February 9, 2012, 11:41 AM

Half of all companies offer an app or plan to this year

But a new survey shows there are a variety of challenges with app development.

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27% of U.S. companies in various industries offer a mobile app and another 22% plan to offer one in 2012, finds a new survey of 1,400 chief information officers by executive recruitment firm Robert Half Technology. 43% of the CIOs say they do not have an app and don’t plan to offer one in 2012 and 9% were not sure. The figures do not add up to 100 due to rounding.

Mobile app development presents a variety of challenges as apps are a totally new form of engaging digitally with consumers. 29% of the CIOs in the survey say collaborating across departments to build an app is the greatest challenge. 28% say the biggest challenge is finding and hiring information technology professionals with the necessary expertise, 19% keeping an application up to date, 16% gaining approvals from an app store, and 8% weren’t sure.

“Building mobile applications requires intense collaboration between numerous groups within an organization, including marketing, I.T., operations and sales,” says John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “It’s important for mobile application developers to have strong skills, in addition to the ability to write code and test and debug software applications.”

Starting salaries for mobile app developers are expected to increase 9.1% in 2013, one of the largest increases of any I.T. position researched, Robert Half Technology finds.

“Because the demand for professionals with a track record of building successful mobile apps currently outpaces the supply, companies are willing to pay a premium for professionals with these skills,” Reed says.

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