The low cost of development and increased range of options created by open application programming interfaces have lowered the barrier for entry into software creation and pushed a growing variety of companies into the practice of developing their own applications. The result, according to a recent study, is that the app economy is now worth $25 billion and is growing as nearly every industry integrates apps into the enterprise environment.
The report from IT services provider CSC noted that the “pervasiveness of apps” is creating new product opportunities in areas ranging from medical devices to jet engines, with a trend toward more connected industries thanks to the proliferation of APIs. This app economy is expected to become the main influence and outcome of the Internet and digital economy. As this trend unfolds, companies will need to be more deliberate in their choice of mobile platforms, their application architectures and the way they design their apps around user experiences. In other words, companies must shift from having applications as one of their services to thinking about applications as one of their primary focuses, embracing a mobile-first mindset.
“Software is the lifeblood of new businesses, it’s the way to automate, optimize, streamline processes, transactions – it’s everywhere,” Guillaume Balas, chief marketing officer at web development company 3Scale, told attendees at the Apps World Europe 2013 conference, according to Computer Weekly. “And every company, even though it’s not a software company, has to have a software strategy. However, to harness the whole potential of this software, you need to have access to different features and functionalities of the software in order to get the most out of it and be able to connect them to other companies, to other software, to other hardware. So there comes APIs.”
At the same conference, speakers such as Coca Cola CTO Kevin Flowers expanded on the notion that companies should be building APIs so they have the experience and tools when they bring new connected products to the marketplace. As a wider variety of firms look to make themselves software experts, ensuring the quality of the applications being developed is also important. Static analysis software, which allows developers to automatically review their code for errors, can be a helpful tool in catching potential bugs and security issues that can arise in a mobile application.
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