Analyst Watch: Get on top of your role in mobile strategy and spending
March 20, 2013 —
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Related Search Term(s): mobile development
Software developers are not usually the driving force behind creating the business case for mobile, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t involved in it. At a minimum, business leaders will look to you to help determine the overall cost of these initiatives. These decisions have consequences, and IT is in the business of revisiting its past choices. It's easy to decide to write a new CRM feature in Java or .NET based on the demands of your existing internal infrastructure, but the mobile technology landscape presents a whole different ballgame.
The sheer number of mobile options makes it impossible to take a technology-first approach. So when a business leader approaches you for justification for mobile spending, or for help in better evaluating a program’s value, be ready to assess many factors, including but not limited to your inventory of mobile development skills, the first few applications you will build, time-to-market constraints, enterprise infrastructure changes, and how all of these factors will coexist in a mobile strategy.
Before beginning your cost assessment and resource planning, you need to make sure that you have a well-defined mobile strategy in place. Without this, you can be virtually certain that you will run short on resources sooner rather than later. To make sure you cover all the bases, consider using what Forrester calls the POST (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) method:
• People: Who will be the primary users of this app?
• Objectives: What are the objectives of this app?
• Strategy: What are the short-term and long-term strategies for this app?
• Technology: Which mobile technology meets the goals of this challenge?
Having a strategy for your next mobile app isn't the same as having a mobile app strategy. Data from Forrester’s Forrsights Software Survey, Q4 2011 showed that increased use of mobile applications is improving the satisfaction of business users. The increase in mobile development creates a vacuum for certain internal skill sets, and increases IT budgets to fund these activities. And mobile changes time-to-market expectations: The historical expectations of 12- to 18-month development cycles have shrunk considerably, to perhaps four to six months for mobile.