The mobile-app-industry report-mae_11-2013


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With over 60% of web traffic now generated from mobile devices, having a mobile strategy is critical to your marketing mix. Read the report here.

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The mobile-app-industry report-mae_11-2013

  1. 1. The Mobile App Experts November 2013 The Mobile App Industry Report Trends, Predictions, Observations and Best Practices for Project Success. The Mobile App Experts provides market and technology intelligence about the Mobile App Industry. Our business analysts research, interview and report on a host of topics related to mobile app development, mobile strategy, approaches to mobile, trending use cases, return on investment, in-house vs. outsourcing -establishing a selection criteria for developers and industry best practices. Sourcing the right developer. Don’t judge a book by its cover! By Shaun Meany, Senior Business Analyst, The Mobile App Experts With more than 1,000 mobile application developers to choose from it can be a daunting task to find the perfect development partner to create your mobile app. Searching Google or any other Internet search engine you will find so many developers that you will quickly realize it is not really a problem of finding a mobile developer, but rather finding one that has the experience and skills to address your exact requirements. We have talked to scores of clients who have gone through the pain staking process of researching developers and it is no surprise as to what we have learned. “Most developers are selected based on the information they share on their web sites and their claims relating to industry expertise”. What really surprised us was the number of mobile app developers who portrayed great development capabilities, incredible big name brand references and exceptional industry expertise. But upon closer inspection and thorough investigation we discovered that many of these developers overstated their capabilities and that the claims stated on their web sites were completely fraudulent. Often we found references to companies who had no idea who these developers were and why theyThis being promoted on these developer’s repeatedly. were is an area that can be used websites. “Caveat emptor!” Index Vendor Don’t judge a book Sourcing by its cover! Risk What you don’t know about making a mobile app can cost you big in the long run. Enterprise How to reduce complexity Apps of B2B and B2E Mobile Business Application Development. Best Best practices for mobile Practices development. Trends Leading factors when weighing your mobile business application development options. Learn how we can help match you with the best mobile development vendor for your project. 203.858.5455 l l
  2. 2. The Mobile App Experts November 2013 The Mobile App Industry Report What you don’t know about mobile app development can cost you big. By Olivier Leibowitz, President, The Mobile App Experts The mobile channel is an extremely exciting area of expansion across numerous industries today. From iPhones and Android phones... to iPads and tablet computers, today's new mobile devices and applications are turning businesses on their heads in every industry through both internal business value and external value with customer interactions. Below are some of the leading categories that The Mobile App Experts applies when assisting companies to source and properly evaluate prospective mobile development mobile vendors.         If you are in charge of setting your company's mobile strategy, like many others, you're probably searching for some expert advice on how to manage the expanding variety of mobile applications; selecting the right platform for the job; developing the most methodological business strategy based your unique needs; and, how to go about sourcing and ultimately selecting the most qualified vendor to support your requirements. Like you, many companies are grappling with how to handle that same challenge. Regardless of what business you're in, vendors play a key role in the success of your business. And in an environment where organizations now have more choices available to them and with third party services appearing seemingly easy to use and quick to deploy, an organization’s liability and risk landscape can increase rapidly. And with mobility still in the early stages of growth, the associated risks with vendor selection are even greater. “The choices are vast and the decisions can be daunting -- and your project's success relies heavily on proper third party vendor identification. Collectively, your decision must take into account business and customers.” Technology & Capability Experience: Vertical and Horizontal Administrative Governance, Legal & Security Creativity & Development Methodology Project Management & Communications Viability & Resources Adaptability & Maintenance Support Clear contractual expectations (the "SLA"). In addition to clearly outlining the scope of work and contracted deliverables, the Service Level Agreement must include provisions based on identified risks. These include: project governance, roles and responsibilities, billing process, contract terms and remediation of unacceptable risks, legal considerations, IT policy compliance, among a number of other risk-management categories. In Summary... One thing is for sure, as companies evaluate the space they all agree that there is no simple solution specifically geared toward solving the challenges of presenting mobile content and functionality specific to their vision and easily finding development vendors that are most qualified for the project. “Vendors provide value in the expertise and experience they offer -- however, it is critical that any company seeking to develop a mobile application or solution maintain active oversight throughout the vendor evaluation and project development phases.” Risk can be costly! Avoid it at all cost. By leveraging the expertise of The Mobile App Experts, we can help you significantly streamline this daunting process. Not only will we assist you in flushing out a smart mobile strategy and documenting the intended scope-of-work, we’ll help you confidently identify and select the best vendors for your project. Outsource Risk Management When you begin to evaluate vendors, it is important to address some key questions not only with the vendors, but also within your own organization. Managing risk within an organization can be applied to many different areas and functions. However, when it comes to developing and implementing a successful mobile app strategy, there a numerous layers of due diligence that must be correctly addressed in support of building a mutually strong relationship with your vendors that will strengthen your company's overall performance in the marketplace. Ignoring these sound vendor management principles will result in a dysfunctional relationship that will have the potential to negatively impact your business. Give us a call and we'll show you how to get your project off on the right foot to mobile success. 2 © Copyright 2013. The Mobile App Experts. A service of VCBI LLC. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. The Mobile App Experts November 2013 The Mobile App Industry Report How to Reduce Complexity of B2B and B2E Mobile Business Application Development Rapid mobile adoption can result in increased productivity and reduced overhead, but it’s necessary for enterprises to plan ahead to avoid the challenges of finding the best developer for the project, having a clear strategy for integrating mobile business applications into their existing infrastructure. Here are some leading factors to consider: Platform requirements Mobile business application platforms need to communications between client and server, client-side interface, data and business logic layers of an application, scalability, operational reliability and transactional integrity. In addition, the likelihood of carrier-class transaction volume requirements means the platform must not be simply scalable but highly scalable to many proven levels of transactions. Strategy requirements Mobile enterprise application strategies need to consider that differences in business processes may be needed to achieve the highest degree of integration, security and transactional integrity. Part of that strategy may involve cloud-based servers and even software as a service (SAAS)-style deployment and consumption of business applications. Integration requirements Standard approaches to integration are complicated when mobile devices are used instead of traditional, fixed-location clients. Asynchronous integration is no longer an exception to a standard business process; it becomes one of the primary business scenarios. As such, an integration platform needs to have robust asynchronous capabilities for what are known as "long-running processes" or processes that may take hours, days or even weeks to be completed-as opposed to synchronous processes such as those that might be conducted from within a network. Combination of technology and process Mobile application developers are faced with the "chicken or the egg" dilemma: Should they first choose a mobile business application platform and then detail their business requirements according to what's possible with that platform? Or should they map out the business requirements first and then choose a mobile platform that can best support those needs? A combination of both approaches is recommended. An initial, high-level requirements analysis is essential in pursuing an effective mobile strategy. But the specifics of what you can accomplish will be important to the details of your business processes. Table 1: Worldwide Devices Shipments by Segment Device Type 2012 PC (Desk-Based and Notebook) 341,263 Ultramobile 9,822 Tablet 116,113 Mobile Phone 1,746,176 Total 2,213,373 2013 315,229 23,592 197,202 1,875,774 2,411,796 (Thousands of Units) 2014 2017 302,315 271,612 38,687 96,350 265,731 467,951 1,949,722 2,128,871 2,556,455 2,964,783 Sources: and Gartner (April 2013) 3 © Copyright 2013. The Mobile App Experts. A service of VCBI LLC. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. The Mobile App Experts November 2013 The Mobile App Industry Report Best practices for mobile development By Shaun Meany, Senior Business Analyst, The Mobile App Experts Smartphones and tablets are disrupting traditional computing. According to Gartner (see Table 1 on page 3) The proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets. Mobile devices and the new ultramobile devices are now so popular that many users no longer buy desktop or laptop computers. In this article you’ll learn about design practices for building mobile apps. These practices will help you get the results you seek and also satisfy your customers. Create a Mobile Strategy: Make sure that your mobile strategy is in line with your overall corporate strategy. Mobile strategies should not stray from your key company goals and objectives. Mobile initiatives need to be budgeted, assessed for the benefits verses costs (ROI) and should have reasonable and realistic timelines for development and implementation. C Consider Your Audience: Before you take any time to build an app, consider your audience. Will the app be used to promote your brand to customers, improve productivity of your employees? What do you hope to achieve? How do you envision your audience using your app? These are important questions to consider up-front. 2. Investigate what your competition is doing and also research the App Stores: If your competition has already introduced an app for its customers, vendors or employees find out what features they introduced in the app. Install the app yourself and see how you like the design and user experience. Do you notice any features that you would want in your app? Look also at other apps that have great design interfaces. What makes these features so appealing? Consider the buttons and the colors. Notice how many features are provided in the app. Are there too many functions making the app confusing and possibly an obstacle for user acceptance? 3. Get End Users involved in the Design and Specification Process: It is very important that you get buy-in when developing a mobile application. If you fail to get buy-in you might create an app that on the surface is fantastic but if the users don’t embrace the app you might you spent a lot of money for no return on investment. To avoid this problem, involve potential end users in the design process and use their feedback to make changes as necessary. C Create a Storyboard: The storyboard is one of the most important aspects of the design process. This is where you lay out the complete functionality of your app on paper. If there are problems, you can resolve them at this stage. The storyboard allows you to plan out all aspects of the design, including future components, such as plug-ins. How will the app be used and where will it be used: Answering these questions will help determine the technological approach for the app. There are basically three approaches to mobile apps.  Native Apps are built specifically to the needs of the various operating systems such as Apple's iOS or Android. The key advantages of Native apps are: speed, performance and the user graphical interface is optimized to work without the need of an Internet connection. Disadvantages to native apps are: app must be built for each specific mobile platform (i.e. Apple, Android and Windows), the development time is longer and usually the costs are higher than other approaches. 4 © Copyright 2013. The Mobile App Experts. A service of VCBI LLC. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. The Mobile App Experts November 2013 The Mobile App Industry Report Best practices for mobile development (cont’d)  Mobile Web Apps are websites built using HTML5 that are specifically designed for smaller screens. Key advantages to Mobile Web Apps: no need to distribute using iTunes or Google Play, works on any smart mobile device (works right in the mobile device's browser). Usually mobile web apps are the lowest cost approaches. There are two major drawbacks to mobile web apps: (1) slower performance and (2) an Internet connection is required.  Hybrid Apps install like native apps, but use a native app shell or wrapper, the actual app works more like a Mobile Web App as it requires a website feed. The major advantages of Hybrid Apps are: the app caches content on the device so it works offline to some degree, easier to deploy when a cross platform is required, lower cost than native. Disadvantages: does not run as smoothly as native apps, offline performance can be inconsistent, requires to be ported to each mobile operating system. Make the App Easy to Understand: The app should be easy to understand with descriptions to accompany graphics (if necessary) and additional instructions. One design flaw is relying too much on images to tell the tale. That’s a major error because users might not be able to figure out the purpose of your app if you use a lot of graphics. Clear instructions are necessary. Avoid Overuse of Graphics and Animations: Both graphics and animations can add a nice “Wow” factor to your app but there’s a major downside – slow loading times which translate into a poor user experience. Whenever possible, either avoid the use of bitmaps or animations or limit their use to only essential features. And if you do use graphics, use vector graphics whenever possible. The files sizes from these are much smaller, so they’ll load faster. Consider the Sizes of Buttons and Icons: When working with a mobile interface, you have a limited amount of space and some designers add too many buttons/icons. Another consideration is the size of the human fingertip. If the buttons/icons are too small, users could make errors with selecting the wrong one. Likewise, if there’s not enough space between the buttons/icons, that can cause trouble as well. If in doubt, test your layouts and get feedback. Create a Core Application: This means taking the most important features and building those into a core application experience. Building plug-ins that can be purchased as necessary by the user can create additional functionality. This avoids overloading the core part of the app with too many features. Create a Consistent Workflow: This translates into making sure the user experience remains the same on all platforms. If you change that for each device, you’ll confuse and annoy your users. Create a Consistent Workflow: This translates into making sure the user experience remains the same on all platforms. If you change that for each device, you’ll confuse and annoy your users. Test the Design: With any design, this is the most important aspect. If you’ve been following the strategies listed in this article you’ll be testing your app every step of the way. Still, it’s important to test the finished product and not only once but several times with different users. If there are problems, fix them, then test the result again. In summary… “Creating a mobile app requires a lot of strategic thinking and while it’s very important to consider the design and use cases, it’s equally important to do some research first. Consider the value that The Mobile App Experts can offer in this area of research.” 5 © Copyright 2013. The Mobile App Experts. A service of VCBI LLC. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Don’t risk selecting the wrong mobile development vendor for your mobile program — it can be a very costly mistake! The Mobile App Experts The success of your mobile app program depends on a sound strategy and selecting the best mobile development company for the job. If you are considering to develop a mobile app, or already involved in the strategic planning of one, make it a great success by leveraging the expertise and marketplace intelligence that The Mobile App Experts offers you.     We make it easy to source, properly assess and ultimately hire the best mobile developers based on your exact requirements. We help companies of different sizes, in a number of industries, develop smart, mobile application strategies that are success-focused. We have compiled the single largest database of exceptional mobile development companies from around the world. We help eliminate the selection guess work -- fear, uncertainty and doubt. Spring 2016 “The success of your mobile app project depends on a sound strategy and selecting the best development company for the job.” Marketplace intelligence that drives mobile program success. Learn how we can help match you with the best mobile development vendor for your project. Contact info: p. 203.858.5455 e. w. 60 Katona Drive, Suite 10, Fairfield, CT 06854 USA 5 © Copyright 2013. The Mobile App Experts. A service of VCBI LLC. All rights reserved.