Mobile apps are like valets, expected to serve people whenever and wherever they are, on whatever device they have. They represent the future of how enterprises interact with customers, employees, partners and machines, as we increasingly access the Internet and control our world from the palms of our hands. From a technology perspective, the app revolution is redefining how applications are created, distributed and consumed. It is upending the traditional client-server, browser-centric web model and breaking up monolithic applications. From a business perspective, it is creating a robust apps economy that did not exist five years ago. We are just seeing the beginning of the value that this revolution is ushering in as our enterprises continue to embrace the consumerization of IT.
The Apps Revolution report explores:
- Apps Experience – Engagement and context matter.
- Apps Everywhere – Computers are everywhere and apps run everything.
- Apps DNA – New software choices and architectures redefine development.
- Apps Platforms – Apps platforms simplify development, management and distribution.
- Apps Economy – Apps are the front end to the digital future.
With the arrival of the post-PC era, apps – not infrastructure – are taking the lead. We are all consumers of IT. We value choice, and we expect enterprise technologies to be as good as their consumer counterparts. With the advance of Internet-connected devices, we expect to constantly create, interact with and integrate information from everywhere. The mobile revolution builds on this open exchange of information and is another manifestation of the consumerization of IT.
As everyone jumps to “mobile first” as a mantra, and HTTP as the connection, enterprises must shift their service delivery strategies to wrap and extend traditional applications and, moreover, integrate with external services that have become ubiquitous in the landscape. From news feeds to social media, from Google to enterprise knowledge repositories, and from Salesforce to productivity applications, there are Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for everything. The new disciplines of API management and promotion are becoming critical strategic discussions for businesses. The report examines the rush to APIs, DIY development, context-aware apps and more.
The report advises businesses to capitalize on the apps economy by:
- Seizing upon new markets, such as health cost management, in which personal health data is tied to financial incentives, and connected car services which unify traffic information, call center support, vehicle diagnostics and in-vehicle infotainment systems
- Reshaping customer relationships through closer customer contact, greater point-of-purchase influence and the extension of customer interactions over the lifetime of products
- Creating and supporting application programming interfaces for third-party developers to enable build-on services and data sets for products and services
- Repositioning internal developers as drivers of growth in new and existing markets, and drivers of greater levels of customer intimacy
- Attracting new developers to their ecosystems through events, special funding and open application programming interfaces
- Fostering a do-it-yourself development culture that includes DIY strategy, tools and guidelines, thus leveraging employee talent and turning what was once seen as a “shadow IT” problem into a competitive advantage.