A special report from analyst house Gartner predicts that by 2016, 40% of mobile app development projects will leverage backend cloud services.
This could cause development leaders to "lose control of the pace and path of cloud adoption within their enterprises,” Gartner say.
Cloud back-end services are a specialised form of PaaS intended to support the development of applications. These include user management, push notifications, social and data storage, to name a few.
"Cloud mobile back-end services stand to become a key component of the application development ecosystem," said Gordon Van Huizen, research director at Gartner.
"As a result, a given organization may begin using them without first developing the requisite understanding of the issues and risks associated with employing cloud services for application infrastructure. What's needed, then, is something of a crash course in the fundamental concerns of deploying application functionality in the cloud."
Mobile back-end services make use of cloud by making services as natural to the developer as possible and helps to develop mobile apps by using familiar interfaces. However, as cloud services by mobile applications grows, it becomes more difficult to manage effectively, especially with regard to sensitive data.
This could lead to inadequate security, if left ungoverned and it’s thought that this will require additional security and governance capabilities beyond those that are commonly found today.
"Governance technology can only be effective, though, if it is used," said Mr. Van Huizen.
"Clear policies must be established and communicated to developers prior to the use of cloud mobile back-end services by applications that may access corporate or customer data."
Much of enterprise app development takes place outside of the IT department and is often provided by third-party vendors. However, this is beginning to change as mobile development tools evolve.
"This presents a risk much greater than in the past," said Mr. Van Huizen.
"The advent of more sophisticated rapid mobile application development environments, the availability of cloud services and increased access to enterprise systems will expand the potential for non-IT developers to build applications that commingle sensitive corporate data with cloud-based services and storage. It is, therefore, necessary to extend awareness of the issues to the broader organization, as well as the organization's policies for cloud services, so that mobile applications built outside IT are subject to the same oversight and governance as those built within IT."
More details on cloud mobile back-end service can be found in the Gartner report: What AD Leaders Need to Know About Cloud Mobile Back-End Services: Don't Enter the Cloud Unprepared.
Further information on mobile development strategy and integration can be found in thy special report: The Mobile Imperative: Mobile Application Strategies and Architecture, which also includes video commentary and links to further information.
Further discussion on mobility will also take place at the Gartner Catalyst Technical Forum on Mobility, set to take place in London on September 25th 2013.