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.
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.