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Appsolute value art of apps

  1. 1. Appsolute Value: The Art of AppsLarger Financial Institutions are still looking for the right Mobile Strategy. Most Banks now havesuccessfully passed the first ‘Launch’ stage (see figure 1). This first generation of mobile appsholding basic business functionality did provide IT of FI’s with a quick ‘stop the gap’ solution tomeet first business requirement to provide their customers mobile access to financial services. Toenable expansion, Financial Institutions (FI’s) are now looking for a scalable, more robust set oftools that can transform mobile app development to an industrial, repeatable and end-to-endmobile lifecycle best practice. We have gathered in this point of view all our mobile projectexperience, know-how and lessons learned to enable you to select the most viable mobile appdevelopment approach.Challenges for the best Mobile(apps) strategyA lot of executives we meet ask us over andover again the same question: should webuild web apps (HTML5) or Native apps (SDK-built) going in the next stage (scalability) of Figure 1mobile app development (see figure 1).Unfortunately this is the wrong questionstemming from an almost religious clash of Your answer to these questions howevertwo tribes of app developers (web vs. native should not be approached from a singledevelopers) which seem to dictate even the perspective, the User Interface, in this contextexecutive room claiming what delivers the mostly meaning how customers want to usebest or fastest User Interface on smartphones apps) but also from other perspectives like! Integration effort, security, performance, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and last but not least requirements for new emerging vendor/suppliers of mobile development & management software environments from a single code base and an integrated middleware component (MEAP). Especially developers tend to decouple the mobile thin client from these other perspectives which are as important for larger Appsolute Value, © 2013 All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. companies. As FI’s (and large companies in 2. Multi-channel: Many FI’s have spent largegeneral) begin to tackle more complex, amounts of money to adopt a multi-transaction and revenue oriented applications channel approach (branch-ATM-CC-web)by adding more functionality, risk of failure is and create a seamless customerrising with the same rate as the opportunities. experience. Instead this resulted in highlyThe ‘Launch’ stage apps which have been siloed organizations and complex SOAcreated mostly in a monolithic, silo-oriented architectures. Now with a Multi-OSway have resulted in largely un-integrated, mobile environments and social networks,stovepipe, disposable pieces of code that two additional digital channels haveneed to be updated every few months or emerged rapidly. A multi-digital-accessunderperform and are un-intelligent (the challenge have emerged with seamlesslatter two apply mostly to first web-apps). switching between various platforms,Mobile apps which require rendering business even for the former ‘pure players’! Hybridfunctionality bring unprecedented business apps is the likely app style FI’s shouldgrowth to business managers and allow address building a new digital accessbusiness operations to move from hardwired model. Cloud technologies will play thebusiness processes to task-oriented mobile other key role.customer/employee engagement, come witha number of multi-multi complexities to be 3. Multi-device: ever since Apple broughtaddressed in the next generation of mobile the first real smartphone to a mass- market level, many, many smart phones(app) strategy: and later tablets have flooded your1. Multi-platform: While the transition to consumer pockets and employee standard the first online channel, the web, forced employee utility elbowing out the PC and most applications to conform to a single, laptop. basic HTML client, embracing the potential of mobile (including enterprise 4. Multi-apps & device Management (MAM & MDM): With the proliferation of apps mobility) entails development for a multitude of mobile Operating Systems, and mobile devices, demand is soaring for iOS, Android, Blackberry OS and Windows solutions that can help enterprise manage phone are now the mostly adopted. Each apps & devices. Corporate Appstores are OS requires specific developer capabilities emerging to control the usage and own (including specific integration matters) deployment of apps and the Bring Your whether you like it or not. Own Device phenomena. Entering the second stage of scalability and depending on a company’s mobile strategy, an accelerated entrance of the ‘aggressive growth’ stage of the mobile roadmap (figure 1), a transition to a more sophisticated development tool is unavoidable. A mobile app development ecosystem that supports robust back-end integration with enterprise source systems, databases, enterprise security, version control, multi-device detection, not sacrificing the UI richness, willAuthor: Michel van den Berg Appsolute Value, © 2013 All Rights Reserved |2
  3. 3. be at every company’s doorstep, sooner or Make a plan to minimize mobilelater, when mobilizing your business becomes app development tools, notthe core of your strategy. war….To make such a strategy is robust andpragmatic , companies need to step awayfrom the development of disposable mobile Much of the current debate on mobile appsapps but rather should make an extensive development tools (including HTML5 andscrum exercise of all requirements and quickly native SDK’s) and app architecture ispair them with the appropriate toolset and dominated by mainly two camps, HTML5management practices. Still many (IT) developers and native developers. HTML 5 isexecutives rely in these stages on the an unstructured pile of code still growingavailable resources in the current company. It today as it is an open tempting to take a web approach and relyjust on HTML5 and web development Native app developers optimize apps to API’s for a specific mobile OS allowing a superbcapabilities. However especially as securityand performance have been and still are customer experience often enforced by marketing, making it however difficult todominant requirements, it makes mobile appdevelopment a very daunting exercise. We reuse code across platforms. Since thehave seen many larger FI’s trying this but they fragmentation of customers amongst thecame all out on a more expensive and very many mobile operating systems, marketing wants to provide access to more customers.frustrating exercise. Native apps also allow deep access to offlineA mobile strategy would also link into the processing, storage capability, most devicemore technical complexities and pair mobile (and still growing) features and sensors, in-apps with new (solution) architecture with app frameworks (like push notifications, admany new architecture principles. serving, content), all very common requirements in a typical business context. It forces IT to invest largely in new app development capabilities making cost rise steeply. Forrester suggest to budget for a 50%-70% of the cost of the original native implementation (mostly iOS). So if your choice is to provide access to customers on all 4 major OS’s an increase of client developmentPart of the mobile strategy and new costs will be 150% to 210%. Also web appsarchitecture principles is enablement of however have a 20%-25% increase in portingaccelerated apps development (fast to costs of 20%-25% to tweak UI for differentmarket). Agile methodologies (scrum) and device form factors. Mind that post-onshore resourcing should figure prominently implementation costs (for managing apps andin the mobile project and operations teams. devices) are not even calculated for in above cost increases. Unless you have deep pockets and a strategy not sensitive for a growing TCO as appAuthor: Michel van den Berg Appsolute Value, © 2013 All Rights Reserved |3
  4. 4. development and tooling matures, morecompanies look at hybrid applications. Hybridapps (or sometimes also referred to as‘wrappers’) union the best of both worlds(native and web apps).Libraries like the popular Phonegap and Among multi-platform framework and theirAppcelerator have bridging capabilities for the vendors are large differences. The mostmulti-platform exercise (but not all of them). advanced ones not only cover versionThey are open source and therefore less management but also advanced enterprisepopular with larger companies and for those mobility services like apps maintenance( business) app developers working within a (MAM), corporate appstore and MDM. Onesecure business environment however some of the most enhanced frameworks (Kony)have taken these libraries for further enables development of native, web apps andcustomization and turned them in licensed hybrid apps, making the previous mentionedframeworks (like IBM’s Worklight) however debate obsolete and enabling support tomost of them are more proven than others legacy mobile platforms.and some focus on specific businessindustries. Hence the need for a robust and future- proven mobile strategy since larger FI’s likeIn the Financial Services industry the hybrid Citi, Nationwide, Allianz, RBS and Standardapp development approach is chosen by those Chartered have embarked already on multi-banks (HSBC, Unicredit) which want to reuse platform app development tools.their large online banking infrastructuresespecially when they are built on portal So in reality, by monitoring how banks traveltechnology. up onto the higher stages of the mobile roadmap the need for either a hybrid or anSimilar to the hybrid approach is the fourth multi-platform approach is evident* wheremobile app (development) style, the multi- mostly all FI’s have started from a cheaperplatform (or cross-platform) style web-based approach and/or (UI) rich single native approach.Differences between the hybrid frameworksand the multi-platform frameworks (Kony, * References to:Antenna, Service2Media, etc.) are the adding - Forrester, Building Next generation Mobile Banking reportof a server/middleware component. The - MGI Research, mobile Apps Platforms Buyers Guideserver-side component allows for addingenterprise connectivity and security enablinga secure communication path and encryption The Mobile Ecosystemof data in flight. Other features aredisconnected use, synchronizing of local data,push notification/SMS and device detection If one counts up all changes taking place on afor the hundreds different devices. customer, technology and business model level based on the anticipated proliferation of billions of apps, hundreds of devices and zettabytes of (personal) data, the accelerated emergence of the Apps economy is on everyAuthor: Michel van den Berg Appsolute Value, © 2013 All Rights Reserved |4
  5. 5. company’s doorstep. At the same time orientation make a natural demandextrapolating trends and movements to the for enterprise apps (B2E and B2B).future, a holistic view on mobile is surfacing: E.g. the Blackberry Z 10 is a nice example of how our private, social en working lives gets integrated into one device. 4. With more added functionality and more governance required by the company over all those apps we will see the growing demand of enterprise services like MAM, MDM and corporate app stores. 5. Continued fragmentation of architectures, strategies, OS, mobileSolution: Coming to MEAP app styles gives an advantage for platform agnostic tools 6. Whilst more companies sign up for the MEAP product, the mobileIn dealing with larger companies we see more provider is able to prove their trackand more companies selecting a Mobile record, build their number of so-Enterprise Application Platform tool (MEAP). called vertical apps (‘off-the-shelf’Various research and forecasters* see a 70- mobile software), increase their API80% preference for MEAP engine, increase their multi-platform development community and in theMEAP is a mobile software development end lower their license prices.environment that builds code once for all (however one should note large differences in vendors regarding thistypes of mobile apps and renders it to many point)devices and connects with various operating 7. Companies will be better able tosystems, networks and back-end server structure their mobile developmentenvironment. Why the MEAP product is on discipline, understand a more realisticthe radar of many companies and it is budget expectation and overcomepredicted a significant number of companies their current concern of vendor andwill own a MEAP product in 2013/2014: lock-in risks (after first having business case and security risks 1. Larger companies need to provide around mobile app development in their services to a larger number of general customers and employees (Bring Your 8. As larger companies are on the Own Device) forefront to integrate a MEAP product 2. Where requirements around with their larger and more complex performance and security (specific for organizations, medium companies will most of the FI’s) are dominant, native follow suit to benefit from the apps are commonplace. Based on the growing number of best practices and roadmap we assume native apps will growing number of specialists. become more complex or will multiply. 3. The proliferation of apps is eminent. The ‘apps economy’ was first mainly consumer facing (B2C) but now start to enter also our working life’s. Simplicity, collaboration and task-Author: Michel van den Berg Appsolute Value, © 2013 All Rights Reserved |5
  6. 6. Our Services – Art of Apps These first set of drivers to select a future- proven mobile app development tool will help you to set the scene for a first high level selection process and define your apps strategy. Appsolute Value has in-companyVarying speed of mobile development, the experience with building the four differentimpact of internal different point of views and styles of Apps – web apps, native apps, multi-the still unfolding mobile technology (fastest platform apps en hybrid apps. Our people,growing technology ever) cause still lots of having done this at a variety of clients, areconfusion. However with so many companies now working together in the Mobile Solutionunderstanding better the impact of the apps Network ( on increasing revenues, businessgrowth, brand enhancement and even cost The mobile strategist can help you selectingefficiencies, they now determine faster the the right apps strategy as part of defining aselection of the appropriate mobile app larger, more comprehensive mobile strategy.development tool. With a clear focus (outside-in view) on the customer, we translate your business goalsHence the rising need for a sound mobile into mobile concept matching yourstrategy based on a mobile roadmap so customer’s needs.companies are getting enabled to follow amore thorough mobile software development Our mobile designers and mobile developerstoo selection process. realize those mobile concepts into actionable apps so you can go to market fast havingIf a company sees mobile apps as a tactical, chosen the right app development tool.low functionality, B2C and low costopportunity and just another digital channel References – Pure Mobile(so an add-on to their current infrastructure) asingle platform toolkit is a better choice.If mobile technology is an enabler of strategic Appsolute Value successfully performed theinitiatives (strategic differentiator/generator), Art of Apps at several medium and largea MEAP product could be used organizations in Europe and North America. You can be next.In the long run (the higher stages of theroadmap) one can even expect an ITorganization which can tap into all fourdifferent mobile app style development toolsand capabilities. Some of our gigs can be found at our website.Author: Michel van den Berg Appsolute Value, © 2013 All Rights Reserved |6
  7. 7. www.mobilesolutionsnetwork.comIf you want to sit back and watch a video. Goto our YouTube you want to share something interestingwith us on mobile. We are very interestedsince we can’t know everything about billionsof Apps, right?! So pin it ‘s all you can find on the web about us.For all the rest we are pure mobile. Oh, youwant to like us, use your Smartphone, justcall. You don’t want to tell it to us out loud…send us an email:Author: Michel van den Berg Appsolute Value, © 2013 All Rights Reserved |7