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7 Considerations when going Mobile

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By Michael Worley, Director at Spark33

The Mobile landscape is new, exciting, and often confusing. It can be a challenge to fully grasp even the fundamentals. Spark33 work closely with start-ups and enterprise clients to define and execute every stage of Mobile Development.

When embarking on any mobile project, there are seven key focus areas to consider in order to plan for success.

1. User Experience

It’s All About The Data: Whether building a workforce application or creating a customer facing service, reviewing all available analytics is invaluable. Discover which devices are connecting with existing services, when, for how long and how often the data is being accessed.

Research the Market: See what’s already available. Understand the common pains and problems in the area, then investigate other services with integration potential to improve touch points and add value.

Understand The Users: In order to score the value of a mobile project, consider and critique those behaviours that analytics alone can’t explicitly detail. Listen to users and take advantage of their experience where failures and gaps in functionality exist, and which features will deliver “easy win” benefits, good return on investment, and excellent customer satisfaction.

Any well-considered application balances features and design with learned user experiences.

Any well-considered application balances features and design with learned user experiences. Whether a Content Management System (CMS) or mobile interface, understanding this ensures software will be intuitive and recognisable.

2. Development Model

Don’t Get Left Behind: The rapid nature of change in Mobile demands Agile Methodologies. Be responsive to the market and its users: if the focus shifts, agile, change-friendly practices will allow you to adapt and align with this new direction, wherever it takes you.

3. App Store Accounts (iOS example)

Will your solution be internally available or for the public? It’s a fundamental question which requires different focus and tools depending on the answer.

If the project is to provide internal applications on Apple’s platform, to develop and distribute software internally, an iOS Enterprise Developer Program account will need to be purchased. This provides the toolset for in-house distribution and development.

If developing for consumers, you’ll require an iOS Developer Account. This provides the toolset for development and distribution to the Public Apple App Store.

In business, the management of these accounts is often performed by internal IT departments. If a third party is developing the project, account access and privileges can be granted and the process managed as part of the service agreement.

Answering the simple, obvious questions early on provides focus, direction and avoids pain further along the development process.

4. Device and Application Management

Mobile Device Management (MDM) […] provides the management layer for device-level security and access.
Mobile Device Management (MDM): the most likely solution for internal applications, this provides the management layer for device-level security and access. MDM functionality includes password strength requirements, restrictions on third party application access, and set-up of an enterprise app store for the management and distribution of applications.

Mobile Application Management (MAM): this provides the toolset needed to manage application-level access and policies, providing a set of controls for data access within the applications.

MDM and MAM services are most commonly third party subscription-based products but can also be custom-baked into any solution.

5. Front-End Development

There are many languages to consider in mobile development, from native languages like Objective-C for iOS and JAVA for Android, to HTML/Javascript/CSS based environments for web-based or hybrid apps and cross-platform support. These technologies have varying benefits, disadvantages, and challenges. Adopting the right solution requires an in-depth investigation into and understanding of the demographic being targeted, their devices, development costs, and the platform’s scalability, extensibility, and quality.

6. Back-End Development

Mobile has evolved far beyond basic standalone apps. Today there are many back-end solutions, bespoke or off-the-shelf, providing operations from the simple to complex when delivering data to front-end applications. The architecture of the back-end depends on correct analysis of the solution’s users, costs, sustainability, technology, existing system integration, security requirements, and scalability.

Hosting is the heart of production software, allowing users to be ever-connected to the information and benefits of a service.
7. Hosting & Architecture

Hosting is the heart of production software, allowing users to be ever-connected to the information and benefits of a service. Deciding on how to host an application requires plenty of thought and time gathering requirements, defining the architecture, cloud strategy, and roadmap, and identifying security needs within the requirements of the business.

Spark33 have 25 years IT experience and have been actively involved in Mobile since the birth of the App Store.

Spark33 work closely and fluidly with startups and enterprise clients to illuminate, define, and execute every stage of Mobile Development.

To find out more see: www.spark33.co.uk or email info@spark33.co.uk