In today’s competitive world, organisations feel the need to achieve higher and higher levels of productivity all the time. Examine how modern app development platforms can help them in their quest.
Strict compliances, severe competition and fast-changing business environment make it mandatory for every organisation to be extremely productive. A well chalked out enterprise mobility strategy can be one suitable solution to help companies achieve the high productivity levels they need. However, a mobile app rollout, which resides at the foundation of any enterprise mobility programme today, is ridden with a few obstacles.
A range of issues such as shortage of specialised app development and testing talent, DevOps hassles, user adoption challenges, decision-making hierarchies causing delays, and the high costs involved in app development, may threaten to adversely impact an organisation’s productivity goals.
The issues associated with app development are not confined to in-house development only. Even the outsourced arrangements suffer from similar issues such as scope creep due to continuously changing business requirements and DevOps and support challenges—besides the questionable returns on investment (RoI) when projects take longer than initially estimated.
An ideal approach
Given this scenario, a few forward-thinking organisations have started adopting a new approach to app development. Instead of developing mobile apps from scratch—either in-house or through outsourced contracts—these companies can be seen investing in some leading app development platform products. These platform products not only help organisations squarely address the common app development challenges but also enable them to achieve extreme productivity levels in everything they do.
The platform constituents
The leading app development platforms available today consist of a range of tools that organisations can utilize to build the apps they want the way they want. It goes without saying that a reputed app development platform should have a software development kit (SDK) to facilitate secure offline storage, data synchronisation, and push notifications, etc. Such SDKs usually support a host of device APIs including for camera, file, file transfer, and in-app browser.
However, besides the basic development-specific components, a platform also constitutes a range of additional essential utilities. Let’s explore some of these components that a world-class platform product has which help an organisation accomplish extreme productivity.
1. DevOps and integrations:
The platform products from reputed vendors help streamline DevOps allowing developers, IT operations, and business teams to build, modify, ship, test and deploy apps collaboratively. Streamlined DevOps also results in improved business-IT alignment (BITA), cost reduction due to the speedy development and enhanced productivity levels. The built-in support for back-end integrations allows organisations to seamlessly connect the new apps with core enterprise applications such as CRM and ERP or the third-party applications running in the organisation.
A caveat here is to select a platform product that helps ensure that the new apps developed can co-exist with current apps as well as third-party management tools such as MDM and EMM without any glitches. The role of platform products for DevOps is on the rise. According to estimates released by Technavio Research, the global DevOps platform market is growing at a CAGR of 20% or greater from its year 2017 revenues of $4,318 million.
2. Visual Studio:
Great platform products also come with complete visual studio suites to accomplish cross-platform design and development of modern apps. A visual studio comprises a range of utilities such as Colour Palettes, Prototypes, Design Libraries with predesigned components and UI elements. Besides simplifying the design process, these suites also allow you to design once and deploy it multiple times—anywhere.
3. Unified app approach:
A mark of a modern-day platform product, a unified app is a container app approach that helps you successfully address the mobile app user adoption challenge. By deploying a single, customised native container app on user-devices, a unified app holds together all the modern apps launched by the organisation. Every time your organisation launches a new app, it automatically displays inside a user’s container, eliminating the app discovery and visibility challenges faced by users.
As all the relevant business apps are brought under one roof (housed inside the container), it saves time for users, thus improving the organisation’s productivity.
As per the data published by statista.com, the global software application container market revenues are expected to reach $3446 million, growing from $759 million in 2016.
By facilitating the issuance of hot-code updates, upgrades and bug-fixes, a unified app approach eliminates the rigour from app support function, thus improving an organisation’s productivity. A good platform product incorporates features such as data leak protection with oAuth 2.0 or SAML while enabling single-sign-on (SSO) for users.
4. Built-in UX support:
This must be regarded as one of the key features of a platform as UI/UX consumes up to 40 per cent of the time that organisation invests in app development. Standardised and reusable components such as prototype, palette, code, sync, library, and templates can help reduce the time required to create aesthetically appealing and intuitive user interfaces. As UI can be developed with minimal effort and time, it further results in enhanced productivity for the organisation’s developers as well as users.
5. Ready templates:
Last, but not least, a good platform comes with a host of ready templates that allow you to build high productivity apps in a short time. For instance, the service support chief may want a chatbot to be created to reduce the strain on the help desk and to provide additional touchpoint for customer contact.
Similarly, there is a range of commonly needed business apps that managers of various departments find useful. Ready templates can help them build apps such as for Sales Management, Project Monitoring, Bill of Material (BoM), Order Logging, Expense Tracking and Reimbursements, Reporting and Dashboards, etc. to name a few.
Suggested reading: Accelerate digital transformation—with low code, or no code
One of the key productivity enhancement features to look for in a platform product is its low-code development capability. Low-code is not just a nice to have feature but a serious business requirement. According to a MarketsandMarkets report, the low-code development platform market is expected to be $27.23 billion by 2022.
While a platform can minimize the time and pain involved in development for developers and testers, a low-code platform can turn business users into dependable citizen developers who can build best-in-class apps without training or involvement of developers in the project.
In all, a platform product which packs all these features can help your organisation achieve extreme productivity. By allowing citizen developers to build dozens of apps can provide a gigantic boost to an organisation’s productivity through the pervasive use of mobility-led automation in everything it does.
Guest Author: Jinen Dedhia, Co-founder & MD, DronaHQ
Jinen heads Sales, Finance and Operations at DronaHQ. He is a passionate techie and is constantly evolving DronaHQ features and solutions to address enterprise customer needs. Prior to co-founding DronaHQ, Jinen was with Wipro Technologies where he worked on wireless VOIP technologies, VOIP switches, IVRs, anti-phishing solutions and m-ticketing among other technologies. Jinen is a computer engineer from Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Mumbai. He enjoys playing chess and table tennis.
Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jinendedhia/