Customers Demand More Mobile Applications but Talent Shortages Challenge Growth

ST. LOUIS (May 4, 2016) –  As Information Technology (IT) executives from a wide array of St. Louis area industries develop new mobile-enabled web sites and apps to satisfy ever increasing customer expectations, they are encountering challenges in finding the personnel to create all that mobile software. Those are some insights from a recent round table discussion at TDK Technologies, one of the leading IT consulting firms in the St. Louis region.

The panel of experts included Don Bertier (Chief Information Officer at student loan servicer MOHELA), Chris Carril (Mobile Platform Manager for St. Louis-based investment firm Scottrade) and Brian May (Vice President, IT Custom Solutions for St. Louis-based cable provider Suddenlink).

Evidence of Explosive Growth in Use of Mobile Devices

The panel agreed that customer demand is driving the move to mobile. They also agreed companies are responding with mobile-enabled web sites and downloadable apps that increasingly improve user experience.

“A lot of people said at the time we were developing the apps ‘Why on earth would anyone trade a stock on a cell phone?’ The mobile site was doing a half percent of the entire firm’s trading volume at the time,” Scottrade’s Carril said. “Then, just within a matter of a couple of years, it's representing about 12 to 13 percent of the trading volume. And now everyone’s saying ‘Why would anyone want to trade a stock on a computer anymore?’ It has come full circle.”

MOHELA takes about one-sixth of its student loan payments through a mobile web site and hopes to rapidly deploy a new mobile app to convert the borrower base even more.

“The really cool thing about the app is the ability of the borrower to authenticate with their thumb print on an iOS device. We think that will make it an easier experience for the borrowers. Student loan servicing involves basically making a payment, finding their status, sending us a message or uploading a form. Those basic functions are what we try to provide to our borrowers with the app,” MOHELA’s Bertier said.

IT Consulting Firms Help Fill Mobile Skills Gap

Challenges in the way of meeting increasing customer mobility expectations include finding enough resources to create the software. The panel agreed there is a shortage of qualified mobile development staff across the IT industry.

“If you want to create a staff of internal folks to build mobile apps, they will be hard to find and retain. You will have to pay them a lot. That is one challenge we are trying to figure out,” Suddenlink’s May said.

“Often when we do our big new developments, we are involving a lot of third parties. They can bring in some fantastic talent and augment our existing staff,” Carril said. “One place in particular where I’ve found that consultancies can play a huge role with mobile is in the UX design space. Mobile has some unique challenges."

For more information about how Mobile web and application software can help your company, contact TDK Technologies.

About TDK Technologies

TDK Technologies, LLC is a Woman-owned Business Enterprise (WBE), established in 2001, with more than 100 team members located in the St. Louis metropolitan area.  TDK Technologies provides information technology based e-Commerce and business process and system solutions for businesses through either staff augmentation or outsourced solution delivery.  For more information about TDK Technologies - visit They can be reached at (636) 778-1404 or

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