The article is presented by Vijay Web Solutions India Pvt. Ltd., a fastest growing web and mobile application development company in India.
The advent of smartphones and tablets explosively propelled the use of mobility for users and businesses. And as a result, mobility has become one of the most challenging rupture the CIO technologies. The speed with which mobile technology evolved, the iPhone is 2007 and the iPad in 2010, most of the software and IT sectors of enterprises have yet to extract its full potential. Incidentally, exploring mobility means that all technological waves should be explored. Mobile devices allow you to create new experiences of mobility, exploring algorithms and data (big data) enables you to create more engagement with customers, who naturally already live in a context of sharing and sociability (social platforms) and all provided by a environment that is highly elastic cloud computing. In this context the mobility allows you to create engagement systems (systems of engagement) between customers, business partners and employees. Are systems, which by their nature are very different from today's enterprise systems or systems of records. The systems of engagement can be seen as an addition to the systems of records, which basically operate the transactional environment for business layer.
The crux of engagement systems are the apps. Are becoming the main point of customer contact with the companies. Their adoption has been explosive. It is estimated that by 2016 will be achieved the milestone of 300 billion downloads per year. The secret of their success is that all its complexity is hidden from the users, unlike the current client-server system where the user interacts with a significant part of the internal complexity of the systems.
Today we are experiencing a process of transformation of apps geared exclusively to end-users, which we call first generation, where isolated actions of corporate operating systems, such as calling a taxi or validate traffic conditions, to a second generation, where many of these actions will be integrated into corporate systems. Not that the apps geared to end users will disappear, on the contrary, we will see a lot of innovation, but corporate apps will popularize explosively. In this context the apps start to be viewed not only as individual productivity tools but reach the level of drivers or even be responsible for new business models of companies, creating new services or products. Yes, a smartphone is not just a device to find a taxi, but a high-tech transformational power.
However, this explosive growth demanded by the context of the apps generate an enormous challenge for companies: lack of expertise and training for the development of these new systems of engagement. Concepts like DevOps, architecture-based service APIs, user-centric design experience, based on the evolution of apps MVP (Minimum Viable Product) model are little known by most of the staff development corporations.
This new scenario implies that software architects should look at the apps otherwise, not as appendages to their corporate systems, but as a central part of its strategy to create more modern systems. Become critical components of enterprise systems. Well, first of all, in my opinion, the apps should not be seen as miniature applications or simply a variant of an existing application that runs on a mobile device. Apps are apps, a new type of programs. Thus, mobile app development requires profound changes in current processes of systems development.
A comparison with existing systems shows a very large difference. In the design of current systems, such as ERPs, place the maximum possible functionality. The more features, more complete and more "salable" becomes the system. Clear that the system becomes more complex, with upgrades in lengthy cycles (grouped updates to be provided in package upgrades), raises the cost of maintenance and operation becomes increasingly complex and costly. And often in practice we see the phenomenon of "overcapacity" when the number of features needed to exceed the customers' demands. And these, of course, question the cost of maintenance for features that add little or nothing to your business.
Apps imply simplicity. Not that they are simple in their guts, but the complexity is hidden from users. Now, because the concept embedded in apps, simplicity, can not be applied to corporate systems? In the world of apps instead of adding more features to the system, it creates a new collection of apps, which can work together, but preserving its simplicity. An example of the conceptual difference between the current model ("Old School") and the model of simplicity can be seen by comparing Word and Evernote. And this comparison can be applied to virtually any system.
Another built-in feature in the concept of apps is that they by definition are based on the design "people-centric" process rather than "process-centric". In the "process-centric" focus is the process and does not consider who the user at each moment. For example, an ERP automates a particular process and even if different users with different roles in the execution of the use case, are treated equally. The concept "people-centric" person and its function, or the context in which it is operating the service that counts. For this, of course, is necessary for the app to use your entire technological potential, as geolocation, access to contextual information (date and Social Big) and so on. The "people-centric" process considers where and how of user engagement with the app.
Perhaps the main difference is that in the current case the purpose of the system is defined by the set of features. The more features most users will use, although each of these functions use only. The "people-centric" is the opposite. There is only one purpose for the app and the user uses it within the concept of where and how you intend to use it.
Probably the future of enterprise systems architectures will be based on services offered via APIs and engagement systems gravitating around. An interesting evolution of enterprise systems, based on many of these concepts is the case Fiori SAP. Each user uses a specific app, according to your needs. In the background runs the ERP.
Apps, APIs, DevOps, MVP and "people-centric" likely to be the paradigm of development in the coming years. Anyway, we still have a long way to go, though to be traversed quickly and I think all of us who are involved with architecture and systems development should start (incidentally, as we should) be seeking to create these new business solutions. Yes, the world will be the apps ...