HP: Mobile App Dev Shifts From Functions To User Experience

With mobility skyrocketing up the IT – and organizational – priority lists, it’s no wonder that vendors are putting greater focus on things like BYOD (bring your own device) and MDM (mobile device management) and everything in between. In recent weeks mobility has taken center stage at both CA World 2013 and IBM Impact 2013. For HP, mobility is now one of the big trends it is focusing on, said Genefa Murphy, Director, Product Management and User Experience, HP Software.

She said developer priorities for mobile application development are shifting, in large part from functionality to user experience, and HP is taking a 360-degree view of mobility, spanning everything from app development and testing to the wireless side and how also this impacts networks and devices. The old days of worrying about architecture and functionality have changed, and today’s developers must now meet the demand for frequent delivery cycles, while being measured by the security, key features and scalability of an application, said HP.

“We need to change the mindset of developers to adopt and adapt.” Developers need to focus on integrating design into the development process, develop applications that perform specific tasks vs. having complete functionality, and ensure consistent, optimal application performance and application security.

Murphy agrees with ESG’s Tom Petrocelli, User First, Not Mobile First, that the user is a critical focus for developers. You need to create a compelling user experience and attract people, she said, adding that the user experience isn’t necessarily different between consumer and enterprise.

Attracting people to mobility per se is not the issue. Smart devices – smartphones and tablets – accounted for approximately 70% of total devices sold in 2012, and should pass the billion mark this year. The market for mobile enterprise infrastructure software and services was $14.5 billion in 2012, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16.3%, and is expected to reach $30.9 billion in 2016, with 65% of firms adopting an MDM solution over the next five years. The MDM enterprise software solutions market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 31.43% over the period 2011-2015.

While people are putting a lot more emphasis on the user experience, Murphy said that user experience goes hand in hand with analytics. The sheer amount of information developers can get access to needs to be used to provide actionable insight, i.e. which part of the features users are using.

“You think it’s a great feature and then you get analytics back nobody is using it. It can help developers prioritize.” She said performance analytics can be very useful for developers too.

Speed and agility are important development drivers, and that means automation is critical too, said Murphy. “If you want to be able to do this right, do this fast, you have to automate.”

Automation takes a lot of time and investment, but it is not a panacea, it won’t solve all things, she said.

Author: Steve Wexler

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