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Mobile application development: How to scale up to meet the demand

Photo credit: Flickr / Tsahi Levent-Levi

In an increasingly mobile-ready world, every company needs a mobile-compatible app to survive. Unfortunately, a gap has emerged between mobile application development and IT firms that are capable of delivering them.

What’s worse, this gap is increasing quickly. This is a problem faced by numerous businesses, and corresponds with the Gartner report titled “The Key Fundamentals Require to Scale Mobile App Development.” According to the contents of this report, the demand for mobile application development will be so high in the market that it will exceed the ability of internal IT companies to deliver them.

The truth is, organizations are struggling to meet the projected demand of business users, and failing miserably. The fault lies in their inability to develop solid mobile strategies that gel well with their clients’ business operations.

These companies must not only have to contend with the rapidly evolving technological environment, but they also must take into account changes in staff expectations and company culture as consumerization grows within the enterprise structure.

But there is a solution for this situation. The following methods can help a company scale up their mobile application development efforts at the organizational level:

Mobile application development: Never sacrifice quality for speed

Do not make the mistake that a lot of IT firms do — building applications on a first-come, first-served policy. Determine the importance of a project and move it up and down the queue accordingly. Such value-driven prioritization will result in the efficient usage of all IT resources as well as an improvement in app quality delivery.

The trick is to focus on two major pieces regarding the development of each app:

  1. Difficulty — Will building the application be easy or complicated?
  2. Impact — To what extent will the application affect the organization?

On the basis of these two points, prioritize the apps that need to be developed first.

Possible solution for the issue

Begin by developing those apps that are simple yet solve small but crucial issues. For example, an app connecting buyers with suitable coupons would be in strategic demand right now, so make sure you move it up on your priority list.

Know what works and afterward focus on projects that are simple yet have minimal impact, followed closely by those applications that have a complex developmental process but still have a low impact. Create a detailed plan for prioritizing these applications so that your organization becomes increasingly efficient when it comes to developing mobile applications. Make sure it happens prior to investing in an application-development platform.

Pick the best mobile app experience for the users

When your operations and IT teams have jointly worked together to focus on the crucial business applications, consider the overall mobile application experience you wish for your users to have. Choose between a web, native, or a hybrid approach.

Keep in mind, however, that while web applications rely on the Internet and can be used on the web browser of your mobile device without the need for downloading, they do not always promise a marvelous user experience. On the other hand, native applications must be downloaded by the users directly onto their gadgets from the application store. And no, this store does not sell ice cream!

Thus, the perfect way to go is hybrid mobile apps, which are hosted within a native app utilizing the webview of a mobile platform, and created with a mix of web technologies such as JS, CSS, and HTML. In fact, well-written hybrid apps behave no differently than native apps, yet offer users the best sort of experience.

Use RMAD tools

Pick the right set of RMAD tools so that people with the least amount of experience (you know, people like Napoleon Dynamite from the eponymous movie and Harry Solomon from the funny show “Third Rock from the Sun” – they may need a whole lot of extra help!) can rapidly develop a mobile application. At the same time, they should allow veteran, skilled developers to add advanced code when required. Use these end-to-end tools to create mobile applications, such as frontend app development and backend integration. This way, you can speed up the process of mobile application development by a considerable degree.

Use the features found in RMAD (Rapid Mobile App Development) tools to your advantage, such as the capacity to personalize on the back-end using JS language and integrating smoothly with the current legacy systems, such as Oracle, Salesforce, Infor, and SAP. Also, make use of the GUI drag-and-drop visual editor found in the best software of this sort.

Thanks to RMAD tools, you can collaborate easily with citizen developers possessing limited coding and programming talents, or with business and IT users, to form fully functional mobile applications. Within the structure of a business, RMAD use enables nontechnical users from every department with clearly defined roles to be a part of the application development process.

Optimize the process via the formation of an API layer

While developing an application, you will often find integration to be the most difficult and time-consuming aspect. The end result is delayed app development. Handle the situation effectively by creating an API layer that makes the integration process go a lot smoother and quicker. Choose from among several different methods:

  • Use RMAD tools as previously mentioned.
  • Utilize mobile backend service tools for enterprises, such as API management solutions to aid with large-scale deployments.

Implement a product management system

Sadly, there are lots of companies that treat their mobile applications as regular apps; but mobile apps are much more than that – they are products. And that means firms cannot simply apply methodologies and techniques associated with Agile development.

There are other considerations, such as best practices, in order to handle product management. However, this can be achieved only when there is some participation on the part of the employees. For example, give your product managers responsible for handling the apps the right level of authority. Also, ensure that any collaboration among various groups remains ongoing and constant.

Use the points mentioned above to ensure your business scales up the mobile application development process effectively. Even if you manage to accomplish just a few of these points, you will find that scaling your mobile app is no longer the difficult and complex process it used to be.

Photo credit: Flickr / Tsahi Levent-Levi