The Morning Download: Apple’s Swift Programming Language Drives Enterprise Mobile Rethink

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Attendees look at the new 9.7″ iPad Pro during an Apple special event at the Apple headquarters on March 21, 2016 in Cupertino, Calif.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Good morning. SAP SE on Friday shared more details with CIO Journal on its Apple Inc. partnership aimed at creating a marketplace for iOS applications that tap into its flagship HANA cloud platform. The agreement reflects a wider desire shared across many enterprises to transform complex business processes into simple (or at least simpler) mobile applications. The ongoing effort started way back with the appearance of Apple’s iPhone and today, increasingly, that same device maker is helping underpin the transition via a popular programming language.

SAP plans to build the first 100 applications. Some will be industry-specific, addressing fields such as health care and retail. But as Steve Lucas, SAP’s president for platform solutions, tells CIO Journal’s Steven Norton, the hope is that developers will take advantage of the software development kit to create applications of their own. “The number of applications being built using this SDK by our ecosystem will dwarf the 100 apps that we’re delivering,” Mr. Lucas said.

The new SDK uses Apple’s Swift, an open source programming language, that has become a major enterprise player in the last couple years. International Business Machines Corp., which entered into a similar partnership with Apple in 2014, uses Swift as do a number of large companies. A key factor is that Swift was designed as an easier programming language for developing software for iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices. Says Avnet Inc. CIO Steve Phillips about the SAP-Apple agreement: “I’m looking for this announcement to be a catalyst for us to move faster.”

IT job growth slows. The total number of IT occupation jobs declined by 2.9% in April, to an estimated total of 4.548 million, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics by CompTIA. Among all IT job categories, demand was strongest for software and application developers, with 69,000 jobs postings last month, followed by computer systems engineers and developers, Web developers, computer systems analysts and IT project managers.

The digital revolution needs a solid analog foundation. Digital technologies have helped improve the overall standard of living in emerging and developing economies, lowering job barriers for hundreds of millions around the world. But to realize the full benefits of this digital transformation countries must continue to strengthen the so-called analog foundations by investing in people’s education and skills development and promoting good governance,

Courtesy: CIO Journal Columnist Irving Wladawsky-Berger writes.