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Grow Your Business Technology

5 Mobile App Myths Stifling Your Business

5 Mobile App Myths Stifling Your Business
Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

Today's consumers are increasingly adopting mobile as their medium of choice for browsing, researching and shopping. Businesses are realizing that they need to be where their customers are, and many companies are making mobile development a top priority to reach those consumers.

"Mobile, and, by extension, mobile development, has become a necessity for many organizations," said Cathal McGloin, CEO of mobile development platform FeedHenry. "But companies continue to think in single apps rather than a long-term, comprehensive mobile strategy. One of the smartest, [most] efficient decisions businesses can make is to recognize the potential for additional mobile projects up front."

Businesses that want to work toward a long-term mobile strategy must create the architecture and frameworks that will support efficient app building, while allowing the business the freedom to create the great user experiences that drive mobile excellence, McGloin said. Companies may know this, but persistent myths about mobile development intimidate many organizations. FeedHenry recently analyzed its client data to identify and debunk five false beliefs about mobile projects. [15 Best Mobile App Makers]

Myth: Business apps take at least six months to develop and deploy.
Truth: Some organizations require anywhere from 10 to 100 apps to serve different business units. If the common belief that an app takes half a year to build and launch is true, the amount of time required to build those apps can be prohibitive to a company's mobile progress. But the right mobile platform can cut this "standard" app development time in half. For developers, the key is to reuse code and backend services where possible in order to speed integration, McGloin said.

Myth: Apps won't be able to access data stored in legacy systems.
Enterprise organizations that have made large investments in systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP) software are hesitant to develop mobile apps that can't seamlessly plug into these existing technologies. A suite of enterprise apps may connect to multiple backend systems and APIs like Sharepoint, Oracle, MySQL and SAP, which may not necessarily be accessible via mobile. This can slow down the development process or make mobile apps unusable. Finding an enterprise-grade MBaaS (mobile backend as a service) solution with an API infrastructure solves these issues and enables mobiles devices to easily access legacy systems. 

Myth: Mobile app developers must keep up with numerous coding languages and frameworks.
Truth:According to Forrester, app developers often employ as many as 10 different coding languages for enterprise mobile app projects (HTML5, JavaScript, Objective C, C#, Sencha Touch, Node.js, etc.). To simplify development, McGloin advised using app platforms with a "bring your own toolkit" approach that allows you to use the coding languages you're most comfortable with.

Myth: Business apps are always data heavy, which places high loads on handsets and backend systems.
Truth: Geeknado reported that 4G smartphones will use 5,114 MB per month in cellular data by 2017, and tablet usage is set to increase to 5,387 MB per month by the same year, pushing cellular and tablet data usage up by 292 percent and 556 percent, respectively, over five years. The best mobile platforms must take large amounts of data from the backend and transmit a small, filtered set of data to the handset to reduce overall data transmission demands. Look for a solution that limits the size of data transferred for each app to less than 1 MB, McGloin said.

Myth: One designated mobile development head can handle company-wide app development.
Truth: This myth assumes that one central figure will successfully oversee the development and deployment of an app. In reality, the average development project requires at least 20 personnel, including business heads, developers, project managers, IT representatives and employee stakeholders. By collaborating and using the same technology standards and requirements, a multi-person mobile team can guide projects across multiple business units without creating new silos.

So why do companies continue to believe these myths? McGloin noted that mobile development can be chaotic for businesses that lack a strong strategy, and trying to keep up with the latest tools and technologies can make the whole process seem much more complicated than it really is. Finding a good cloud-based solution that's right for your business's needs can help you navigate the world of mobile apps more easily.

"There's a lot for companies to wrap their heads around," McGloin told Business News Daily. "Each use case for business apps can vary, resulting in the need for different development languages and toolkits, connectivity to different backend systems and data sources, and support across multiple versions of device operating systems. Today's cloud-based mobile application platforms have emerged to address these challenges and make app development work much less tedious than it appears."

Originally published on Business News Daily

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran Business.com's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.