The Mobile First Approach is Short-Sighted (Updated with SlideShare Link)

The Mobile First Approach is Short-Sighted (Updated with SlideShare Link)

Posted on July 29, 2014 0 Comments

Mark Troester explains why ‘mobile first’ is a misnomer because application developers must first think about the needs of users—who now use mobile devices more often than desktops.

Last week, Chloe Green at Information Age commented on the new mobile application usage numbers announced by the major social networks. LinkedIn, for example, announced that it expects a full 50% of its users to access its network from its mobile app by the end of the year. Similar numbers have prompted vendors like Google and Microsoft to produce mobile apps. Green sees the rise of platform-based enterprise applications combining with the increased usage of such apps to create an emerging app-based network.

Apps Are the Key

Green’s app-based network sees the future of business software as platform-driven, with developers encouraged to build innovative solutions exclusively for specific platforms. While this is an interesting idea, I think a business software app-based network should serve the needs of business users first.

‘Mobile first’ approaches are popular now due to the rising popularity of mobile apps. I find myself reaching for my phone rather than my laptop more often, too. However, when considering an app-based network such as Green’s there are really two parts to consider:

  1. The physical infrastructure of the network. Physical infrastructure is all about application delivery, and that means cloud. Where will you host your application? What data source or sources must your app connect to—big data? Social data? Data in on-premise or SaaS applications?
  2. The communication infrastructure of the network. The communications infrastructure is about the expectations of the network participants to collaborate and connect with each other, and the ease of use of the application. Expectations of customers continue to rise because of how good social and gaming apps are now—so your business software apps must be just as good. What functionality must you provide? Will your apps support multiple devices? Can they connect to other applications? Will they link to other social networks and communications tools? How will they enable collaboration and boost productivity?

Creating Stunning Enterprise Apps Webinar

On Wednesday, July 30, I’ll be discussing nine (9) key considerations for building great web and mobile apps that business users will actually engage with—boosting productivity and helping businesses meet bottom line goals. Application developers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and service providers (SPs), and non-technical users can benefit from this webinar by learning how to:

  • Capitalize on commoditization
  • Enable the entire organization
  • Architect the right cloud
  • Take a user-first approach
  • And much more

Register today so you can join me tomorrow and learn how to quickly, productively build your own app-based network and take a user first approach. I hope to meet with you then.

Updated 3:12 pm Morrisville, NC: My webinar slides are now available on Slideshare for download. Click here for the audio replay, . Thanks for attending. Please feel free to contact me on Twitter or post questions or comments on our discussion below.


Mark Troester

Mark Troester is the Vice President of Strategy at Progress. He guides the strategic go-to-market efforts for the Progress cognitive-first strategy. Mark has extensive experience in bringing application development and big data products to market. Previously, he led product marketing efforts at Sonatype, SAS and Progress DataDirect. Before these positions, Mark worked as a developer and developer manager for start-ups and enterprises alike. You can find him on LinkedIn or @mtroester on Twitter.


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