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Mobile Apps: Forget Supporting BYOD, Support User Experience

There is nothing better than an extra long weekend…the kind that is built around national holidays that always take place on Thursdays, which means that most people then take (today) Friday off as part of an extra long four day weekend.

This extra pause gives me the opportunity (with some extra turkey comma) to think some more about mobile apps….especially in the context of BYOD (which you know just how much I love).

So in any case…back to the issue at hand.  Building mobile applications that are designed for the BYOD era.  This is a topic that has increasingly come up in conversation for me, with industry pundits telling me how important it is to develop apps that can “support BYOD.

So.  How do I say this in the most diplomatic way possible that won’t offend anyone?  There is NO SUCH THING as building “BYOD apps.”  It’s complete BS – it’s a concept that does not exist and you should not waste one pico-second thinking about it.

So why is the world spending countless hours and dollars convincing you otherwise?  It’s not their fault.

See, the cognoscenti know that the BYOD phenomenon is nothing more than a passing phase and that not everything in the mobile world is going to be about BYOD.  In fact, when people talk about BYOD, I’m pretty sure they don’t even realize that they’re not necessarily talking about BYOD….because as usual, everything becomes about BYOD.

So when people talk about building apps that can “support BYOD” – what do they REALLY mean?

So I am going to generously assume that these “people” actually do know what they are talking about – and that they realize that there is no such thing as “supporting BYOD.”  But yet, that is what a lot of leading vendors talk about with their marketing nonsense.

“Supporting BYOD” means nothing – sorry all you marketing execs – you’re 173% wrong.  There’s no such thing.  However, supporting great user experiences is another thing…and that is the key facet of BYOD….but it’s not BYOD….it’s the Consumerization of IT (CoIT).  CoIT makes perfect sense, because who would NOT want amazing user experiences on their apps…but to say that BYOD is necessarry or that you have to build apps that support BYOD is absolute nonsense.

So, as I have said numerous times before, stop focusing on temporal things such as BYOD that may come and go, and in stead focus on truly transformative things such as CoIT that will have a long term impact on technology and (enterprise) mobility.

One Comment

  1. Posted December 3, 2013 at 14:40 | Permalink

    Great article. And I cannot agree more. There are 2M apps in apps stores and 41 apps on average on a mobile device. Usability and experience are what determines which apps make it and which dont.

    At my company (Crittercism – in full disclosure, we monitor mobile app performance), we did a recent mobile user-expectation survey and found some very interesting results. Here’s an anecdote from the survey: On average, users expect apps to launch in ~ 4 seconds and respond to subsequent interactions in under 2 sec. And if your app does not behave well, customer will just not use it.

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