Friday, March 1, 2013
Yes, Companies Really Do Need "An App for That" and Getting There is Easier Than Ever
After reading a recent editorial on whether or not businesses need mobile apps, I realized there is still confusion and lack of understanding about what is available and possible in today’s mobile app development world. There are some 1.9 billion mobile phones expected to be sold worldwide this year combined with continued growth in tablet sales which reached an estimated 52.5 million sales in the last quarter of 2012. While it may be true in the small business arena that perhaps not every company needs a mobile app, with staggering end-user numbers and easy, affordable app building options now available, the question really becomes why wouldn’t you want one? Certainly in the mid-to-Enterprise space, mobile app development is a wave that companies will need to ride for a host of reasons, especially with the increasing flood of BYOD demands. So for them, it isn’t even a want, it’s a need.
“To app or not to app” really isn’t the question. Instead it’s a question of how to approach mobile app strategies with easy to use tools that open up a wide range of development opportunities. It was true at one time that: "Apps are great, but here’s the thing: they take a lot of time and money to build and after all that your app will only work on one type of phone". That is no longer the case. Cross-platform mobile development has taken on a new face, one that’s high quality, data rich, timely and affordable, allowing build-once-and-deploy-everywhere (native and HTML5) abilities. Fast prototyping, immediate testing, and ongoing real time management and distribution mean quicker turnaround of quality apps to streamline operations and enhance the productivity.
Even more exciting is the prospect that mobile app development can be done without requiring any mobile programming skills. This means being able to take advantage of existing development resources for app building. For already skilled mobile programmers it means greatly lightening the development load, only augmenting an already robust platform for specific enterprise needs. For systems integrators, it dramatically reduces the burden of determining how, and with what resources, to architect customer solutions. It also decreases their development investment while increasing the ease, scalability and time to market of the end product.
At every level of every business, a cross-platform mobile development solution removes the question "do you really need an app for that?" and replaces it with "what is your strategy for building the apps that are best for your business and you customers?” More on that in my next blog…