Applications have quickly become the center of both the consumer and business worlds, as people in and outside of the workplace use software for more processes and activities than ever before. While the proliferation of these solutions has generally made lives easier, that same phenomenon has put an immense amount of pressure on individuals within the software development field, forcing experts to create new tools that cater to the needs of end-users and can be accessed on virtually any platform.
The mobile movement in particular has influenced the way developers create software. This complexity was highlighted in an InformationWeek report by technology expert Gregg Ostrowski, who said the evolving social, cloud and mobile application ecosystem is introducing new complexities for companies responsible for creating the technologies that make up those markets.
One of the most difficult challenges associated with adapting to these changes is understanding which road will lead to the most substantial rewards. Ostrowski said mobile device management vendors often claim their technologies can govern virtually anything at the platform level, while cloud providers encourage companies to migrate resources off-site to a third-party environment. Rather than taking partners at their word, Ostrowski asserted that businesses should first consider their needs when building next-generation applications.
Keep connectivity in mind
Mobile applications are considered the future of the software environment, but only if developers can find innovative ways to create those solutions in ways that keep functionality in mind. Connectivity demands in particular are crucial to think about, Ostrowski noted, saying he's seen organizations fail when building applications solely because IT professionals used inadequate VPNs or Wi-Fi connections when building the tools. This means that code review and analysis processes might not be as efficient as they otherwise could have been, which may lead to the production of an unreliable product.
Ostrowski encouraged developers to pursue application build programs that keep connectivity in mind by utilizing technologies that are not necessarily session-based and can still function even when Internet connections are not ideal.
Management is always a must
While building applications is important, Ostrowski said that managing those tools is just as crucial. This means conducting regular tests through static analysis and rolling out upgrades as frequently as needed. The mobile realm has placed a particularly heavy burden on IT professionals to continually revise solutions, largely because operating system upgrades happen often and without warning, especially as bring your own device becomes more popular in the enterprise. If companies do not have the ability to go back and fix solutions to adhere to the evolving needs and expectations of end-users, they will encounter substantial performance and cybersecurity challenges in the long run.
A separate Wired report highlighted similar expectations, revealing that mobile software developers need to prioritize end-user experience, which means accounting for any unforeseen updates that could affect applications. While conventional desktop solutions may have been useful, it is important that professionals do not think they can simply move these tools into the mobile realm and expect to reap the rewards. Creating a new solution is critical and development, operations and quality assurance teams must all work together to ensure those innovative technologies function as required.
As the mobile landscape expands, companies will be charged with the responsibility of launching sophisticated applications that cater to mobile-oriented employees and consumers alike. The processes that go into creating mobile solutions are not the same as the ones that were traditionally associated with software development. If teams do not embrace a continuous development cycle and account for new factors within the mobile realm, they may encounter financial and security complications.