Mobile development can’t be sluggish

Mobile devices have increased the importance of instant gratification. Whether an app is being designed to streamline a business practice or to improve customer engagement, there can be significant problems if software is not deployed in a prompt manner. While good development takes time, a recent study claims that CIOs are beginning to grow frustrated with the general pace that app development takes.

According to Associations Now contributor Katie Bascuas, research shows that more than 50 percent of CIOs said that average app development, in their experience, was taking between 7 months and a year to complete. Gartner believes that phenomena like this can be attributed to the use of traditional development techniques – many of which are not applicable on the mobile landscape.

“There are several reasons these efforts don’t succeed for mobile applications, even though they’ve worked historically,” said Gartner research vice president Van Baker. “Firstly, mobile apps are a new category for most users and secondly, mobile apps are constrained by the nature of the platform and the size of the screen, so porting the workflow of a mature desktop app is not viable. Finally, the experience associated with mobile devices is significantly different from that of desktop devices, including shorter session lengths and limited presentation, due to screen size constraints that affect how mobile apps need to function.”

Custom software development must be swift in nature without sacrificing on design. While it is generally accepted that this process is constant and on-going, the right skills need to be in place for projects to take off on the first go with as few problems as possible.

Custom software development cannot stall
Nothing can disrupt the flow of business like downtime. Whether an organization is waiting around for a program to launch or just to be tweaked and patched, every moment that software is not in place can be a significant detriment to success. This can be especially frustrating to deal with when an app has gone live but hits a wall early in its adoption.

According to Gartner, focusing on user experience right off the bat is a great way to ensure that the app will at least function as promised even if issues arise later.

“Most complaints about mobile apps have to do with a poor user experience,” Gartner stated in a release. “This can be due to poor user interface (UI) design, poor application workflow or poor responsiveness. The development team needs to focus on designing the optimal UI as a starting point for mobile AD, and developers need to combine this with a workflow that represents how users actually work.”

Much of this will come from understanding how the app is going to be used. This is about more than just identifying the general purpose of the software in question – specific situations and common problems will have to be considered, as well.

Instant gratification puts pressure on deployment, success
Because people are so used to content on demand, professionals and customers alike have high expectations for the apps that they use. This is especially true in regard to how fast custom software solutions can be deployed.

“The rapid pace of change in the mobile market is putting pressure on development and operations teams to adopt rapid development and deployment practices that constantly iterate their mobile applications as expectations change,” Gartner stated.

Custom mobile app development has to have some sense of urgency. The disparities that exist between companies with and without their own smartphone software are increasing every day. It will be important to invest in the kind of practices and services that will deploy effective applications in a prompt manner.

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Preparation for wearable tech must occur in enterprises

The next wave of mobile devices is already starting to arrive. Wearable technology has become a hot topic, with many new machines already appearing in various situations – both personal and professional. According to a recent study by Juniper Research, shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach 130 million by 2018.

“The report notes that this change in adoption levels can be attributable to heightened consumer awareness of wearable technology and new product launches,” Juniper stated in a release. “It also observes that with the emergence of major players and other key stakeholders, there is a much more focused approach towards ‘wearable computing.'”

Consumer devices have a habit of finding their way into the workplace, and wearables are not going to be an exception. As a greater number of mobile tools are adopted and enter office spaces, it will be important for businesses to ensure that they are prepared to handle usage of things like smartwatches and Google Glass-style headsets.

Swell in consumer attention likely to push devices into workplaces
Like smartphones before them, wearables are predicted to be incredibly popular. People seem to be getting accustomed to – and interested in – the idea of owning a device like this and using it to complete different tasks. Mobile machines have taught a great deal of users that there are vast possibilities for personal improvement and professional productivity. Perhaps this is one of the reasons behind Gartner’s recent discovery about wearable adoption in 2015 – 50 percent of people that are interested in obtaining a smart wristband will instead opt for a smartwatch, which possesses greater levels of functionality.

“Smartwatches having retail prices of $149 or more will typically have the capability to track activity and have accelerometers and gyroscopes similar to their smart wristband cousins,” said Gartner research director Angela McIntyre. “The smartwatches differ from smart wristbands in that smartwatches need to display the time and have a user interface oriented around communication.”

Gartner is not the only organization to discover trends of this nature. In addition to the Juniper report, Futuresource Consulting predicts that global wearable tech shipments will reach 52 million by 2015, according to Wareable contributor Paul Lamkin. This study believes that the gift giving of the 2014 holiday season is likely to produce a great deal of consumer wearable adoptions. With this in mind, 2015 is shaping up to be an interesting year for enterprise IT.

Don’t just allow – embrace
There is a big difference between permitting something and officially bringing it into the fold. Workplace mobility has always struggled with this distinction. Once smartphones began creeping into enterprises, there were generally two reactions – “no way” and “do whatever.” But both of these mentalities carry serious problems. While it’s true that a number of professionals have become especially skilled at using and maintaining their mobile devices, they don’t always come from tech backgrounds.

As such, there are countless cases of users who can make their way through settings just fine but are not as skilled in identifying and using best practices. Pushing consumer devices out of the office isn’t possible – workers are always going to be able to work around any sort of restrictions put in place by IT and download apps that may not be secure enough for their jobs. But allowing “bring your own device” to occur without monitoring or guidance can be just as troublesome, because it still doesn’t guarantee cautious use.

It will be important for tech leaders within any organization to take a look at common wearable devices and ponder how they might be used with company data. What daily situations can somehow be streamlined through the use of a smartwatch or glasses? It might help to take a poll of the office about wearables – non-tech workers could possibly have some outside insight not readily in view from the IT department.

The next step will be to identify software that will be best for everyone involved. It has to be functional without sacrificing on security, and chances are that kind of combination won’t be available for free in the consumer app stores. Enterprises that are serious about wearables and enabling the strengths of their employees will likely have to invest in custom mobile app development. The only way to ensure that things work as expected while still meeting the need for data loss prevention in the business.

Custom software development is essential
Apps in the enterprise are no longer just a perk – they are critical to daily operations. The modern professional is able to handle their duties from an increasing number of places through a shrinking variety of devices. In order to best support them without endangering the well-being of the company, enterprises will need to find a way to obtain custom software solutions. This will be a result of seeking talented new staffers or else outsourcing the job to a qualified design company.

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Mobile interactions essential for modern customer engagement

A growing portion of the world’s population is going mobile. There is an increasing number of mobile devices used by consumers. In many instances, people will own and operate more than one at a time. For businesses, this is exciting news. There has never been a content delivery platform like the smartphone, which promises captive attention for a vast majority of any given day.

According to Forbes contributor Melanie Haselmayr, studies have shown that “the average American spends more than two hours a day on his or her mobile device.”

“While probably only a handful of applications make up the bulk of this total usage, it doesn’t change the fact that each user has to unlock, scroll and scan their device for the apps they’re looking for,” Haselmayr wrote. “Being ‘in the way’ can be an advantage to your company, as our mind unconsciously does record every image and text (or well-designed app icon!) it comes across – even if it happens unnoticed.”

Mobile devices are in constant use. This is a truth that enterprises need to begin accepting and capitalizing on in order to keep up with their competition. Regardless of what strategies are put into place, there is one thing that must be kept in mind – custom mobile app development will play a prominent role in success.

Mobile transactions encourage increase in app usage
The thing about smartphones that has made them so popular relates to the convenience that they enable. People are able to perform an increasing amount of tasks from their touchscreen companions. According to ITProPortal contributor Jamie Hinks, the most recent Ericsson Mobility Report revealed that monthly smartphone data usage is expected to reach 17 exabytes in 2020. This signifies an increase from 2.1 exabytes a month for 2014.

“On a per user basis it’s expected that the average subscriber will jump from using an average of 900MB per month in 2014 to 3.5GB per month by 2020 and markets in Western Europe and North America are at the forefront of the change,” Hinks wrote.

One online activity that is absolutely driving this increase is mobile shopping. The rise of e-commerce has given way to m​-commerce, where the ability to make purchases through a mobile client is greatly valued by consumers. This holiday season, specifically, is expected to be a big year for m​-commerce. TMCnet contributor Stefania Viscusi said that recent studies have noticed a 70 percent increase in interest regarding mobile shopping apps in relation to last year.

Some organizations stick with mobile websites for this kind of initiative. This strategy, however, does not embrace the full functionality of the smartphone as a device. Some retailers have already found success, for example, using location-based coupon incentives. Web pages tend to only be effective for conveying information rather than truly engaging a target audience.

“With a mobile device and just a browser, shoppers can look up information about products on the stores shelves, read reviews and even see if a competitor is selling it for a better price before they put it in their shopping carriages,” Viscusi wrote. “For the more savvy shoppers, there are also a plethora of mobile shopping apps out there that help find better prices, and even locate further discounts, like coupons to make sure you’re getting the absolute best deal possible.”

The importance of custom software solutions
It is true that there are multiple ways to connect with customers through a mobile device – some more effective than others. Websites designed for smartphone browser apps are generally not direct enough to really connect with a user.

There is a formality and feeling of direct purpose that comes with apps, whereas websites can be easily navigated away from or cluttered with ads. On top of it all, to get to the page of choice, someone is probably going to have to type in the URL on that little touchscreen keyboard. These are all things that keep the consumer from interacting with a brand that values their business.

Software-defined environments are much more suitable for the direct connections that organizations need with their audiences. There are certain aspects of smartphone technology that are not accessible through browsers.

“Apps serve many functions: they can provide general info, prices, booking forms, search features, user accounts, messengers, news feeds and much more,” Haselmayr wrote. “One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you’d like to provide to your customers – including special sales and promotions – is right at their fingertips. Through push notifications you’re getting even closer to a direct interaction, and can easily remind customers about your products and services whenever it makes sense.”

This is why companies need to invest in custom software development for their mobile engagement initiatives. There is too great an opportunity for interaction to be passed up. Mobile, as a channel, is here to stay, and keeping up to date in this regard will increase the likelihood of success.

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Workplace mobility must be a priority

The modern employee is much different than the professional of 10 years ago. Smartphones have effectively changed global culture, showing people that mobile devices are capable of helping to solve complex problems. People who leverage these tools in their private lives are generally inclined to bring them into the workplace. This development has been met with mixed reactions. Some managers and IT pros believe that lack of regulation is a disaster waiting to happen. But others see significant potential – and success – everywhere around them. This is heavily dependent, however, on challenging existing attitudes and updating tech policies in the workplace.

Thankfully, more organizations are starting to realize that change is good. It doesn’t make sense to hang onto strategies that were developed at a different point in the evolution of personal technology. Now that common skills and the availability of resources have improved, enterprises are pushing to get their staffers supported effectively on their mobile devices.

“It is clear that investing in mobility can bring improvements to the enterprise when it comes to both efficiency and lower operational costs, via access to relevant information and action at the right time and place,” wrote Gulf News contributor Rodrigo Castello. “Empowered by insight and the tools to accomplish more, employees are able to make better and faster decisions that can positively impact the company.”

Enterprise mobility is heavily reliant on one thing: Custom software development. The applications that work for some companies will not always be the right choice for their peers. As such, it will be important to have programs that account for a organization’s individuality as well as its goals.

Common consumer applications lack effective security
One of the biggest reasons for custom application use comes in the form of data loss prevention. There is a staggering number of data breaches that have occurred within the last decade. According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, there are 4,447 instances that have been made public since 2005. These incidents have compromised a combined 931,357,921 records across sectors like finance, healthcare and government – among others.

These are the figures that businesses should keep in mind when looking at their mobile initiatives. One of the biggest causes of data breaches is the use of poorly or maliciously designed applications. This kind of software tends to make its way into offices with ease, flying under the radar and remaining inconspicuous until something devastating occurs.

“Bring your own device, or BYOD, is already a reality in most businesses,” stated ZDNet on its website. “Employees report higher productivity and higher morale when they can use one device for work and personal activities. The most innovative companies are leveraging mobility to win new business, but they’re also increasing their vulnerability to data loss and cyber attack.”

Custom software development can help to prevent these issues from happening. By being a part of the design process, organizations can review what is being done to ensure security without sacrificing on functionality. There are few ready-made solutions that can boast this kind of perk.

Acknowledgement of risks helps prevent failure
Part of the reason that enterprise mobility programs tend to fail is because they ignore the elephants in the room. Yes, there are weak points in smartphones and software, but they can be addressed and dealt with so long as everyone is honest about their existence.

Accepting this truth will lead companies to one conclusion: Custom software solutions are the best way to enable workplace mobility. Changes in technology and public perceptions have irreversibly brought mobile technology into the workplace. The key to success will be coming up with effective ways to satisfy security and functionality needs at the same time.

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Apps revolutionizing healthcare

Much of the recent conversation surrounding healthcare innovation has been in regard to wearable technology. The idea of fitness bands and smartwatches being able to track vitals and improve overall health is starting to become a popular one indeed, with many organizations already looking into how these tools can help customers and employees alike.

But mobile technology has so much more to offer healthcare than just keeping track of heart rates. In fact, there are a number of different instances where applications are being explored as a way to detect and treat various illnesses and conditions. This kind of initiative signifies great potential for mobile devices, and implies that they will play a vital role in patient/physician relationships moving forward.

Before a healthcare organization decides to pursue these sorts of initiatives, however, it will be important to recognize that custom software solutions will be critical to possess. Companies that expect to have a strong relationship with their clientele must have dedicated apps that they oversee the development of.

Selfies can help detect skin cancer
There have been countless instances where a spot on someone’s skin has caused a moment of panic. Many people will end up visiting the doctor should they find themselves in this kind of situation. But some inventive individuals have taken to software and smartphone cameras in order to address possible cases of skin cancer. The app, called SkinVision, “claims to assist in the early detection of melanoma,” according to Medical News Today contributor Honor Whiteman.

“SkinVision uses a mathematical theory called ‘fractal geometry’ to analyze photos of skin lesions and moles taken by the user,” Whiteman wrote. “According to the manufacturers, SkinVision is the first app to use this theory for early melanoma detection.”

This sort of thinking can be extended to other areas of healthcare besides cancer prevention. Think you might have poison ivy or your kid has caught chicken pox? The idea of an app being able to provide some fast answers – or a video connection with a trained physician – is incredibly appealing to many doctors and patients alike.

Psychiatry becoming enabled by mobile tech
It’s not just physical ailments that are being benefited by smartphone apps. According to WIRED contributor Davey Alba, researchers are experimenting with a piece of mobile software that can help to treat individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. One individual they are working with uses the Android-based program, known as Priori, to constantly record and monitor his speech for patterns that may signal an impending psychotic episode. Alba said that this app may possibly be able to actively alert the user and their doctor of these instances down the line.

“Priori is one of many efforts to address mental health through smartphone apps,” wrote Alba. “Tools gestating within startups, academic institutions, and research clinics aim to help people manage everything from severe depression to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Through the discreet and continuous recording of social and physical behavior, these apps can detect changes in mental well-being, deliver micro-interventions when and where needed, and give patients a new awareness of their own illnesses. In the long run, they may even diminish the stigma attached to mental health disorders.”

Custom apps will play valuable role in healthcare
The idea of embracing mobile technology doesn’t mean just saying “yes” to software and devices of this nature in an organization. There has to be a purposeful approach to these initiatives in order to achieve individualized success. Increasingly, it is being accepted that one of the most important steps in this regard is to pursue custom software development for mobile applications.

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App usage dominates over mobile Web

Despite the fact that everyone who owns a smartphone uses apps, there always seems to be some sort of gloom and doom regarding the future of mobile software. There have been some predictions as of late that glean the death of the app as something that’s both inevitable and rapidly approaching. But according to ITProPortal contributor Barclay Ballard, recent research shows otherwise.

Not only is app usage unlikely to dwindle anytime soon, but it is in large part replacing the need for the mobile Web. Being able to surf the Internet from one’s phone is definitely a perk, but the experience is less immersive overall when working to complete a specific task. This is true of everything from business-specific programs to social network portals.

Organizations need to start investing in custom software development for both its employees and customers. The fact of the matter is that people use apps in their personal and professional lives alike, making them effective tools regardless of who needs to be engaged.

Apps reshaping Internet access
Rather than going to a website for information or services these days, an increasing number of people are using dedicated software to handle their daily tasks.

“The Web – that thin veneer of human-readable design on top of the machine babble that constitutes the Internet – is dying,” said Wall Street Journal contributor Christopher Mims. “And the way it’s dying has farther-reaching implications than almost anything else in technology today.”

Mims is referring to the shift to applications as the primary gateway to the Web. Having a mobile presence is more important than simply having an online presence. Websites are difficult to navigate on a smaller screen. The focused, purposeful nature of apps makes them a much more effective option for this reason.

Apps are the ultimate solution
Software is a powerful thing. It can be used to complete an infinite number of tasks, which is probably why so many people use apps on their mobile devices. More businesses are recognizing this truth every day and investing in custom software solutions for both their staffers and their customers. The level of engagement that these programs can provide will ultimately help the companies that they are deployed for.

“Smartphones are increasingly the first port of call for consumers, meaning that the success or failure of a business may rest on the quality of its app,” stated Ballard.

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Altering the user experience with apps

Applications are a no-brainer in today’s business climate. According to recent Forrester report, there is an increasing realization that mobile software is popular – but only if it effectively augments the reality of the user in some new way. Fortune contributor Heather Clancy has a few specific examples that she always considers “when it comes to innovation” of this kind.

“Delta Air Lines, which is replacing all inflight paper manuals with Microsoft mobile devices to transform customer service,” Clancy wrote. “Starbucks, which is adding an order-ahead option to an app that already handles 7 million transactions weekly; and Walmart, which gives customers using its mobile app a discount if they find a lower price at a competitor’s store.”

This is what’s meant by “augmenting the user experience” – people need a reason to download and use new software. Apps have to offer, in a sense, a solution that has never been considered by the target audience before. The example of Starbucks offering an “order ahead” feature is especially applicable here – very few people would think to ask for this kind of functionality unless one of their favorite businesses was already doing it.

App usage among consumers is on the rise. It will be important to invest in effective, innovative, custom software development in order to stay ahead.

Mobile software a modern enterprise essential
People have two means of connecting with information and services on their mobile devices: apps and the Internet. But while mobile browsers still have their place in some instances, more people prefer to have a software-defined experience with a brand. According to an infographic created by Forbes, 86 percent of time spent on smartphones and tablets in 2014 was done so in specific applications rather than surfing the Web.

This is why Forbes contributor Niall McCarthy believes that “we’re living in a world of apps.”

“[Mobile applications have] become so ubiquitous in our everyday lives that we rarely pause to look at the impressive numbers behind them,” McCarthy wrote. “In 2014, app downloads are expected to top 179 billion. By 2017, this is going to rise to over almost 270 billion.”

The need for custom solutions
While it’s true that applications can be purchased, it’s generally only advisable to do so as a consumer. Businesses who must create new immersive experiences for their customers must build their own – or else outsource the development of – custom software solutions.

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Custom software is the key to success

It should come as no surprise that many companies are putting employee smartphones at the center of their attention. The idea that countless professionals are carrying these powerful mobile devices with them at all times should be an appealing one to enterprises everywhere. Workers are skilled in their use of these tools and actually prefer using them to desktop computers in many instances.

“Employees not only are more mobile than in the past, which makes smartphone use a natural move,” wrote TMCnet contributor Mae Kowalke. “Employees also are finding that they can get more work done when using the new smartphones they’re sporting in their pockets, phones that not only are powerful and modern but also better known by employees because they use them every day at home.”

This is why more organizations are looking into how they can leverage these devices for the good of the company. Regardless of the specific uses, there is one constant across all instances – software is going to be critical. But rather than finding a ready-made solution for sale, it will instead be important to seek out custom software development. This is something that businesses are increasingly understanding when constructing their mobile initiatives.

Standing out from the crowd
Every company is different. Even if they are direct competitors, the way that organizations are run internally can drastically vary. Just blindly selecting an application that is freely available in a consumer app store – or letting staffers choose their own solutions – won’t be of much use in the long run. In addition to the absence of a common interface amongst employees, these programs are often lacking in ways that are not readily noticeable to the untrained eye. According to Forbes contributor Sumit Mehra, this is why companies must have a hand in the development of software solutions that will be used in their offices.

“Serious mobile apps require a strong conceptual foundation, good planning, an excellent ecosystem and top-notch talent in both the design and engineering phases,” Mehra wrote. “Scrimp on any of these elements and you risk the value and ROI of your finished product.”

Now that enough time has accrued in which a number of successes and failures can be studied and learned from, more organizations are realizing that they need custom mobile app development. This is true of both in-house and outsourced projects.

Custom development on the rise
According to ZDNet contributor Natalie Gagliordi, recent research points to growth in custom software solutions among businesses. A report by Good Technology found that custom apps are the most commonly-adopted business programs. This kind of development is growing, and this increase can be attributed to the growing realization that mobility needs to come first on the modern enterprise landscape.

But according to Mehra, it is also important to realize that these tools do not come easily. They take serious investments of time, money and consideration in order to be of any worth.

“Remember, mobile apps are no longer simply about quaint diversions and nice-to-have gadgets,” Mehra stated. “They’re serious products that happen to live on the most important innovation to come along in decades: our mobile devices. Everything lives on our smartphones and tablets today – and it takes a lot to build an app that owns the space in its category. Keep this important truth in mind, and you’ll have a business asset that proves its profitability every single day.”

Recognizing these truths is essential to success. Employees must be supported in their mobile needs, and effectively accomplishing this will mean custom software development.

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Expected surge in holiday mobile shopping indicative of larger trends

The time surrounding Thanksgiving has become a big deal for retailers. Black Friday has almost become a holiday in and of itself, where shoppers appear in droves for exclusive deals and savings. Black Friday presents a very limited window of opportunity for customers and stores alike, and as such, it has been known to cause pandemonium amongst full-grown adults.

This mayhem has led some people to skip the stores altogether. Instead, those who opt out of the physical Black Friday experience keep their eyes open for online deals through their favorite e-retailers. This has even led to the creation of Cyber Monday – Black Friday’s online cousin. Shopping over the Internet has never been easier or more common. But as a greater number of people prefer the use of their mobile devices over desktop computers to handle tasks like this, another shift in retail is coming.

According to ZDNet contributor Rachel King, two companies – IBM and Adobe – are making significant predictions regarding the rise of mobile as the preferred method of holiday shopping. King wrote that the numbers don’t quite line up exactly, but the trends are clearly in sync with one another.

“Online shopping rates are showing no signs of slowing down and mobile devices are going to be employed by consumers more than ever before,” King stated. “And, perhaps on more of a depressing note, Thanksgiving itself is going to be more about tuning into flash sales than football games and family meals as the fourth Thursday of November is projected to rival Cyber Monday (rather than Black Friday) in higher traffic and sales.”

While there is some significant economic takeaway from these developments, they also tell us a lot about how mobile devices define modern life. Smartphones are becoming the preferred tool for handling basic, everyday tasks like shopping or checking social media. According to CBS News contributor Amanda Schupak, a recent Nielsen report found that American mobile users spend almost two days worth of time a month invested in their applications. This is something that companies should be picking up on and taking advantage of, and the best way to do so is to invest in custom software development. Organizations that rely heavily on customer engagement efforts have to create mobile software that is appealing to use – regardless of what that means in a given context.

Simplify the equation
Part of the reason that more companies are lagging behind in mobility is because they don’t understand how to embrace it. They know that an app has to be built, but what will it do? The simple answer is “improve the user experience,” but that’s a bit vague.

To start, look at why people use phones. Generally, time spent on a mobile device can be chalked up into two categories – accomplishing a task and killing time. Think about why customers come to a business. How can an app help to streamline interactions? Many online retailers, for example, built software-defined versions of their stores that help them garner the most amount of attention from their patrons. Websites rarely translate well in mobile browsers, and they offer many opportunities to navigate away. This can result in lost sales.

But this is just one example of leveraging the customer-facing app appropriately. Sometimes it’s not about what you can buy through the app, but what can be purchased for the app itself. Any organization dealing in media, for instance, will want to have an interface where consumers can shop and store different offerings. According to TMCnet contributor Tara Seals, the Nielsen report found that people want to pay for and download things like movies, music and books directly to their devices.

Some software, however, doesn’t really need a point at all. Mashable contributor Karissa Bell believes that “dumb apps” are some of the most effective at engaging users. Even if there is no real opportunity for monetization within the program itself, just being able to hold someone’s attention successfully can be payoff enough in terms of improving brand awareness.

“By being a platform what you’re really saying is it can garner hundreds of millions of hours of people’s attention,” said venture capitalist John Frankel to Bell. “The cost of everything is dropping to zero… the one scarce commodity that exists is human attention and that is what these companies are trying to garner.”

Engagement has to be thought out
This upcoming holiday season has a lot to say about common mobile habits. With a strong likelihood of smartphone-based shopping increasing significantly in the face of in-store Black Friday madness, it is clear that people will favor the route enabled by mobility. In this way, making an application that improves the customer and user experience in some way is kind of a no-brainer. But that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy fix or an automatic win. Strategy is going to be an essential aspect of success in these endeavors.

It would be nice if there was a pre-packaged answer to every issue an enterprise might run into along its journey. This is not the case, however. Every business is different and even if two of them are working toward a common goal, they will likely arrive there via different avenues. This is why custom software solutions are so imperative to modern success. Apps have to be designed not only with customers in mind, but also the nuances of the businesses leveraging them.

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Rogue apps curb user experience

There is something to be said about uniformity in the workplace. While enterprises do need to encourage individual thinking to foster innovation, the kinds of tools that are used to get there often work better when they’re in sync. Even if everyone in the office has an iPhone, for example, they might not all be using the same applications to complete identical tasks. This can create a disjointed experience that does favors for no one – in terms of UX and security, especially.

According to The Times of India, recent studies show that 40 percent of mobile apps are not suitable to handle data. This figure only includes unintended breaches and does not factor in malware bundles – which increases the overall likelihood of experiencing a leak. But with so much risk, how do businesses enable mobility?

The issue here is not that apps can’t be trusted, but that they are vulnerable when designed incorrectly. This is true both in terms of their security and their overall functionality. The only way to ensure that applications run the way that they’re supposed to is to invest in custom software development.

Deflecting rogue IT operations
If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that it’s impossible to remove mobile devices from the workplace. Short of a TSA-style body scan, there’s not much in the way of prevention and even less guarantee that these devices will remain “off” during business hours.

According to TMCnet contributor Jim Haviland, the biggest concern in this area used to be malicious programs. Now it’s improper design.

“Today, the primary danger from the mobile enterprise standpoint comes from what apps do with the information they can access,” Haviland wrote. “The threat doesn’t necessarily arise from malicious intent on the part of the app developer. All device designers and app developers struggle with balancing convenience and security.”

But even if workers have all somehow managed to select “safe” applications, there is still an issue of collaboration. Modern employees are increasingly working remotely. Even when they’re in close proximity to one another, there is still a strong likelihood that they are somehow using their devices to accomplish a task. How effective can colleagues work together if they’re using siloed software that lacks interoperability?

By providing staffers with an approved, singular program, companies can make sure that mobile endeavors are as efficient and safe to use as possible. But just picking one out of the App Store isn’t going to cut it. Businesses have to have custom software solutions in order to properly embrace mobility.

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