According to a new report from Forrester, mobile development has gone from being a separate silo to being mainstream. As more and more IT departments will be called upon to create mobile applications, Forrester recommends managers and developers adopt its POST (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) strategy. POST was actually created for marketing and business development professionals, but the company explains how to apply it to mobile application development.
Developing mobile applications used to be an arcane activity pursued by highly specialized developers, but no more. The surge in popularity of Android devices, BlackBerries, and iPhones has application development professionals gearing up to incorporate mobile development into mainstream development processes. The first step in taking mobile development mainstream is defining your strategy. Learn from your peers in consumer product strategy by applying Forrester’s POST method to your mobile development efforts. Begin by understanding what types of mobile users you need to support. Next, determine your objectives, and then build a strategy based on your desired offering and level of corporate commitment to mobile. Once you have completed these three steps, then — and only then — should you choose from among the six mobile development styles at your disposal and the vendors that offer mobile platforms and tools that can aid your efforts.
- Use The POST Method To Get Started, But Keep Your Options Open
WHAT IT MEANS
- Mobile Development Is Crossing The Chasm
- Supplemental Material
- Related Research Documents
The process begins with profiling your target audience. Forrester identifies four types of mobile users:
- Task workers
- Information workers
Each has their own requirements and you need to determine what those are before starting.
Next you must determine what business objective(s) you want to meet and whether the mobile channel is an appropriate means for accomplishing those objectives. Forrester identifies the following innate strengths of mobile and suggests considering whether any of them correspond to your business objectives:
- Acting quickly on time-sensitive information
- Adding location-specific context
- Alerting passive users to take action
- Acquiring new customers
- Reducing traffic in higher-cost interaction channels
Before selecting what technology to use, Forrester suggests asking the following questions:
- How many users do we need to reach?
- What will our mobile application user experience (UX) be?
- How will we deliver and support our mobile application?
- Are on-device hardware capabilities needed?
- Is the number of mobile users predictable?
- What’s the application’s duty cycle, and what is our level of commitment to the app?
Choose Your Development Technology
Finally, you’ll be ready to choose what technology to use to build the application. There are now several options available for mobile development, including:
- Mobile Web technologies
- Java Micro Edition
- Native client development
- Full Web technologies
- Container-based rich Internet applications
- Mobile middleware platforms
Forrester recommends taking a full Web approach if possible.