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The path to modern app development

The lifecycle of an application is often complicated due to the numerous considerations involved in the planning phase and the continued maintenance involved after deployment. While many organizations understand that mobile programs have potential, they often only focus on getting business benefits out of the software. This type of thinking can limit how much employees are able to actually use it. Decision makers also often choose apps without really considering what they entail or how they could affect overall operations. Company leaders must develop an application strategy to support their mobile workers and ensure that staff members are able to fully leverage their resources for maximum advantages.

The extreme fragmentation of the mobile market has made app development a complex process that requires substantial time and involvement to complete projects. Android in particular has numerous versions of its operating system and a variety of devices, making it difficult to support the entire line as well as any other hardware users may bring. For this reason, some app builders may choose to use HTML5 development as a way to code once and deploy when necessary over a range of platforms. While this is the process being used for modern app creators, many experts believe that developers are focusing on the wrong aspects of application use.

Create apps with a mission
All applications have a purpose to them and must be able to support the mission-critical functions that they were built for. Re/code contributor Steven Sinofsky noted that apps often create cultural changes that help drive faster product deployment and advance outdated processes. Software like file sharing, for example, has delivered such an industry shift, making manila folder and cabinet-based systems obsolete in today's fast-paced business environment. With a new system, it needs to deliver advantages like boosted productivity, better efficiency and the new standard for operations. However, if employees are tracking progress with legacy tools, are using different programs than their collaboration partners or are limiting the time to make decisions, the development process will be futile and can lead to a sloppy product. Developers need to plan out their time and ensure that everyone is on the same page, but they should not be using outmoded means to do so.

"The teams that adopt new tools and adapt their way of working will be the most competitive and productive teams in an organization," Sinofsky wrote. "Not every tool will work, and some will even fail. The best news is that today's approach to consumerization makes trial easier and cheaper than at any other time."

Driving adoption efforts among potential app users
Whether for work or personal purposes, people are beginning to analyze their applications more regularly. According to a recent study by TRUSTe, if users don't trust an application, 78 percent of them refuse to download it, CMS Wire contributor Carlos Montero-Luque reported. At the same time, however, some programs they know may not have the security or features that business data needs. Developers need to use their component suites to establish build-in protection for software that will be accessing sensitive information. This will ensure that company files are secure while also allowing workers to use the app effectively. Decision makers can also whitelist particular applications that are trustworthy for supporting personal and business functions. No matter what development process is taken, ensuring usability is critical to the success of any piece of software.

"Regularly publicizing the availability of an enterprise app store, along with new apps that have been added, updates on app downloads and success stories through company newsletters, corporate Intranets, town hall meetings and other communications vehicles is a great way to increase mobile app adoption," Montero-Luque wrote.


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