February 8, 2012 –  As U.S. enterprises plan for explosive growth in mobile applications offerings, challenges of collaboration and skilled hiring are rising to the forefront, according to a survey by a top IT staffing firm.

In a survey released Tuesday, 1,400 CIOs from U.S. companies with 100 or more employees responded to questions surrounding mobile adoption by Robert Half Technology, the IT division of the professional staffing firm Robert Half International.

Twenty-two percent of CIOs surveyed said they plan to offer a mobile application for clients and customers in the next year. That’s in addition to the 27 percent of enterprises CIOs who stated that they already have mobile applications in place. On the opposite side, another 43 percent of CIOs told the firm that they don’t offer a mobile app and have no immediate plans to do so. Nine percent of respondents were unaware of enterprise mobile plans.

In developing mobile business applications, the two top challenges pointed to by CIOs were collaborating across departments (29 percent) and finding and hiring IT professionals with the necessary expertise (28 percent). Other primary challenges CIOs tagged in this bustling area include keeping applications up to date (19 percent) and receiving approvals from an application store or market (16 percent).

For a slide show on expectations for the mobile BI marketplace in 2012, click here.

“Building mobile applications requires intense collaboration between numerous groups within the organization, including marketing, IT, operations and sales," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a news release on the survey. “It's important for mobile application developers to have strong soft skills, in addition to the ability to write code and test and debug software applications.”

In part a response to those challenges, the firm noted in the survey that it expects an increased demand for IT professionals and app developers. Robert Half forecasts starting salaries for mobile app developers to increase by more than 9 percent by 2013, one of the largest growth rates of all IT positions.

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