Are You Ready to Future-Proof Your Investment in Mobile Applications?

Are You Ready to Future-Proof Your Investment in Mobile Applications?

Summary: Mobile application development investment is rapidly growing, and will continue to be a differentiator in customer and consumer facing business strategy for the next five years. What are you doing to protect your investment?

TOPICS: ÜberTech

More organizations are adopting mobile-first or mobile-only app development approaches as they modernize their internal workflows and customer relationship management strategies.   Embarking on mobile app development forces organizations to choose how much of the experience relies on the modern web (HTML5) vs. taking advantage of the fantastic capabilities of today's devices.

Facebook's recent shift from HTML5 to native is but one example of a rip and replace scenario to keep pace with user expectations.   

I believe that there will be a wide gap between app development organizations that hedge towards a multichannel future versus those that incrementally tweak whatever native, hybrid-web-container, ecommerce, or portal oriented approaches in their current bag of tricks.    

App developers that will rise above the pack will take the time to focus on cultivating three habits: 

1. Viewing mobile app dev as a step toward multichannel interactions. This will create a better balance between what is on-board versus what is leverage from the cloud.   Too many mobile app developers optimize for the tool or style of app rather than thinking about reuse of business logic, security or integration layers. Failure to think this way will mean a higher tax from project to project as a wider variety of mobile apps are added. 

2. Picking strategic platforms that allow for flexibility in choosing between native, web, and hybrid presentation layers while STILL leveraging a common infrastructure for analytics, security, social integration. While tactical tools spark much of the innovation fueling mobile app development the business reality is about attaining scale.

As the number of people worldwide using smartphones and tablets explodes, the underlying complexity of mobile app development really hasn't changed in 15 years: there are still hard trade-offs between online/offline and much fragmentation in the operating systems and supporting platforms. Tactical tools will always yield mobile apps that reach smaller audiences, with less impact.    

3. Thinking in terms of UX, not just UI. Putting in the hooks in both the mobile application presentation layers AND in the cloud so that instead of thinking in terms of user interface developers start thinking in terms of user experience.

This will require much more orchestration, and leading platforms will facilitate a much smarter set of experiences across all the things and places that we interact with in our daily lives, whether it be in the workplace or in consumer settings. 

Topic: ÜberTech

William Clark

About William Clark

Bill has 27 years of industry experience, joining SAP from Gartner where he was a Research Vice President and his responsibilities included enterprise mobile strategy, mobile software development and context-aware computing.

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  • You Mean, The Way These Corps "Future-Proofed" Their Web Apps With IE6?

    Face it, "future-proofing" is a meaningless term. Technologies will come and go. Just make sure your data isn't trapped in proprietary formats, that's the best you can do. Everything else is going to be perishable, no matter what you try.
  • Stay open and flexible...

    Some good points.... Mobile is evolving at a tremendous pace, and it will often be very difficult for developers to keep up. It will be important for both developers and businesses to keep their strategies flexible, and make provisions for improvements or changes along the way. Rigidly structured strategies may not be enough to stay on top of the game.

    The underlying business logic and data management is the more important element to ensuring the flexibility in adapting to whatever the future may hold.
    Allan Bennetto