Rapid mobile app development works - but not without management

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/ClaudioVentrella)

Although the developers of Angry Birds probably didn’t know at the time how much their app would take off, one thing’s for certain: they didn’t set out to create an app with a terrible user experience. They wanted a mobile app with depth that would cater to as wide an audience as possible, with all the right features and nothing cut-and-paste.

RMAD may take less investment up-front, but that doesn’t mean you get to ignore management over the long run.

One of the biggest differences between the consumer and enterprise mobile app worlds is that a feature-rich, native platform, extensive mobile app doesn’t really add more users. If an enterprise has 5,000 employees, that’s the top limit. No amount of new features or rich user experience add-ons will increase the number of employees using that app past the 5,000 user mark.

That challenge is a big part of the reason many enterprises have grown unwilling to commit to pairing up with a developer and a mobile application development platform (MADP) to develop rich, immersive mobile apps in a native environment. These sorts of apps are expensive, take a long time to produce, and don’t necessarily increase adoption. Why spend a quarter of a million dollars to produce an app when theoretically, an app developed at a fraction of the cost because it’s simpler would work just fine?

Enter what Gartner calls Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD). Companies like Snappii, Globo, and Out Systems have turned the MADP principle on its head. Instead of devoting months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to building an app, rapid mobile app development presents a codeless (in most cases) environment so simple that nearly anyone in the enterprise can throw an app together in just a few minutes. This lets business owners or decision makers get things done quickly and simply.

The RMAD approach is excellent for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is how it allows players in the enterprise to quickly manage apps and bring critical business elements mobile. But it also introduces a new problem: enterprise mobile app management.

When an enterprise is only developing, say, two apps with the traditional MADP approach, investing time, money, and a lot of labor into helping the workforce go mobile, it’s not imperative that they have a solution in place to manage the apps. Two mobile apps in the enterprise is essentially a one-off, and it doesn’t take a lot of brain damage to manage those apps.

Many enterprises have grown unwilling to commit to pairing up with a developer and a mobile application development platform

When you’re quickly churning out apps to meet a variety of different needs, however, perhaps even creating seasonal apps that may only be relevant for a few months at a time, you’ve taken a non-issue and put it at the forefront. You have all these apps—and that’s great—but how are you going to manage them? You need to get on an enterprise mobile application management platform if you want to have a positive user experience.

For many of the clients we work with, rapid mobile app development just works. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s efficient, and it gives employees everything they need and nothing they don’t. If your enterprise switches over to an RMAD model, though, don’t leave management out of the equation. With lots of balls up in the air, MAM is the key to a successful rapid mobile app development approach.

RMAD may take less investment up-front, but that doesn’t mean you get to ignore management over the long run. Go ahead and rapidly develop your mobile apps for the enterprise—just make sure that doesn’t come at the expense of a sustainable mobility program.

Do you think RMAD is a threat to enterprise app developers? Let us know in the comments.

 
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iMOBDEV_com
29 Apr 2015, 6:59 a.m.

Management is a key thing in mobile app development, you can not ignore management though you are develop your app by RMAD

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Mark D
29 Apr 2015, 2:55 p.m.

For enterprises, it's not just about the number of users. In fact, I see a lot of business customers worried about usage of the App. A crappy user experience or difficult app does not get used. Staff seek other ways to get the job done. And most importantly in business, its the value of the function, not always the amount of use. An order entry that can be done enroute and saves 24 hours is a huge value for many businesses. Knowing from sensors that a mining robot needs service and dispatching a maintenance team in advance is a major cost saving and productivity enhancer. It doesn't take much time. Bottom line, there are lots of reasons for native apps in the enterprise.

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brockwest2351
9 May 2015, 3:20 a.m.

I feel that if it saves money and time its sometimes a good thing but not always. A short term solution doesnt fix a long term problem. I think if you can use RADM and still turn out a long term productive app that wont need constant retuning than go for it.

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Stefy Biber
25 May 2015, 10:09 a.m.

Hello,

This is really an informative blog for all the beginners as well as app developers.

I am an iOS app developer, I have tried most of the mobile app development platforms. I have developed more than 50 apps till today with the help of Phonegap, Telerik, Configure.IT etc. They are running successfully on app store.

As per my experience in this field, I recommend developers as well as beginners to use mobile app development platform like Configure.IT, because it provides automatic coding, app preview facility, direct API connect and a lot more features. These things save a lot more development time and provides fast and well designed app in much less time.

Read more: http://www.configure.it/features/mobile-app-configuration/

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Ami Dias
24 Sep 2015, 1:57 p.m.

As an app developer, I know it is so hard to develop mobile apps on different platform. Only one solution is there which offer multi-channel app development. Mostly I prefer MMADP, an easy to use and click-n-deploy platform for building apps in less time.

For more details about this too, visit: http://www.weblineglobal.com/web-mobi-suite/molecular-mobile-app-development-platform-mmadp/

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Lily
29 Jun 2016, 9:57 a.m.

RAD only makes unprofessional developers even more unprofessional. Why would anyone want a rapidly developed app? It makes no sense at all. <a href="http://mashable.com/2013/12/03/build-mobile-apps/#fIVCHqvMgqq1">Here</a> they write, the the two reasons may be time and money. Well, it will definitely save your time, do imagine what a poor result you will get? App development is a complex process that requires a lot of time if you want a good and efficient application that will increase your company’s productivity - look at <a href="http://lifehacker.com/this-graphic-explains-how-much-time-and-money-it-takes-1735164869">this statistics</a>. As for saving money, first off all, developing a quality app is an investment in the future of your company that will definitely pay for itself with time. And there are always options to make it low-cost - <a href="https://magora-systems.com/mobile-application-developers-london/">here</a> they write that if you stick to the basic functionality, it will not cost you much.
By the way, there are many tools for ready-made apps, you can do it without tutorials, it is not difficult. You can read more on <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-App-Without-Coding-Knowledge">WikiHow</a>.

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