The mobility ecosystem has evolved rapidly over the last few years. After the launch of the App Store in 2008, there was a rush to develop cool new mobile apps which ranged from the absurd (remember the ‘weird sound’ apps?) to those which genuinely met a consumer need through a mobile solution.
The ecosystem saw a new breed of developers and designers – from engineering-focused large outfits to design-focused smaller teams. Companies and brands were a bit late to jump on the mobility train, but they eventually did. Today, every large enterprise has felt the need for mobility to be at the centre of their business strategy. Several consumer-facing brands too are exploring opportunities in mobile apps to increase consumer engagement.
What do these changes mean for the mobile developer ecosystem? Have expectations from a mobility partner changed? What shape will mobility solutions take in the near future? Herewith some observations:
Gone are the days when developing a mobile app simply meant thrashing out a few designs, developing wireframes or mockups and getting it all coded at a throwaway price. Gone also are the days of companies & brands rushing into developing a mobile app simply because it is cool to have one. Today, a mobility solution calls for deep category analysis from a business and tech perspective, developing a mobile strategy which dovetails into the business strategy, developing an optimal mobile architecture, creating an ideal task flow from a usability perspective, developing wireframes, creating designs and then engineering it all. What’s more, the actual work begins after the app is deployed! Analysing user behaviour, monitoring and analysing download numbers & patterns is a science in itself. Overcoming the challenges faced in app discovery, creating a compelling story about the mobile solution, reaching the story out to potential audience in a compelling manner and creating a buzz in digital media – are key must-have specialities. Companies and brands are better off looking for mobility partners who can cover the entire gamut of providing a bespoke mobility solution – strategy, design, engineering, analytics and marketing.
A one-solution-fits-all approach is unlikely to work in today’s business scenario. Sure, there is always room for niche players and specialists but a mobility solutions partner who is best placed to deliver bespoke client solutions – whatever they might be, holds an edge. A consumer-facing brand may need a mobile game while a niche industrial brand may need a sales solution for internal stakeholders. A mobility solutions partner who proactively studies the client’s business, recommends a custom solution and has the ability to deliver whatever is best will be sought after by corporations. Providing such a solution calls for brand strategists, engineers, usability specialists, designers, data scientists and marketing gurus working together as one team seamlessly, focused on one goal.
Proliferation is upon us and it is everywhere. Devices, screens, platforms, media, information – they all are getting increasingly cluttered. In such a scenario, navigating through to a right mobility solution which cuts through the clutter and delivers value to the end consumer is going to be a challenge. Corporations and brands need a mobility partner who is up to this challenge.
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