Building a mobile application infrastructure: Five tips to optimize mobile app development

By Karin Kelley

Today, organizations can’t afford to ignore the rise of mobility. When it comes to building mobile application infrastructure, many find it difficult to keep up with the sheer number of devices and heightened user expectations. In fact, at last summer’s Application Architecture, Development and Infrastructure Summit, Gartner analysts stated that by the end of 2017, the demand for mobile application development services will increase five times faster than businesses’ capacities to provide them. One of the biggest challenges CIOs face while trying to meet this demand is implementing the infrastructure needed to support the rapid development of mobile apps and its associated costs.

Building a mobile application infrastructure: Five tips for CIOs

Many enterprises would like to develop mobile apps in-house. However, with the rapidly changing and increasingly powerful capabilities of mobile devices, organizations are finding it difficult to contain the required costs and development times. The following are some of the key capabilities CIOs should consider when building a mobile application infrastructure:

  1. Agile development platforms
    Mobile apps need to be revised more frequently than their desktop counterparts to meet user expectations. By adopting agile development methodologies as opposed to the more traditional waterfall method, organizations can significantly reduce the release timeline through rapid iterations. In this approach, teams work collaboratively through design, development, testing and deployment.
  2. Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD)
    With CI and CD tools, developers integrate code into a shared repository where it can be verified through automated build and test capabilities. This makes it easier to detect and remediate any errors more quickly and lets developers push code directly into production as soon as new changes are made. This drastically reduces development times.
  3. Middleware and APIs
    Integrating with the back-end systems is one of the more challenging aspects of rapid mobile app development. By automating this integration through middleware and APIs, organizations can save time and resources.
  4. Analytics and user experience
    Users expect the same experience and performance from their enterprise apps as they are already accustomed to with commercial mobile apps, which makes it critical to provide an optimal user experience. By collecting and analyzing data and feedback from end users, organizations can identify poor performance and usage and more quickly make the appropriate changes to enhance user productivity.
  5. Cross-platform tools
    In the BYOD environment, developers must produce apps that work across multiple operating systems and devices. Gartner reports employees are already using an average of three different devices a day, and that number will only increase as the IoT continues to emerge. Cross-platform tools let developers build mobile apps in one codebase and deploy those to various devices, eliminating the need to hire multiple developers with specific native code expertise. This reduces the time it takes to deploy applications to their mobile workforce.

Though today’s users expect instant access to their applications from whatever device they choose and wherever they are on the network, organizations are facing new challenges when it comes to providing those to them. Businesses need to develop new strategies when rolling out the application infrastructure that enables designers, developers and operations teams to provide quality mobile apps at a much more rapid pace than ever before. The ultimate goal is to streamline the process to keep users happy and productive while saving the organization time and money.

Written By

Karin Kelley

Independent Analyst & Writer

Karin is an independent industry analyst and writer, with over 10 years experience in information technology. She focuses on cloud infrastructure, hosted applications and services, end user computing and related systems management software and services. She spent nearly eight years…

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