We’ve all heard it: Mobility is more than just a trend. It’s a business imperative.
What started out as a consumer-driven phenomenon is now a movement being driven and shaped by a global business community looking to capitalize on the benefits of increased workplace productivity. It’s no wonder that BlackBerry’s recent Z10 launch added over 70,000 apps and created functionality that separates business applications from personal apps. As the line increasingly blurs between personal and business when it comes to mobile devices, the demand for mobility and multi-function applications is surging.
Recent results from a Vanson Bourne global study further cemented the future impact and business benefits of the mobile revolution. The data showed that two out of three people use at least one of their personal mobile devices for work and 92% of organizations believe that adopting mobile apps will give them a competitive edge.
But there remains a critical problem.
Two thirds of those surveyed are concerned that they lack the skills to develop and maintain an appropriate, modern app in-house. Let’s call this inability to connect end-users with enterprise approved mobile applications the “App Gap.” Organizations must bridge the widening gap between end-user demand for mobile devices and the business’ ability to bring user-friendly apps that securely and effectively integrate critical back-end data and systems.
The explosion of smart devices has created some complex challenges for business developers, mainly due to the number of different platforms and devices around. Not only do developers have to consider developing for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone, they also have to consider the variety of different sizes of today's smartphones and tablets.
This "write once, and run anywhere" approach removes the need to learn device-specific languages or development environments. This also allows businesses to tap into the functionality, security and performance of their already established infrastructure, and also incorporate elements such as rich editing capabilities, more visual workflows and better text to speech into everyday applications. This approach not only simplifies development and maintenance, but also delivers consistency for users regardless of their platform of choice.
The hybrid approach also simplifies Application Performance Management (APM), as businesses will only need to manage one application, rather than one for each device and operating system.
The bottom line is businesses must start taking a mobile first approach with their applications to satisfy the demand of employees and customers. And by taking a hybrid approach, apps will be able to overcome the limitations of any device and allow users to truly engage with their data.
Karen Tegan Padir is Senior Vice President and Business Line Executive, Application Development at Progress Software.