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Mobile Application Development is Like Shampoo

I think I’m going to create a new game.  Remember “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?”  I think it should be renamed “Where in The World is Philippe Winthrop?”  If only I were jesting.  While I was in rainy London last week, I greet you today from sunny Orlando, where I am attending my very first Gartner Symposium/ITxpo.  Having worked for the majority of my career at companies that competed against Gartner, I never got the opportunity to witness firsthand this event….and I must say it is VERY impressive.

While here, I had the opportunity yesterday to present to attendees around my employer’s view on key trends around enterprise mobility and some key things to consider as you build out your enterprise mobility strategy.  While I won’t bore you with all the details, I did want to share with you the final thought of my presentation. Mobile application development is like shampoo.

Your probably saying to yourself, Philippe….you have yet again fallen off your rocker.  Hear me out please.

See, as many of you know, I am an obnoxiously proud father of a beautiful six month old.  The biggest challenge in my life is actually getting to spend time with her due to my hectic travel schedule.  When I am home, one of the simple joys I have is to give her her bath.  It’s a simple thing and doesn’t take long, but Papa likes to do that for his Aviva.

So one day as I was putting away her shampoo, I glanced at the directions…not like you really need directions, but bear with me.  The short version was that it said “Wash…rinse…repeat.”  Is anyone surprised that the first thing that came to mind was mobile application development?  Of course not, because we all know I am obsessed with enterprise mobility.

But hear me out.  Wash…rinse…repeat.  Isn’t that the mobile application lifecycle?  You have to build apps that address business needs.  The thing is, you can’t spend a year building out ONE mobile application.  Furthermore, mobile is not the Ronco world of “Set it and forget it!”  You have to build upon what you have created.  You have to iterate and innovate CONSTANTLY…and by the way, your users have grown accustomed to this model of constant and consistent updates from the public app stores that make the apps less buggy or more feature rich.  So why would this not apply to internal mobile apps?

The thing is, we always talk about how mobile can accelerate business processes or communication between people.  There’s no doubt about that.  Just remember that in order to achieve that accelerated business velocity, internal processes must also be accelerated, and that includes a shrunken time frame between app creation, delivery and updates.


One Comment

  1. Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:49 | Permalink

    The accelerated expectations for mobile app delivery you reference are real, and further add weight to the arguement that enterprises engaging in mobile app development need to take advantage of frameworks that take care of critical and time consuming areas they might not be well versed in such as security…

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