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Partner opportunity in the mobile app race

Chris Player | July 8, 2016
Why mobile apps should be treated as products and not projects

In the wake of an explosion of mobile applications for business and consumes, partners may be wondering how they can take advantage of this trend to deliver better value to enterprise clients.

Gartner principal research analyst, Adrian Leow, gives his thoughts on the latest enterprise mobile app trends, developments in Australia this year and explains how partners can build better apps and leverage new technologies.

“Demand for mobile apps remains strong, but we’re seeing signs of app fatigue setting in,” says Leow. “It’s hardly surprising with more than 1.5 million apps in Google’s Play Store and 1.4 million in Apple’s App Store. The original saying of “There’s an app for that!” is now realistically “There’s a thousand apps for that one thing!” It’s making it very difficult to find apps of interest or use.

Leow explains that it is getting harder to make an enterprise app stand out from the noise, not to mention convincing users and employees to download a new app.

Leow says this has led to user experience (UX) growing in importance, rather than functional utility alone, in driving mobile value.

“Capabilities must motivate usage based on the UX, otherwise users will be quick to abandon a mobile capability with a poor UX and return to what they already know — the PC application they’ve used for years, or worse, better designed apps outside your organisational control.

“Given mobile is such an important part of many digital business strategies, this is a real challenge for organisations.

The challenges facing the Enterprise

Leow goes on to say that on average, organisations have at best released about 10 or so apps in the last few years, which he says is ridiculously low considering the productivity gains around mobilising the workforce.

“This is an indication of the nascent state of mobility in most organisations. Many are questioning how to start app development in terms of tools, vendors, architectures or platforms, let alone being able to scale up to releasing 100 apps or more.

He says the majority of businesses are focused on custom mobile app development, rather than customising configurable apps or building from off-the-shelf templates.

"Given most development teams use custom development for all of their apps, extending this to mobile is a natural behaviour.

He also warns that many off-the-shelf mobile apps still require significant development activity to integrate the back-end databases and applications into the mobile app front ends.

New and innovative approaches

A “bimodal” approach is imperative for scaling up enterprise mobile app development efficiently and cost effectively is what Leow recommends for partners and app developers.

“This means managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery – one focused on stability and the other on innovation, speed and agility. It’s the most important aspect to help you scale up app development at speed, while maintaining quality and accuracy,” he says.


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