A Design Concept for all Business Critical Mobile Apps

400 x 400 Phone SketchMany moons ago when we were still building salesforce.com mobile apps on an ad-hoc basis, with ever changing technology, we started to see a pattern in what we were being asked for (in terms of the app and its performance) against what was actually needed.

The general requirements stated everything about the application logic and the user interface. This really boiled down to what the app should do and what it should look like. Fair enough and makes sense when coming from a desktop or browser based application.

But as we are seeing mobile is a very different beast. There is so much more outside of the developer’s and organisation’s control which is often not even considered, due to either being unknown, or just something that had to be accepted so best not discussed.

Where this always falls down is when the app is deployed. For starters the actual pain of deployment. Mobile means just that. These people we want to deploy to are literally all over the place. They are often running different devices from different manufacturers and different mobile operating systems. And if they are not today they maybe tomorrow. That lack of control is creeping in.

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Mobile Transformation is a Journey not an App

placeit (1)Everyone gets Mobile. Individuals are Mobile. Enterprises know they need to ‘go’ mobile. Customers are Mobile. Partners are Mobile. So we’re all going Mobile.

And what is the first thought on how to go about this? We need a Mobile App.

I mean it’s obvious, right?

And of course the answer is yes. And no.

Yes, if we think of an App as a container. A container to deliver our processes, data and functionality to our employees, our customers, our partners etc.

However we need to think about value. And value is a moving and sometimes unknown target. Opportunities, markets, technology, products, services, everything is on the move for better or for worse, and at what a pace. An App, a single purpose non changing app, is not going to cut it here.

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Hello world, indeed.

JustinFive years ago I made a decision that to win (read survive!) the company I was directing had to standardise on a technology platform. The hands down winner was salesforce.com. They were just transitioning from a SaaS provider to a PaaS provider and it was just what I, and the company, had been looking for.

I believe the majority of people still think of salesforce as an SFA company but they are so much more. With the recent Dreamforce 2013 carnival it would seem that they too are proud to finally be seen as such.

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