Outpacing change: how to stay ahead in the next wave of mobile

By Dan Bailey

Did you know that nearly 10% of the apps in Apple’s App Store won’t work on iPhones running the latest operating system, iOS 11? The iPhone maker recently announced it will shelve support for all 32-bit apps, instead focusing on 64-bit offerings. That decision impacts nearly 200,000 apps and illustrates a prevalent issue affecting businesses today.

The pace of change in mobile is far greater than that of the web. I’d suggest that the kind of advances we see in a decade of web innovation are typically achieved in about three years in the world of mobile.

This leaves the majority of businesses in one of two camps as far as enterprise mobile strategy is concerned. There are organisations that fully embraced mobile early-on and have mature, enterprise-grade offerings in market. Often, these businesses are now struggling to maintain the apps they have – and there’s certainly no time to dedicate to enhancing the experiences they offer. Then there are companies that have only dabbled in mobile, or that are yet to take the plunge – and as each month passes the mountain they must climb looks steeper and steeper as technology advances.

Reduce inefficiencies. Increase savings.  

Customers expect so much more from apps today. They expect voice command. They expect interoperability with other devices around them. And they expect personalisation and contextualisation. Even for those businesses that have embraced mobile for years, keeping up with these shifting expectations and the pace of innovation is a challenge.

Organisations can suffer from siloed and misaligned app development processes that result in high development, deployment and maintenance costs. That, coupled with the lack of time and resources to develop these products further, leaves businesses with a challenge to keep pace with rivals and deliver differentiated mobile experiences. Pretty soon, they find their mobile returns are not even covering their mobile investment.

By offloading the development, deployment and maintenance of apps to a dedicated third party, businesses can reap significant cost savings. One organisation saved as much as $11.8 million over a three-year period thanks to savings associated with avoiding fragmented mobile development, side-stepping management and maintenance and increasing operational productivity. 

Savings are, of course, music to the ears of any business, but for CIOs looking to take charge of digital transformation, benefits come in the form of competitive advantage and enhanced customer experiences. The list of apps that aren’t yet ready for iOS 11 shows how difficult it is for some businesses to stay on top of changing technology. By freeing themselves from the pressure of managing and maintaining a growing portfolio of mobile products and services, businesses and CIOs can work with a third party to devise differentiated and immersive experiences that set them apart – and get apps to market 33% faster. 

Forget the challenge. See the potential. 

For CIOs that are yet to fully roll out their company’s mobile roadmap – or those who are further behind than they would like to be – gaining traction at this stage in the industry’s evolution can feel like an insurmountable challenge. From resourcing design and development talent to dedicating resources to maintenance and support, the cost and complexity can seem too high.

By working with a dedicated third party to design, develop and deploy applications, organisations can supercharge their mobile journey and start delivering value to their employees and customers. And by allowing a third party to use its expertise to manage and maintain these apps, businesses can free significant time and costs and use them on other business-critical elements. What’s more, organisations can build custom apps with the latest functionality baked in, such as voice commands, cognitive chatbots for customer service and location-based contextualisation for offers and recommendations. By working with experts, CIOs can help their company sidestep years of catching up – and get skin in the game.

Whether your business has an established mobile portfolio or is still dipping its toe in the water, working with an expert to overhaul your mobile strategy can drive significant savings and help you carve out a competitive advantage in the battle to provide differentiated experiences on every device. Is your company ready to outpace mobile transformation?

For more information about how to ensure you’re a challenger in the next wave of mobile, read this Forrester report on “The Total Economic Impact of IBM Mobile at Scale”