The potential for mobile apps to help businesses grow and succeed is no longer in question. The outlook for investment in mobile computing indicates increasing commitment of resources to this area of information technology. And the expected results for this increased investment are equally high. The challenge for mobile development teams is how to make those investment dollars count the most and stretch the furthest.

Tools, frameworks and techniques for developing the code that runs on the mobile device have matured rapidly and advances have been made in efficiently creating high quality, compelling mobile apps. The choice of implementation programming language significantly influences the flexibility of the app, as well as how much developers will be able to leverage pre-built components in the application. This decision remains a critical one to settle as early as possible in the project and to which deliberate and sufficient consideration should be made.

But beyond the code that executes on the mobile device, there are great opportunities to exploit virtual application components available in the cloud to add impressive features in the app with minimal cost to the development team. Expectations for the capabilities delivered in mobile apps are high, and it is vastly more economical and fast to assemble significant aspects of the app from a collection of mobile back-end services compared to building everything from scratch.

Look for a platform of cloud mobile services that offers a rich palette of high value components from which to choose. In addition to services that can be assembled to implement the mobile app logic, look for an assortment of software development services from your mobile platform. The choice of a cloud mobile platform is as crucial to the success of the project as the choice of programming language.

By strategically aligning initiatives, securing C-suite support, managing certain components of the mobile portfolio internally and striking a balance between commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and custom applications, organizations can learn to tap into the vast, unrealized value of mobile computing.