It’s time for business applications to go mobile. If your line of business apps don’t support smartphones and tablets, you could be missing out.
• People bought 5 billion smartphones last year
• More than half of Google’s searches are on mobile devices
• They drive 56 percent of traffic to the top sites
• And half of email opens are on mobile devices.
We have entered the mobile-first era. Mobile apps make people more productive, support flexible working patterns and let people interact with the rest of the business in the same way they search, chat, email and shop in their personal lives.
So how do you start your journey to mobile app nirvana? Here are a few tips.
1. See how many users are already using mobile devices
Before you go mobile ready, it’s important to assess the demand to see if it’s actually worth moving.
Add Google Analytics (or similar analytics tools) to your web-based apps and you’ll be able to see what proportion of users are already accessing them via a mobile device. You can also do a census of company-owned mobile devices.
If your users simply aren’t able to access services by mobile, you can make an assessment by measuring how many of your employees are accessing other apps, such as email or the company intranet, via their mobile.
If lots of people are already using their mobile, the demand for a mobile-ready version of your apps may be high too.
2. Choose your mobile strategy
If your app is already web-based then you can easily see if it is already mobile-responsive and build a strategy to make it so. If you have a native desktop app you may need to consider adding an API to support an app version or adding a web-based front end. Whatever your strategy, supporting mobile devices is an important trigger for refactoring and modernising your app.
3. Test your mobile readiness
From there, the tool will also give you specific pointers on how to make your application more workable on a mobile device.
4. Prototype your mobile app
For some applications, the small screen size and inaccurate touch screens of smart phones make mobile-ready application websites unwieldy.
In these scenarios, a full-blown mobile app is your answer. But, before you invest in developing that app, you’ll want to create a prototype.
5. Consider Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
For some business applications, running on legacy platforms and infrastructure, going mobile-ready is not so simple. Restrictive, outdated systems can make tweaking applications for mobile use difficult and time consuming. In some cases, they can even make it impossible.
By migrating your applications to a PaaS model, running the latest version of the underlying platforms and software, you can make it far easier to optimise your apps.
At the same time, you’ll gain access to all the benefits the PaaS cloud can bring. If you’re looking for ways to enhance your applications, including making them mobile-ready, contact us.
Written by Paul Greer | Principal Devops Architect, RedPixie | See his LinkedIn Profile