Sustainable mobilestrategy
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Sustainable mobilestrategy

on

  • 1,176 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,176
Views on SlideShare
1,176
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
9
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Sustainable mobilestrategy Sustainable mobilestrategy Document Transcript

  • Nov2011 Sustainable mobile strategy for a fragmented ecosystem Nikhil K Menon http://www.linkedin.com/in/nikhilkmenon
  • Page 2 of 17 Executive SummaryThe disruptive nature of the mobile apps ecosystem and the ubiquity of smartphone are forcingmany organizations that offer web based services to implement a Mobile Strategy as part of theirEnterprise IT Strategy and Vision. Furthermore, several startups are sprouting grounds for greatideas that have mobile use cases. Inclusion of a practical mobile strategy as an integral part ofone’s product development strategy will help realize the idea more effectively.Regardless of the scale of your immediate mobile objective, one needs to consider the diverseand fragmented state of the current mobile ecosystem and analyze all aspects of it and thenderive a road map best suited for the organization.The task of developing a mobile strategy poses unique challenges that need to be solved in orderto efficiently deliver your offerings to the customers, regardless of the type of mobile device theyown.This paper will focus primarily on the challenges and opportunities presented by the fragmentedmobile space and explore the different approaches that will enable your business to serve all thecustomers in the continuously evolving mobile user base.
  • Page 3 of 17Table of ContentsExecutive Summary ........................................................................................................................ 2Rapidly evolving usage trends and expectations ............................................................................ 4Different Phases in mobile strategy development .......................................................................... 5What services should you offer on mobile? .................................................................................... 6 Enhance your IT infrastructure .................................................................................................. 6Identify your customers and their mobile device platform .............................................................7Define target platforms for your Mobile service offering ............................................................... 8 Role of SMS ................................................................................................................................. 9 Interactive Telephony application .............................................................................................10 Untapped potential of QR Codes and NFC tags ......................................................................... 11 QR Codes ................................................................................................................................ 11 NFC Tags ................................................................................................................................ 12Developing Mobile App for multiple platforms ............................................................................. 12 Portability of mobile web apps ................................................................................................... 13 When to pick native mobile apps ............................................................................................... 13 Cross platform applications - HTML 5, CSS 3 and JavaScript for rescue ................................. 14 PhoneGap ............................................................................................................................... 14 Titanium Appcelerator ........................................................................................................... 15 Adobe AIR .............................................................................................................................. 15 Other Frameworks.................................................................................................................. 15 J2ME based feature phone apps ................................................................................................ 16 Feature phones – the elephant in the room ........................................................................... 16Summary ........................................................................................................................................ 16References ...................................................................................................................................... 17
  • Page 4 of 17 Rapidly evolving usage trends and expectationsA growing number of consumers access a variety of internet content using more than one type ofplatform. They expect to receive the services whether they are in front of their computer or awayfrom it. Companies that does not adapt to this evolving trend in usage and expectation may endup losing their competitive advantage.In June 2011, mobile apps crossed a significant milestone. Consumers spent 9% more time onmobile apps than on desktops and notebooks combined, based on the findings of the Mobileapps analytics firm Flurry. For most users, their mobile device has become the primary sourcefor obtaining information and consuming services from the web. 11 Flurry Blog and State of the media/PewResearch
  • Page 5 of 17 Different Phases in mobile strategy developmentApproaching your mobile strategy development in the following phases will help you create aneffective strategy that can maximize the reach of your business and improve your brandexperience.  Identify the services that you plan to offer to your mobile users.  Study the types of mobile devices your customers own.  Devise a plan to deliver your services to most, if not all, of your current and future customers on the devices they own.  Outline a vision for improving the discovery of your mobile offerings.  Create a plan for engaging your customers post sale and broaden your brand experience.
  • Page 6 of 17 What services should you offer on mobile?Most businesses plan to offer a wide variety of services through online channels. In reality thereare no restrictions on the types of services that can be offered on mobile. However, it is notpractical and effective to offer every feature in your website on a mobile device.The mobile use cases should typically have short sessions and require less user inputs.Depending on the type of your business, the services you offer on the mobile can provideadditional context, such as location, that can help you serve the customer with more relevantinformation.Enhance your IT infrastructureYour IT infrastructure needs to adapt to the complexity that will be brought in with the additionof a mobile channel. Depending on the current state of your infrastructure, this can be aseamless transition or a substantial undertaking. If your mobile offering includes an installablemobile application, then there is a high likelihood that some of your customers might try toaccess your services using older versions of your mobile application. Consequently, you will berequired to prepare your backend services to be backward compatible with prior versions of yourmobile applications. If you already follow a Service Oriented Architecture and have amiddleware or ESB in place, this would be an easy transition.Employing an API manager layer on top of your middleware will simplify the mobile applicationintegration and maintenance. If you wish not to build this capability in house, API managerssuch as Apigee or Mashery can provide the supporting infrastructure around existing enterpriseAPIs. Each enterprise can either use their existing cloud based infrastructure or On-premiseappliance to expose these APIs.
  • Page 7 of 17 Identify your customers and their mobile device platformHaving answers to the following questions will greatly help you in narrowing down theplatforms you need to deliver your mobile service offering.  Who are your target customers?  Where they are geographically located?  What are the demographics?Geographical location of your customers will impact your strategy and will put spotlight oncertain types of mobile platforms. For example, based on the chart given below, if majority ofyour customers are located in US, UK or Singapore, then you have almost equal or more numberof internet users accessing your content on Tablets as compared to Mobile phones.Knowing your customer demographics is also equally important. Based on the analytics fromFlurry, it is evident that the majority of smartphone users are less than 45 years of age and forthe age group 25-34 and above, majority of smartphone users are female.
  • Page 8 of 17 Define target platforms for your Mobile service offeringChances are you have a diverse customer base. Due to the fragmented nature of the mobileecosystem, in order to provide your services to most, if not all, of your customers, you will haveto develop different types of mobile applications on multiple platforms.A mobile application is not just limited to a native application or a mobile web site. Thefollowing are the types of applications that can be made available on a mobile device.  Native Mobile Application  Mobile Web Browser based application  SMS  Telephony Application  QR codes  NFC tagsWithout a doubt, native mobile app or mobile web browser basedservices must be a significant part of your mobile strategy.However, this will still leave a significant number of customerswho does not own a smartphone or have a data plan on theirmobile phone, out of reach.
  • Page 9 of 17Role of SMSIt is a common mistake to underestimate the reach of SMS based services, especially in engagingthe customers. The SMS based services can be consumed by the user without the need todownload an application. Based on an article published by Financial Newsline, "over 90 percentof all SMS text messages are read usually within three minutes of being received. In total, closeto 98 percent of all SMS text messages are indeed read by the consumer within hours ofreceiving it." Regardless of the type of the target mobile device, SMS based alerts and notifications can be a value added service to your customers. This use case is widely employed in the banking industry. What about other industries? Imagine if you are able to receive a text message when your flight is delayed, or if you are able to receive a reminder that your appointment with the doctor is tomorrow. Unlike traditional applications, which cannot send you notifications unless it is running in the background, SMS service is always available. Even if your deviceis switched off, as soon as it comes back on, you receive any backlogged messages. It is simple touse and does not need a tech savvy user to take full advantage of this.SMS also plays an important role in mobile fund raising initiatives and marketing. Thesubstantial number of donations received through SMS text donations in the aftermath of Haitiearthquake validates this. SMS can serve as a verification mechanism during a signup processand can also be used for interactive polling. There are countless use cases that can be realizedusing SMS.Your application can be built to interact with the user via text messages. Twilio and Tropo arethe leading Webservice API providers in this domain.The following diagram is from Twilio website. As depicted in the diagram, the text from the SMSwill be sent to your application which in turn will allow the application to respond with theappropriate information. This type of approach is relatively easy to implement and eliminatesthe hurdles associated with setting up a SMS based service.
  • Page 10 of 17 2Interactive Telephony applicationThis is one of the oldest types of application available via any type of phone. There will not beanyone who hasn’t used this type of application at least once. A common example for this is theservice that is made available when we call the 1-800 number that prompts for user inputs. Theuser interface can be voice driven or based on a numeric dial pad.Google attempted to broaden their local search services by making it available as a telephonyapplication. GOOG-411, voice automated directory assistance service, a part of Google labsproducts, proved that you can provide valuable local search results while a customer is on theroad. However, Google shut down most of their Google labs products earlier this year of whichGOOG-411 was one of them.Just like the SMS Webservices APIs, companies like Twilio, Tropo and several others providetelephony APIs that can interface with your existing web applications relatively easily.Interactive Telephony application should be given a good consideration in your mobile strategyespecially if your customers do not own smartphones.2 Twilio SMS
  • Page 11 of 17Untapped potential of QR Codes and NFC tagsQR CodesBased on the press release from comScore, “14 million Americans Scanned QR Codes on theirMobile Phones in June 2011”.QR (Quick Response) codes attempts to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds.These can be spotted in publications, products, store fronts, direct mail and countless otherlocations. Upon scanning a QR code using a pre-existing QR code reader application, it candirect the user to a mobile application, make a phone call, send a text message, download acoupon, open a mobile website or a product manual. There are numerous other ways to makeuse of QR Code.QR codes can help you market your brand and accelerate the customer sign-up process beyondyour store, website or mobile app. It can improve the discovery of your mobile app whichotherwise may be buried deep inside the App store search results. QR code is undoubtedly avaluable tool when it comes to empowering your marketing. 33 QR Codes information from comScore
  • Page 12 of 17NFC TagsNFC tags (Near Field Communication) have use cases beyond mobile payments and as amagnetic card alternative. Like QR codes, NFC tags allow the user to interact with physicalobjects. They can be used in almost all of the areas where QR codes can be employed and more.NFC tags can offer innovative ways for allowing the users to check-in to stores or restaurants,get more information on a product or add reviews. Imagine if you have the opportunity to touchthe movie poster with your smartphone in a theater after watching the movie to add instantreviews. Offering such medium to engage your customers even after the sale has been completedimprove their experience with your brand and will increase participation.Once you have a narrowed down on the types of mobile applications you will be including inyour mobile service offering, a scalable development platform needs to be selected fordeveloping your mobile applications. In order to deliver mobile applications to your targetcustomers, you may be required to develop it for multiple platforms as explained below. Developing Mobile App for multiple platformsThis is one of the biggest challenges in realizing any mobile objective. There are numerousmobile operating systems that run on multitude of devices with a wide range of form factors.Fragmentation is costlyDeveloping a native app on several platforms will require you to employ multiple mobiledevelopment teams and will require maintenance of multiple code bases. Nevertheless, ignoringcertain archaic mobile platforms is not a wise move either. The mobile strategy must incorporatea plan to create applications that is accessible from multiple platforms with less operating costsand maintenance overhead.
  • Page 13 of 17 4Portability of mobile web appsMost of the mobile use cases do not require development of a native application for each mobileuse-case. A considerable number of applications are best served as mobile web basedexperiences. The mobile web app ensures that each user always uses the latest version of the appand can be accessed from multiple devices.A rich user experience can be achieved by efficient use of HTML 5, CSS3 and JavaScripttechnologies. Several popular frameworks such as jQuery Mobile, Sencha Touch and others usethese technologies to create mobile web apps that provides near native look and feel on iOS,Android and BlackBerry devices.That being said, there are certain situations that can only be satisfied by native mobile apps asdescribed below.When to pick native mobile appsNative applications are inherently faster and can be seamlessly integrated with the devicehardware. If your mobile app needs to be available offline or needs to run in the background,then you must consider developing a native application. If your application containssophisticated animations, then it is best rendered using native mobile app. Native applicationsare also able to leverage the full hardware capabilities of a mobile device and can take advantageof App Stores for distribution and discovery.Besides serving as a distribution platform for native apps, App Stores also provide a convenientpayment mechanism for application providers and its users. However, App Stores policiesenforce a revenue sharing model for paid apps which may not be suitable for your businessmodel. But what if a third option was possible that marries both the uniformity of experience4 comScore Mobile market share
  • Page 14 of 17along with the portability of mobile web and the sophisticated capabilities of a native mobileapplication?Cross platform applications - HTML 5, CSS 3 and JavaScript forrescueWhat if you need the portability of a mobile web application and the deployment anddistribution features of app stores that are offered to only native applications? Imagine beingable to create single code base and take advantage of the several years of web development skillsof your existing web team in developing the mobile application. This is possible, thanks to theemergence of the cross platform application tools that uses the popular web developmenttechnologies like HTML 5, CSS 3 and JavaScript.PhoneGapPhoneGap is one of the open source mobile development platforms that allows creation of nativeapplications using web technologies. It provides access to phone features hitherto unavailable tomobile web apps such as file system, camera, GPS etc using JavaScript API. PhoneGap can becombined with Sencha Touch, jQuery to simplify development and reduce time to marketrequirements. 5HTML5 pages are wrapped inside native components and make use of JavaScript to provideaccess to device APIs. Adobe realized the substantial opportunities this platform presents to thefuture of mobile application development and acquired Nitobi, creators of the PhoneGapplatform.Applications developed using PhoneGap can be deployed to the following mobile operatingsystems using their respective app stores.  iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, webOS, Symbian and badaReal World Applications: PhoneGap AppsSeveral cross-platform apps have been successfully created using PhoneGap framework. Twosuch popular apps are METAR Reader and Logitech Squeezebox™ Controller. You can get thefull list of popular applications that are developed using PhoneGap on the featured apps page oftheir website.5 PhoneGap
  • Page 15 of 17Titanium AppceleratorTitanium allows developers to use the web skills to develop apps that will run on iOS, Androidand BlackBerry platforms. Applications developed using Titanium SDK have real native lookand feel. Titanium uses a JavaScript interpreter to execute the JavaScript in the application.The pluggable architecture of Titanium also allows the addition of native code (Objective-C orJava) to the application.When compared to PhoneGap, Titanium offers access to more device APIs and the ability to addcustom native code allows you to extend the capabilities. However, inclusion of platform specificnative code has a disadvantage of limiting its portability.Real World Examples: Appcelerator AppsNBC, PayPal and eBay created rich native applications for IPAD using Titanium Appcelerator.You can find other popular applications that used Appcelerator framework on the TitaniumApplications Showcase page.Adobe AIRAdobe Air lets you develop cross platform mobile applications using Flex, ActionScript, HTML,JavaScript and Flash. Adobe AIR applications will run on iOS, Android and BlackBerry devicesand delivers rich user experiences. Native extensions included in Adobe AIR allow you toseamlessly integrate with the device APIs thereby extending the capabilities of the AIRapplications.Real World Applications: AIR AppsPolitifact Mobile application from Times Publishing Company is developed using Adobe AIR forAndroid platform. Hacker News, and Slashdot are two other popular applications based onAdobe AIR. You can find the full list of popular Adobe AIR application on AppBrain.Other FrameworksIn addition to the frameworks discussed here, there are several other promising frameworksthat allow cross platform application development. Some of these frameworks are listed below.Each of these has its advantages and one must evaluate all of the active frameworks thatsupports portability of the mobile application before deciding on the framework that is bestsuited for your application development.  RhoMobile  MoSync  J2ME Polish  Ramp  Grapple
  • Page 16 of 17J2ME based feature phone appsFeature phones – the elephant in the roomEven though the number of smartphone users overtook the feature phone users in US this year,there are still 36% users who uses feature phones. In the developing countries, the feature phoneusers outnumber smartphone users by a substantial margin. Including a Java enabled featurephone app to your mobile portfolio will increase the accessibility of your services to morecustomers, especially in emerging markets.This fact is reinforced with the release of the Facebook mobile app for Java enabled featurephones there by expanding the reach of Facebook apps to 2500+ devices. This app is built onSnaptu - a java enabled feature phone app platform. SummaryThe rate of adoption and usage of mobile device as a means for accessing content and servicesover the internet is only going to rise further. The addition of a mobile service offering to yourbusiness is an inevitable transition that needs to be considered imminently if you must stayahead of the curve. Given the current fragmented state of the mobile space, especially amongmobile operating systems, the mobile strategy you pick for your business needs to be sustainableand effective without affecting the business bottom line.There is no one size fit all approach when it comes to the mobile development strategy. Thereare several good solutions that address the problem of the diverse platforms; and each has itsown advantages. Based on your business goals, target mobile platforms need to be prioritizedand a scalable mobile development technology needs to be adopted to accelerate deployment.In this rapidly emerging mobile technology era, businesses need to take a bullish approach toreducing the time to market. In order to maximize the return on investment, adequateinvestment needs to be made in creation of a continuous and sustainable mobile strategy.
  • Page 17 of 17 References Digital Omnivores whitepaper from comScore: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Presentations_Whitepapers/2011/Digital_O mnivores Flurry Blog: http://blog.flurry.com/bid/71285/Mobile-App-Inventory-Hungry-Enough- to-Eat-Internet-Display-Ad-Spend http://blog.flurry.com/bid/63907/Mobile-Apps-Put-the-Web-in-Their-Rear-view- Mirror QR Codes information from comScore: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/8/14_Million_America ns_Scanned_QR_or_Bar_Codes_on_their_Mobile_Phones_in_June_2011 Twilio SMS: http://www.twilio.com/api/sms comScore Mobile market share: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/11/comScore_Reports_ September_2011_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share PhoneGap: http://phonegap.com/ State of the media/PewResearch: http://stateofthemedia.org/2011/mobile-survey Financial Newsline: http://www.financialnewsline.com/mortgage/business-owners- shocked-at-99-percent-read-rate-with-mobile-advertising-and-sms-marketing