Maybe the MQ has lost its value or maybe it’s just this MQ that’s lost its way. But I’m hereby declaring this MQ a crime scene. And hey, if you ever need help with your own evaluation process, check out our IT Strategy for Mobile Kickstart, and give us a call.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
|cookielawinfo-checbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
Functional cookies help to perform certain functionalities like sharing the content of the website on social media platforms, collect feedbacks, and other third-party features.
Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors.
Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.
Advertisement cookies are used to provide visitors with relevant ads and marketing campaigns. These cookies track visitors across websites and collect information to provide customized ads.
Other uncategorized cookies are those that are being analyzed and have not been classified into a category as yet.