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Mobile app development success: Developers suggest looking to the cloud

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Mobile app development can be a difficult process. In fact, more than 80 percent of these apps are just used once and then deleted. If consumers don’t like your mobile app, you run the risk that they will turn to your competitor. Furthermore, expected productivity gains can never be realized if employees don’t use an app built for a specific purpose.

Mobile has raised the bar in the quality of service that consumers and employees demand from technology. So what’s the secret to developing successful mobile apps? A recent survey by the IBM Center for Applied Insights found that the use of cloud technologies for mobile application development can play a major role.

A prime case for the cloud

The survey of 585 mobile developers and development managers found that only one-third of mobile app development projects are considered successful. According to the survey, two-thirds of all mobile app development initiatives came in over budget, were delivered behind schedule and failed to meet the primary objective.

Mobile application development provides a prime use case for cloud. There’s no waiting for hardware to arrive and no complex setup procedures. Developers simply select the services they need from the cloud and jump right in. As such, it’s not surprising that over half of the successful projects use cloud application development services, while two-thirds report that they assemble applications through the use of cloud APIs.

Keeping production on the right track

When the CIO for the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system wanted to give maintenance engineers and supervisors mobile access to the company’s maintenance reliability information system, he didn’t have months to wait. Using cloud-based integration services and platforms, the team reduced provisioning and development time by over 90 percent. This allowed them to develop the new mobile app in only 15 days, instead of an estimated six months. New features can go live in 45 seconds — a huge win when it comes to meeting user expectations.

Thanks to the flexibility afforded by both cloud and mobile application development platforms, developers on successful projects are 33 percent less likely than others to feel “locked into” a particular platform or technology — an important advantage given the continual changes in mobile software.

Successful development teams are made up of individuals with the right mobile, business and industry expertise, the survey also found. These teams often included at least one developer who had more than five years of related work experience in the mobile development sphere. Additionally, successful developers were found to be those who collaborated closely with the entire mobile ecosystem, including business sponsors, testers, designers and end users. Finally, 37 percent of the successful teams that were surveyed were found to be increasingly likely to use social sentiment surrounding their app in their development process.

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