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9 Things to Consider While Picking A Mobile Platform For Your Business App

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, June 29, 2012
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Bangalore: Mobile apps have proved their market worth as they help generate publicity and good revenue. Recent reports indicate that mobile users spend more time using apps than mobile browsers. Enterprises today are realizing the benefits of mobile computing, and see the potential of apps as productivity tools for their employees and engagement channels for customers. Bob Sutor, Vice President of the IBM Mobile Platform and eWEEK listed a few considerations IT leaders must be aware of before picking a mobile application platform.



1. It’s all about the user experience: A good app must engage the users. They are built for performance. So an app must be customized to give the functionality needed by users in an easy-to-use manner. To achieve this across multiple platforms is not very simple. While picking a mobile app platform, ensure it will allow development of apps that can cater to the current and future needs of your organization and your users.



2. Support various development approaches: While choosing how to develop an app, many factors such as budget, project timeframe, target audience and application functionality ought to be considered. Picking an approach that will best address the special needs of each project could be very difficult. So you need a flexible solution that can harness the benefits that each provides and support the entire mobile strategy of the organization.



3. Designed for performance: App performance is critical for your mobile initiative. One can find products that deliver hybrid development capabilities and allow developers to combine code within the same application. This results in a mobile app that includes code that can be shared across environments. This can be easily maintained and is appreciably cheaper to develop.



4. Allow collaboration and track development: Modern business apps are constantly changing and are rarely developed by a single individual anymore. Usually, one would find multiple teams working on different segments of the same app, from different geographic locations, using different code languages, third-party libraries and open-source frameworks. It is becoming necessary to maintain a centralized overview of the development process and ensure that the policies of the organization are enforced.



5. Security comes first: Whether employee- or customer-facing, mobile apps are quickly assuming the roles of many mission-critical systems in the organization. It is no surprise that authentication and security have become the top priorities. While selecting a mobile technology, you must make sure it provides a strong security and authentication framework.



6. Bridging the Gap with HTML5: Commitment from all major mobile vendors, active standardization efforts and a growing ecosystem of third-party tools has been driving adoption of HTML5. Due to advancements in modern mobile browsers, mobile developers can use HTML5 to build cross-platform apps with cleaner code. As HTML5 continues its evolution, early adopters will benefit from a gradual transition as opposed to revamping their entire mobile infrastructure.



7. Connect With Back-End and Cloud-Based Systems: Mobile business apps are usually tightly connected to a variety of existing back-end and cloud-based systems. Back-end integration influences the functionality of the app and is crucial for its performance, cost and scalability. The right solution will support integration of the company’s hybrid world of public clouds, private clouds and on-premises, back-end applications.



8. Handling Mobile Apps, Devices, Data: Managing apps after they have been downloaded and installed on devices, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend are two chief challenges faced by IT departments. Many organizations have started adopting a combination of management approaches, both on the app level and the device level. As mobile devices engage more customers, organizations should prepare to collect and harness the data from these transactions, analyze it and draw actionable conclusions. While choosing a platform, make sure such data can easily be exported to your existing Business Intelligence infrastructure.



9. Analyze Supporting Services: The mobile channel is transforming the way companies are doing business and so new challenges arise on both the business and the IT levels. Picking a platform that you can effortlessly incorporate into your existing IT infrastructure and utilize its resources is a major task. The other is to make sure the vendor you are working with has the experience and knowledge to support your mobile initiative.


The Mobile Digest is a weekly summary of News, Trends, Reviews, Profiles and Articles from the Mobile Space.
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