IBM has reached an agreement with Ionic to combine its drag-and-drop app design capabilities with the IBM MobileFirst Platform. IBM said the tie-up will enable business users without software development skills to prototype apps in minutes and benefit from open source technology to accelerate their mobile app portfolio expansion.
Ionic offers a library of standards-based tools including Ionic Creator to build and publish apps in a visual environment that runs across multiple mobile platforms. Business analysts and line of business managers can use the cloud-based Ionic Creator to lead up-front app ideation. They can then collaborate with developer teams who can take the prototype and integrate the app with existing systems and IT infrastructure, then deploy to end users with the IBM MobileFirst Platform.
While 60 per cent of large companies used fewer than three mobile apps last year (source: IDC), there is increasing pressure to expand mobile app portfolios. In fact, by 2017, 100 per cent of the line of business apps in customer-facing roles and 75 per cent of line of business apps in internally facing roles will be built for mobile-first consumption, again, according to IDC figures.
“Teaming with IBM benefits our customers by expanding engagement with enterprise business users who don’t need a technical background to access the integration and quality assurance capabilities necessary to develop high quality apps," said Max Lynch, co-founder and CEO of Ionic. "With close to 1m developers using Ionic, we have a rapidly expanding base of users who understand the value of open standards to increase velocity around mobile innovation.”
The IBM MobileFirst Platform is available from Bluemix, IBM's Cloud digital innovation platform, or via on-premises deployment. Joint clients can use the Platform to build and deploy mobile apps or integrate apps built with third party tools, including the Ionic Creator and the Ionic SDK. The IBM MobileFirst Platform is optimized for native, HTML5 and hybrid development, or any combination of these approaches.
“IBM and Ionic are helping organizations increase revenues and employee productivity by enabling them to overcome challenges that could hamstring their mobile strategies, such as large mobile app backlogs and lack of skill sets,” said Angel Diaz, vice president, cloud architecture and technology at IBM. “This agreement empowers organizations to quickly expand their app portfolios and benefit from open standards to enable developers to complete the last enterprise mile – making apps secure, integrated and easy to manage.”