Executive summary

Industries of all kinds have fully embraced that the target audiences for their business applications (i.e., customers, employees or business partners) have shifted in massive numbers from using traditional personal computers, such as desktops and laptops, to using mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, for everything from shopping to working. This crucial shift in end user behavior has motivated enterprises to develop mobile channels for their existing business applications, and to plan for new kinds of applications that can meet audience needs and expectations.

As with all major evolutions in the information technology industry, the first years saw frantic activity to meet demand and create market presence but neglected more strategic issues, such as application development costs, maintainability, quality and security. As the mobile application market matures and the initial rush to market settles, these more comprehensive software development issues are taking priority for those responsible for longer-term planning and mobile program success.

This primer focuses on a comprehensive approach for developing mobile business applications, covering best practices for collaborative software lifecycle management and newer requirements unique to the creation of mobile applications. The intent is to provide value for all roles involved in mobile enterprise application development projects:

  • architects planning mobile projects;
  • development teams making implementation decisions;
  • project managers detailing essential activities;
  • test organizations planning test strategies for new applications; and
  • executives seeking to understand how these new mobile apps fit with and transform existing enterprise applications and development processes.

To do this, we need to understand the characteristics of successful mobile apps.