The Future of Enterprise App Development Services

We’ve seen trends in the market and challenges these teams have faced over the years, and we’ve come up with our own opinions about how enterprise teams should be building apps and how the future of enterprise app development will look heading into 2022 and beyond.


For almost a decade, Ionic has worked with a number of enterprise app development teams and companies that are building mission-critical apps with major investments backing them up. 

We’ve seen trends in the market and challenges these teams have faced over the years, and we’ve come up with our own opinions about how enterprise teams should be building apps and how the future of enterprise app development will look heading into 2022 and beyond.

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Ionic’s opinions on the future of enterprise app development services

At Ionic, we have strong opinions about the future of enterprise app development. Backed by research and qualitative analysis from customer experiences, we have used these opinions as guides to shape the future of Ionic.

We firmly believe that enterprise app developers are the future. 

Every year, thousands of new developers enter the workforce. The network effect of developer communities, training, and schools combine to produce an amazing group of talented creators that we believe are the future of application development. 

There are a number of alternatives to building software that don’t require developers, and there’s nothing wrong with them. But the amount of problems companies will face in the future will require talented creators to build the software they need. 

The Web is the universal runtime. The only safe bet. 

The Web is the best platform to bet on. It runs everywhere. It’s very stable.

For large companies facing incredible challenges in the broader market, the Web is the most practical, high-productivity enabling solution that companies can depend on for the long term. 

The Web allows companies to build and deploy apps everywhere their customers are and requires the least amount of investment because a single web codebase can run virtually anywhere. For larger companies scaling their enterprise mobile app development, the Web is the safest bet. 

Best of all, it is easy to recruit talent in this space given the amount of web developers being trained each year.

Traditional OSS models are failing most enterprises. 

We’ve seen the enterprise app development market go from proprietary lockdown solutions to full open source, community-maintained products. 

The problem with traditional open source solutions is that there are no guarantees for any of the products or services to work. There is also no guarantee of support if an issue arises. 

Open source technologies are proving to be challenging for enterprises who expect the same level of support, security, and maintenance they receive from other commercial vendors but can’t receive from open source app development.

We’re building a much more robust platform where customers can use our app development SDK. Integrate our app extensions like Auth Connect or Identity Vault for authentication and security. Tie in cloud services like Live Updates that pair perfectly with the apps customers are building. Wrap it all together with the world-class support and advisory services Ionic has to offer.

Ionic is forging a new path forward

Ionic is taking these strong opinions and creating a future that we think is going to be the best model for enterprise app development services.

Ionic’s OSS foundation offers the flexibility and standards you expect. 

Though traditional open source isn’t working for enterprise app development, there are so many benefits to using open source, and any solution that is going to power enterprise apps is going to be open source at the core. 

Ionic’s open source foundation gives enterprises the flexibility, focus on standards, and dependability over the long term to really produce great applications. With so many developers who understand the Ionic platform, it is easy to find the talent needed for enterprise application development.  Ionic’s open source foundation is the cornerstone of our vision for the future of application development. 

Ionic extends value with enterprise-grade cloud, native, security, and delivery solutions. 

Ionic doesn’t just provide a few open source components. We take the next step and integrate critical solutions with the enterprise environment. We have premium features that enable apps to be secure out of the box. We offer cloud features and native functionality that make it easy to implement the functionality enterprises need.

Ionic is the only solution backed by professional-grade, world-class support and services. 

Picture this: it’s the weekend, your company’s app is down, and you need expert help immediately. We understand this need and meet it. We have developed professional-grade support and services that customers love and depend on.

We’ve taken open source, added integrations and functionality into the enterprise app development environment, and created a robust support service to ensure all companies using our products have the best experience. 

We are the partner and expert in the absolute worst case scenario. But Ionic’s support team is there even in the best case, when enterprises want advice, best-practice guidance, and code reviews to take their apps to the next level.

Ionic’s evolution: One app platform

As Ionic evolves, I want to be sure our customers understand how we’re envisioning our platform and where we’re going next. Here is a high level overview of where we are headed next.

From component-based to unified platform experience

Historically, Ionic offered an independent, component-based experience. Customers would find UI components or native solutions that fit their needs. We are now shifting from this piecemeal experience to a more cohesive, single platform experience that gives customers everything they need to build, secure, and deliver the apps that power their business. 

We’re building a much more robust platform where customers can use our enterprise app development SDK. Integrate our app extensions like Auth Connect or Identity Vault for authentication and security. Tie in cloud services like Live Updates that pair perfectly with the apps customers are building. Wrap it all together with the world-class support and advisory services Ionic has to offer.

Ionic’s single platform experience can be used across the entire enterprise. We want customers to start thinking about using Ionic’s single platform as a way to completely revolutionize the enterprise application development process across their organization. 

Enterprise-focused app dev SDK

We started this product vision with the enterprise-focused app development SDK. You might be familiar with the Ionic command line and the Ionic UI components. Today, they’re a disparate experience. We’re tying them together to create a more focused experience for enterprise app developers.

Customers can start building apps that are already set up for enterprise integrations, extensions, and the functionality needed as an enterprise developer like templates and special UI components.

App extensions 

Today, Ionic is the only cross-platform app development company that offers enterprise-focused solutions and third-party plugins that are fully supported by our experts. 

Think of Ionic as an extension of your enterprise app development team. Let’s say, your team is tasked with building a biometric authentication flow, single sign-on flow, or encrypted data storage solution. Historically, your team would need to build it from scratch and constantly maintain it. If it broke, your team was on the hook to fix it.

Let Ionic worry about the component and flow management. We’re constantly learning from customer issues, and these lessons we learn propagate to all other customers. Focus on what is unique and special about the app, and we’ll handle the difficult integration and maintenance challenges.

New official integrations

We’ve been rapidly expanding our portfolio of integrations so enterprise app developers are supplied with the key components and 3rd-party services needed to build high-performing applications. 

Microsoft Intune: Microsoft Intune is one of our newest and most popular integrations. This integration allows you to remotely manage apps and devices to enforce security policies.Our integration with the Intune SDK makes this very difficult service easy to use within applications.

Zebra DataWedge: We have added support for enterprises building apps that integrate with Zebra scanners and mobile devices.

Ionic Payments: With Ionic Payments, enterprise applications can now use Apple Pay and Google Pay for easy payment experiences.

The cloud layer

Ionic’s cloud layer is one of the fastest growing services in the entire platform. Appflow—Ionic’s suite of cloud services—enables enterprise developers to build, test, publish, and update apps over time. 

Publish a live update to all users, make sure publishing and delivery are secure, automate builds by integrating with existing CI/CD services like Azure DevOps, and publish apps automatically to the app store. 

End-to-end testing

We’ve talked to a number of customers, conducted surveys, and discovered that the end-to-end testing process is difficult for enterprises to do properly. At Ionic, we built our own internal prototypes to explore end-to-end testing capabilities. 

Once developed, we hope that our end-to-end testing service will make it much easier to run and test native apps that your users will eventually install and love using. The apps will run directly on the cloud layer that our customers are already using and enjoying. If you’re interested in joining our waitlist for our end-to-end testing service, visit ionic.io/e2e, fill out the form, and we’ll be in touch once we have more updates.

Bringing micro frontends to enterprise mobile development

Customers can now think of Ionic as an all-in-one enterprise mobile platform that enables enterprise app developers to build mission-critical apps for their businesses. Historically, Ionic was considered a hybrid app company which we now call web native development. Now, customers can choose to write apps using HTML, Javascript, or pure native, thanks in part to our new Portals product.

Ionic Portals enables companies that have a traditional native app development process to embed web experiences directly into the app. This saves enterprise developer teams countless hours and costs needed to develop repetitive app experiences by reusing the web content across multiple app experiences. 

We’re giving teams the chance to focus on the important app features while we handle the difficult integration and native mobile challenges.

An improved UI toolkit

We recently announced the release of Ionic 6—the latest version of our UI toolkit. This release adds improved desktop support, overhauled components, iOS and Android design changes, and so much more. Read this article to learn more.

Growth potential

With over 300 enterprise customers from every single industry on earth, Ionic’s approach to open source app development and focus on support and services has seen tremendous growth. We have built a robust, sustainable business that will be around for the foreseeable future of application development. 

I want to thank each and every one of our customers for trusting Ionic with your important applications. We are truly here to make sure that you’re supported every step of the way on your journey to building awesome apps.

About Ionic

Ionic is a leader in enterprise mobile app development services, with 5 million developers worldwide and thousands of enterprise customers who use Ionic to build mission-critical apps for their customers, both external and internal. It powers 15% of apps in the app store, not including thousands of apps built internally at enterprises for every line-of-business need. Ionic is unique in that it takes a web-first approach, leveraging HTML, CSS, and Javascript to build high-quality iOS, Android, desktop, and Progressive Web Apps.


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