More and more IT professionals are feeling the heat from business leaders to quickly open up their products and services to mobile users. But while the move to create smart phone applications is important, many of these projects are doomed to failure because companies lack both proper market strategy and developer expertise, according to software development firm Atimi Software Inc.
The Vancouver-based firm said that the mobile app projects usually start after upper management suddenly and urgently realizes they “need to do an iPhone app.” It is not uncommon for in-house or external app developers to hear a business leader say “let me make an app that does something when I shake it,” said Scott Michaels, vice-president of Atimi Software.
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This type of thinking often leads to what Michaels calls the most common mistake for mobile app projects: an app that users won’t care about.
A classic irrelevant app is one that takes a current company Web site, which is made for desktop consumption, and wraps it up into a mobile app.
“That’s almost always a failure,” Michaels said. “The user will say, ‘I already have access to your Web site.’”
If your in-house developers or the app development house you’re outsourcing to actually proposes this type of app, it should serve as a red flag that this team of “application developers” is really just a team of “Web developers.”
According to Michaels, other questions to ask could be how successful their previous apps were, whether they have a quality assurance team, and whether they provide expertise in creating a marketing strategy after the app is completed.
Michael Carter, president and CEO of Toronto-based MyThum Interactive, is dishing out similar advice. He said simply transporting your content from the Web onto the mobile platform is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make.