Embarking on a mobile project? Follow these three tips for success

By Karin Kelley

With GlobeNewswire reporting that the mobile app market is expected to reach $52.96 billion in 2020 — up from $17.24 billion in 2014 — enterprises worldwide are scrambling to meet the rapidly growing demand. However, the fact is that delivering an exceptional mobile experience is difficult.

According to research from the IBM Center for Applied Insights, two-thirds of mobile projects fail to meet timelines, budgets and overall business objectives. Whether it’s just a bad app idea or execution, poor budgeting, lack of expertise or insufficient iterations with new-and-improved features, managing a mobile project can be a risky venture for any organization that needs to meet the expectations of increasingly tech-savvy users.

Reasons a mobile project can fail

In short, mobile applications can fail because enterprises have not adopted a new mindset when it comes to the mobile development process. Businesses often overlook the following:

  • Consider integration with existing technologies that govern core business processes
  • Centralize and apply business rules and objectives across all levels of the organization
  • Break down silos within the organization to meet clear objectives
  • Ensure rapid application development and deployment, which are all essential in the mobile app world

Most of all, many businesses neglect to consider the utmost importance of the user experience across multiple devices and locations.

By taking new, agile, collaborative and data-driven approaches to any mobile project, businesses can overcome these hurdles. To deliver a successful mobile project, follow these three steps:

1. Define your goals

First, organizations need to develop a clear understanding of what the function of the app should be and why it will benefit the organization as a whole. Businesses must conduct research on competitive apps before they commit their time and money into building something without clear data on what the results might be. In this phase, businesses need to consider the devices and operating systems they are willing to support and how customers are actually using apps on various devices and interfaces.

In addition, developers should carefully determine the minimum set of features required for the first release in order to meet specific business objectives to decrease overall time-to-market for increasingly impatient mobile users.

2. Put together a team with the right expertise

Getting a team of developers on board with expertise across multiple operating systems for each mobile project is critical. Further, developers must be able to work collaboratively with operations teams and line-of-business owners to ensure the project stays on track across all levels of the organization and all stages of the design, development and deployment process. The team will also need to track ownership and accountability from beginning to end.

3. Manage the budget

Mobile application development needs to move much faster than the traditional processes of yesteryear. With agile development frameworks, cross-functional teams can respond much more quickly to ever-changing business and technical requirements in an iterative process. Mobile project managers can also plan ahead for operating system upgrades and the time it takes to integrate mobile apps and data into existing back-end systems and cloud APIs.

Further, by looking at usage and performance analytics data with real-time feedback from users, managers can better detect and prioritize which application features they need to add or tweak within the scope of the project’s allocated budget and time frame, which is an ongoing process in and of itself.

Ignoring mobility is no longer an option for any business these days. Organizations are finding it difficult to develop mobile applications in the face of shrinking IT budgets and growing pressure to deliver ROI and remain competitive. Enterprises that take the proper steps will overcome the major challenges and enjoy more successful mobile projects.

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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