Over the past few weeks I have been writing about the value of mobile apps and I would like to finish off this series of blogs with a summary of the content and a call to action.
My first blog 'Balancing Mobile App Development Costs and Business Value' sparked great conversation with SAP Community Network members. A reminder for those that are looking to download the new SAP Mobile App Advisor app, visit the campaign page or download from iTunes to get started with the tool that takes you through a series of questions to help you identify mobile app opportunities that deliver the greatest value to your business based on your use of mobile devices, size, focus, and more.
The next post, titled 3 Keys to Reduce Mobile App Development Costs, discussed delivering value in the development and deployment of mobile apps and provided the details about the 3 keys which include: 1. The emergence of HTML5 as a viable mobile app development language, 2. Hybrid app containers available as part of a mobile app development platform, and 3. The availability of low or no cost cross-platform development tools.
Last week I posted the Lower Mobile Development Costs While Increasing Functionality and Benefit piece and SCN member Leon Limson commented 'Well said!! Now the developers can focus on Application logic and Usability since all other features are provided by enterprise-grade container/platform.' There has been outstanding dialogue between SCN members about the new mobile app value calculation. Thank you to all those that have followed the postings and shared your comments.
Now, to summarize these postings and leave you with a final thought and call to action.
The essential cost factors of mobile app development and maintenance are the same as they have ever been. What has dramatically changed are the skill level and time needed to develop feature-rich mobile apps.
Here are the essential factors that influence developer side of the benefit equation, along with technologies that help lower the decision threshold for launching a mobile app development project:
- Developer skills needed - HTML5 means less specialized, lower cost developer skills
- Developer time required to build - enterprise-grade container enables developer to focus on business logic and user interface, which reduces overall app development time and effort, or allows for adding more user-enabling features under a given development budget.
- Application portability – HTML5, enterprise-grade containers and cross-platform development tools work together to deliver apps that run on any device, eliminating the need for multiple app builds to support different device platforms.
- Back-end system integration – enterprise-grade containers have necessary hooks to back-end data sources, eliminating the need for developers to create those.
- Ensuring data security – enterprise-grade container has built-in enterprise-grade security features, eliminating the need for developers to build those features and reducing the risk of security breaches.
- Post-development support costs – enterprise-grade containers already have functionality that supports platform services which enable app management at the individual device level.
Taken together, these new mobile app development technologies and strategies are changing the way we think about, and justify, mobile app development projects in the enterprise.
If you are looking to start an enterprise-grade mobile app development project there are resources and a program available for you, today. It is called the SAP Mobile Academy.
Part of the SAP Community Network, the SAP Mobile Academy is an online video tutorial site for users of SAP mobile technology users, including mobile app developers, IT administrators, and mobile project leads. There is a section called 'Hybrid Web Container Apps' that specifically addresses the HTML5 mobile app development topic. All of the essential factors listed above are covered in the program sessions and there are free trials of SAP Mobile Platform and SAP Afaria to get you started.