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  • 8/12/2019 Forester - Future of Mobile App Development


    Forrester Research, Inc., 60 Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140 USATel: +1 617.613.6000 | Fax: +1 617.613.5000 |

    The Future Of MobileApplication Development

    by Jeffrey S. Hammond and Julie A. Ask, January 17, 2013

    FOR: Application


    & Delivery



    Mobile Apps Are A Part Of Larger Modern Applications

    A mobile app strategy is not suffi cient i you want to be successul in your uture

    mobile development efforts. You need to think o mobile apps as one componento a larger, modern, omnichannel application architecture and structure your

    development strategy accordingly.

    Context Is The Future Of Mobile Development

    Mobile context -- the sum total o what your customer has told you and experiences

    at their moment o mobile engagement -- is the uture o mobile development.

    As development shops increasingly collect context rom webs o devices, theyll

    find opportunities to create superior customer experiences that add value to their

    companies bottom lines.

    Companies Must Lower Their Cost Of Software Innovation To Survive

    As companies target more devices and platorms when building modern

    applications, client-side development costs will increase. At the same time, they will

    need to deploy releases aster than ever. Te only way to survive this Catch-22 is to

    lower the cost o testing new ideas and make it quicker and cheaper to separate the

    good ideas rom the bad.

  • 8/12/2019 Forester - Future of Mobile App Development


    2013, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available

    resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester , Technographics, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar,

    and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. To

    purchase reprints of this document, please email For additional information, go to



    With more than 1 billion smartphones worldwide, and tablets numbering in the hundreds o millions, the

    scope o the mobile revolution rivals that o the move rom monolithic systems to client/server computing

    in the 1990s. As in that period, were now seeing massive changes to application architecture as companies

    modernize the way they build applications. Modern applications require multichannel clients, elastic

    inrastructure, and elastic licensing; theyre composed o multiple service endpoints that are provisioned

    by developers with direct customer eedback on their convenience. Tis report, which is the vision report

    o the mobile app development playbook or application development and delivery (AD&D) proessionals,

    ocuses on the changes application developers need to understand i they want to build modern

    applications that deliver contextual customer experiences. It also looks at how modern applications willevolve over the next ew years and what development teams should prepare or now.

    Table Of Contents

    The Mobile App Revolution Transcends

    Mobile Devices

    Technology Innovations Will Accelerate

    Contextual Computing


    Ready Your Team To Build ModernApplications, Not Mobile Apps


    The Biggest Change In Development In A

    Generation Is Here

    Notes & Resources

    Forrester interviewed multiple vendor and

    user companies over the course of 2012.

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    November 7, 2012

    Dont Move Your Apps To The Cloud

    November 5, 2012

    The Future Of Mobile eBusiness Is Context

    May 1, 2012

    Embracing The Open Web: Web

    Technologies You Need To Engage Your

    Customers, And Much More

    January 24, 2012

    The Future Of Mobile Application DevelopmentVision: The Mobile App Development Playbook

    by Jeffrey S. Hammondand Julie A. Ask

    with Phil Murphy, Michael Facemire, and Shannon Coyne





    JANUARY 17, 2013
  • 8/12/2019 Forester - Future of Mobile App Development



    The Future Of Mobile Application Development 2

    2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited January 17, 2013


    Even the most casual observer would agree that mobile apps are a big part o the uture o

    application development and delivery. With more than 1 billion smartphones worldwide, the mobile

    revolution rivals the move to client/server computing in the 1990s and the Internet revolution in

    the previous decade. But the uture o mobile app development is more than just adapting to smaller

    screens, different programming languages, and new operating systems. Mobile app development

    is part o a larger structural change in the way we build applications. Were entering a new age o

    application development that creates modern, compelling systems o engagement and links them

    with systems o record and systems o operation (see Figure 1).

    Figure 1Modern Applications Are Systems O Systems

    Source: Forrester Research, Inc.89181

    Systems ofengagement

    Systems ofoperation

    Systems ofrecord

    Mobile phones




    Controls(e.g., Nest)







    Carrier networks


    App servers




    Industrial equipment

    Mobile Apps Are The Vanguard Of A New Wave Of Software InnovationLinus Pauling said it best: Te best way to have a good idea is to have lots o ideas.1But it costs

    money and time to commercialize an idea, whether its a chemical compound, a new business

    process, or a new sofware application. In act, one could argue that the entire discipline o sofware

    development is about capturing ideas, codiying them in ones and zeroes, and automating them. I

    thats the case, then there should be a correlation between the cost o sofware development and

    the cost o business innovation. I the cost o sofware development declines, this should enable

  • 8/12/2019 Forester - Future of Mobile App Development



    The Future Of Mobile Application Development 3

    2013, Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited January 17, 2013

    companies to vet more ideas, which should result in more good ideas that ultimately create value

    or customers and wealth or investors. In act, thats whats begun to happen over the past decade

    sofware is figuratively eating the world.2

    The Modern Approach Fosters Open, Elastic, Omnichannel Applications

    Whether its Facebook, Google, Netflix,, GitHub, or Instagram, small groups o

    developers are creating new businesses in record time. I you dig beneath the business models

    and examine the sofware architectures that drive these businesses, you can discern a number o

    common traits that define the modern application inrastructures that these firms deploy to their

    competitive advantage. Modern application development processes mean that developers introduce

    changes; they:

    Go beyond mobile and multichannel to omnichannel.Simply operating in multiple channelsis no longer enough; the sofware services and applications that these companies create are

    omnichannel that is, they work everywhere. ake Netflix; it works on tablets, mobile devices,

    Vs, laptops, and game consoles. A Facebook post that one person uploaded rom an iPhone

    can be viewed by other users on an Android tablet or in a Windows XP browser. People now

    expect omniclient interactions; theyre the new normal. Tis is why you dont need a mobile

    app development strategy per se you need an omnichannel client development strategy. Your

    first step should be to deliver a consistent (although not necessarily identical) brand experience

    across allo the channels your customers use.

    Venture beyond fixed on-premises hardware to elastic inrastructures.Beore the public

    cloud, developers had to estimate how much inrastructure their applications would need beoredeploying their applications. alk with most experienced developers over beers and theyll

    coness that application sizing is more art than science, so its natural to overestimate. Teyll