Over ten years ago, websites were cutting edge. Businesses began to realize that they needed their own Internet presence to remain relevant. Some people termed it the Dot-com Boom, and it eventually led to an age where websites are a given and even individual people have their own pages.
Tech experts are now observing that we have entered another stage called the Post PC Era. Mobile devices are challenging personal computers with over 1.4 million smartphones in use by the end of 2013. This places mobile apps in the position of exponential growth similar to the role of websites in previous decades.
According to a recent report by Information Week’s Andrew Murray, “native custom mobile application development is a top priority for IT.” This means that today’s IT teams face completely new challenges ,and even new job descriptions, as running mobile applications becomes a top priority.
Do Businesses Know?
Despite the obvious mobile revolution, with one in five people around the world operating a smartphone, many companies are still adjusting to the mobile app game. A recent survey of 688 business technology personnel uncovered that 41 percent of the respondents had already created custom mobile apps for their companies. Another 24 percent do not have their own mobile apps yet, but do already have plans to begin development in the next year.
The survey also found that despite the obvious mobile revolution taking place, “only 44 percent [of corporations] recognize the importance of mobile apps and a mere 7 percent have fully implemented a mobile app strategy.”
How Companies Make Their Own Apps
When it comes to creating their own custom applications, most companies choose from “a robust market of third-party” mobile app development experts. Others are able to take advantage of in-house experience. In either case it is essential to remember that having your own app is a process that extends far beyond creation and publishing in an app store. This is where the company’s IT team comes into play for maintenance, testing and updating during the life of the app.
Businesses will also need to choose between platforms for their first apps. Android and iOS rank among the most popular. While Apple took in 73 percent of the target for iPad and iPhone, Android ranked at 78 percent. It also experienced a 15 percent leap for Android tablets at 68 percent which was “the largest jump of any platform in the survey.” Down much lower at 28 percent, Windows Phone surpassed BlackBerry which only culled a weak 10 percent.
Along with platform decisions, companies must also decide between building Web apps and native applications. Web applications are optimized to work on a mobile device and boast “cross platform compatibility.” But they are still dependent on Wi-Fi. Native apps, on the other hand, have their own unique coding which proves a development challenge, but allows for the app to take more advantage of the phone’s features and function on the actual device because it works as a program rather than a website.
With rapid advances in mobile technology, it is clear that mobile apps are the next big thing that is already here. And it is up to savvy companies to take full advantage of the mobile revolution.
Guest author Jessica Socheski is an avid writer and social media fanatic who enjoys researching tech topics. You can connect with her on Twitter.