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Mobile Apps – Why reinvent the wheel?


My first senior management role at HP was in a division which provided the core technology behind text messaging. I would bristle with pride as I saw the rise of SMS traffic, knowing HP’s OpenCall software was fuelling the growth of the telco industry. I also saw first-hand the huge effect web-based applications and had on the delivery of enterprise IT.


So I felt a real sense of déjà vu at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and not just because of my ‘first generation’ history with SMS. What really struck me were the similarities between the effect of web applications and the industry- changing impact mobile apps of today. Surely we can all learn some lessons from the past?


Next Inflexion Point for Application DeliveryNY_WATERTAXI_Smaller version.jpg

In my previous blog post I asked what percentage of workers Gartner estimates will be mobile by 2016? The answer is a huge 40 per cent – with mobile app development predicted to outnumber PC app development four-to-one by 2015. Our own customer surveys echo this, predicting a ten-fold increase in the frequency of mobile app releases over the next seven years. 


The tools and processes behind mobile development have to rapidly mature to support the enterprise as it rushes to provide customers with the latest functionality. These new applications mean businesses now ship code to millions of unmanaged mobile clients – ten times the amount previously served to managed PC environments. So where is this all leading?


The initial rush to market

The sudden boom in the mobile market meant several of you will have rushed to offer mobile apps, perhaps outsourcing the task or hiring a developer. This was essential at the time to maintain competitive advantage, but as the market matures and the initial dust settles this is the time for you step back and properly assess your mobile app development processes.


Our recent World Quality Report echoes this. We asked 1,550 senior technology executives about the quality of their enterprise applications and testing processes. The results showed only 31 per cent of respondents currently test mobile applications, the remaining two-thirds said they do not have the right tools to test mobile applications, and 52 per cent had no access to the required devices.

With many still unsure of how to correctly test and manage your mobile apps, how can you tell when your strategy is working without relearning the lessons of the past?


You’re doing it wrong when…

  1. Your apps have been created in an ad-hoc or unstructured manner, slowing your ability to deliver and manage these new business services.
  2. You constantly create new, untested apps, which often result in poor customer experience, high delivery overheads and management costs.
  3. You rushed to market and have been successful in attracting new customers but you have been left unable to share data streams or increase functionality.
  4. You have to constantly re-develop apps from scratch.


You’re doing it right when…

  1. You have a systematic approach based on projected business benefits, starting with a clear sense of which applications to prioritize for mobile delivery.
  2. You manage the quality of service of your mobile applications across the full lifecycle, from requirements, through developmenttesting, release into production and performance in the production environment.
  3. You make your mobile applications “device independent”, minimizing the re-work to support multiple mobile operating systems and devices.
  4. You have embedded application security deeply into your mobile application lifecycle
  5. Your application delivery chain is sufficiently automated and virtualized to support the anticipated acceleration in release cycles.
  6. You are able to perform continuous testing throughout the development lifecycle and enable “end-to-end” integration testing in confidence.

Next time I will look at how HP is helping customers get immediate value from the cloud in some unexpected ways. With this in mind, according to our World Quality report, what percentage of applications are now hosted in the cloud? Why not join me next time to find out?


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Follow Rafa on Twitter @RafaelBrugnini

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About the Author


Rafael Brugnini (Rafa) joined HP in 1996 and has more than 20 years of knowledge and experience in the IT industry. He lives in Madrid with family, and in his spare time he enjoys windsurfing.

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