Market Wired reported in late August that MoTwin, a mobile platform provider for business applications, had outlined what they consider the key problems enterprises face in crossing the “mobile cliff”. The mobile cliff is a metaphor for the difficulty in meeting the back-end/cloud infrastructure integration, providing real-time performance and the best possible mobile user experience. While primarily promoting their application platform and the white paper they commissioned from Peter Crocker, founder and principal of Smith’s Point Analytics, but the article and the white paper do sight real fundamental needs that must be met when deploying formerly “on premise” business systems to mobile integration.
According to Mr. Crocker “The mobile enterprise market has not yet stabilized on a platform or methodology, leading many companies to try multiple times to get a mobile application that satisfies both the user expectations and enterprise requirements,” He went on to say, “While there are many open source — free — framework and tools that address some of the front-end mobile design, the back end remains the critical piece of enterprise mobile today. At a cost of up to $500,000 dollars per mobile implementation, not to mention the loss of business costs, a ‘mobile-right’ strategy, that includes back end integration, real-time updates and context-aware functionality, is required.”
Still expert development teams will be necessary.
Crossing the “mobile cliff” may soon become critical for a number of industries, none more obvious than retail sales. In a recent ZDNet article technology sector observer Tim Lohman provides a few examples of retail sales use of mobile apps as a sales channel.
One retail application he points to is ticket sales. Quoting Greg Fahy, Head of Product for Australian ticket retailer Ticketek, after the company completed a two and half year mobile app push based on consumer demand, “Mobile is huge for us,” he said. “For our online traffic, just over 30 percent are on mobile devices and for some of our content — One Direction or Justin Bieber — 45 percent of our tickets would sell on mobile, so it is a really important area of growth for us in the coming years.”
Given the clear need to get started now, if you haven’t already, to consider and develop mobile retail applications for your business you may want to consider outsourcing the development of your retail mobile applications. Considering the need for both mobile development and the integration of multiple back office systems, going mobile can get expensive.
One way to avoid the high cost is to seek offshore outsourced development teams, which often work at a fraction of the cost of U.S. based developers. U.S. located project management teams often are involved in these offshore development projects to aid in keeping things flowing and providing for clear communications between the offshore developers and clients. Many of these companies have been established specifically for the purpose of augmenting existing internal capabilities or to provide short term expertise that would be too expensive in a long term hire.
Either way bridging the mobile cliff is now an imperative for more and more retailers.
Brought to you by UBNSoft, leaders in software application development, deployment and management.