Mobiles have become all pervasive. Today’s customers and enterprise users alike prefer these devices as the medium of choice. Businesses are increasingly realizing the need to deliver mobile apps and solutions to power their business. However, certain mobile app myths inhibit businesses from leveraging the full potential of mobility to drive growth.
Myth 1: Developing enterprise apps is a long drawn out process
Conventional methods of development are indeed time-consuming. As a rule of thumb, it would take about six months before a new app hits the app store. Multiply the figure by the number of apps required for the business, and an app strategy becomes a non-starter even before it is conceptualized.
However, newer and innovative methods facilitate rapid development and deployment, dispelling the common app development myth of long drawn out process. In fact, using ready-made solutions that require no coding, it is even possible to roll out highly intuitive apps within a few hours or even less! Code-reuse, backend services that speed up integration and other developments also contribute to accelerated development.
Ready to use cloud-based solutions, for hosting, testing, and other key functions make life still easier for the developer.
Myth 2. Mobile App Development is a One-off Project
One of the biggest app development myth is the development process being a one-off project. Launching an app is akin to starting a business. There is no end in sight, and one can never let their guard down. Just like cutting the ribbon is just the beginning, rolling out the app for users is just the start. Apps need to grow in response to changes in business requirements and changes in technology. If nothing else, the invariable bugs that crop out need to be addressed. A stagnant app will soon become obsolete.
A good approach to adopt is the minimum viable product (MVP) concept, by developing the core functionality, and adopting an iterative product development approach. It offers unbridled flexibility and makes it easier to make changes, as required.
Myth 3: More the function, better the app
A common mobile app myth is considering an app as a miniature version of the enterprise website, and packing in features into it, when the very concept of an app is to offer a specific and focused functionality to a targeted set of users. Apps trying to kill many birds with one stone are almost to a rule slow, difficult to control, bloated, and memory hogs.
High-quality graphics help, but enterprise users seek functionality and ease of getting their job done, over bells and whistles. A clearly defined success, usability (UX), simplicity and above all a clearly defined purpose are the crucial ingredients of success.
A related myth is business apps being data heavy, placing high loads on the device and backend systems. However, the reality is different. An average 4G smartphone is expected to use 5,114 MB per month in cellular data by 2017. The best mobile platforms take large amounts of data from the backend but transmit only a fraction of it to the handset, after filtering it as required. Intuitive developers limit the size of data transfer per app, to say 1 MB or less.
Myth 4: Mobile Applications Come Cheap
For some reason, many people equate mobile solutions with low costs and grossly underestimate the budget for delivering mobility solutions. While simple apps may be developed on the fly with minimal investment, development of highly functional apps requires a lot of effort. A simple UX and powerful features require a complicated backend. As a rule of thumb, more advanced the feature list, higher the cost.
Preparation of the concept, design of the architecture solution, the user interface design and graphics, testing, distribution of the app, user support, and training for end users, all require a sizable investment, more so for using the latest technologies that facilitate accelerated development.
Myth 5: Mobile Applications = Smartphones
Perhaps the biggest myth associated with mobile apps is equating apps with smartphones. While smartphone users are indeed the highest consumers of mobile apps, enterprise apps are equally useful for a host of other devices, including the quintessential tablets, handheld consoles, smart watches, smart glasses, sensor powered things, cars, appliances, and other post-modern devices, suiting a host of business purposes.
In all, mobile apps will be downloaded an estimated more than 248 billion times, and generate a revenue of more than $77 billion, by 2017.
Myth 6: Data Related Myths
Many enterprises, especially those having made large investments in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other systems are hesitant to develop mobile apps that cannot plug in seamlessly into these existing technologies. Backend systems and APIs such as Sharepoint, MySQL, Oracle, and SAP may not necessarily be accessible through mobile. However, the emergence of enterprise-grade MBaaS (mobile backend as a service) solution with an API infrastructure solves most of these issues and enables mobiles devices to easily access legacy systems.
Myth 7. Mobile App Development Is About Writing Code
Developing a successful mobile app requires much more that coding. Knowledge of Android and iOS technologies is the basic requirement. The comprehensive application design, starting with the initial idea, and covering functionality design, user interface design, graphics requires good expertise, and preferably experience. There is also a need to keep abreast with the latest technology, react to new trends in double-quick time, adapt to latest hardware, and also cater to newer devices such as smart watches.
Each use case varies, resulting in the need for different development languages and toolkits, and requiring connectivity solution for different backend systems and data sources. In the mobile space, support across multiple versions of device operating systems also becomes critical. Cloud-based mobile application platforms make the developer’s life easy, though.
The average development project involves an average of 20 different stakeholders, such as business managers, project managers, developers, in-house IT representatives, employee or end user stakeholders, top management representative, and others. It requires a high level of collaboration to bring these stakeholders together, and ensure the development process takes place seamlessly.
Mobility is much more than developing apps. It requires a wider mobility strategy, and a concentrated effort to deliver cutting edge mobility solution. With our extensive experience cutting over several industries, and a rich talent pool, we are best poised to partner with you in rolling out high-quality mobile apps to further your business, leveraging the full potential of the mobile devices, while at the same time keeping expectations real, separating myth from reality.