Mobile App Development Checklist

As enterprise-class companies and government agencies rush to develop mobile Applications, they're quickly learning that the only constant in the mobile App industry is "change". Consider terms like "iPad" and "Droid" did not exist just a few years ago, and Microsoft's "Mango" just recently burst on to the scenes.

During the next few years, what new device will consumers rush to buy to consume valuable content? The answer is we just don't know. So as organizations dive deeper into this new medium, there's a checklist that needs to be in place to ensure the right technology is chosen to carry out the engagement.

Checklist Consideration #1:

Choosing the platforms to deploy your App. Many times App projects only launch on one device, typically the iPhone, due to budget restraints. But as sleek and cool as the iPhone is, Apple's smartphone only reaches about 30% of the market. To connect with the masses and get the most out of the investment, other operating systems like Android, approximately 40% of the market, should be considered.

The good news is that there are a few mobile application developers who use platform-technology to create, develop, license and deploy Apps simulataneously across all devices for the same cost most developers charge for only one device. To maximize return on investment, a cross-platform developer should be sought.

Checklist Consideration #2:

Internal processes to manage existing digital content should not change in light of having mobile Apps. The App should have a single point of integration so when updates are made to the website, web services, databases etc., those updates are published in real-time to the suite of Applications. Too many times, Apps are developed and deployed only to become internally burdensome due to additional workload and not being able to push new content to the market in real-time.

Checklist Consideration #3:

Make sure the App has an easy-to-use content management system (CMS) so internal staff, outside Agency, Marketing Department, etc. can use one dash board to manage the entire portfolio of Apps. Ideally, the CMS should be dynamic in nature allowing non-technical staff to easily upload new images, create promotions, add pages, change content and even change the navigation structure with the click of the mouse. If the CMS is truly advanced, App modifications should occur in real-time.

Checklist Consideration #4:

Once the App is built and deployed, it requires ongoing maintenance. Who's going to supply those services? Well, if there are internal technical resources willing to maintain the App, that's an option. However, this technology is more complicated, expensive and time consuming to maintain than most since a major change occurs in the mobile ecosystem about every 90 days.

In addition to finding the right mobile application developer that meets items one through three on the checklist, the same developer should provide an iron-clad ongoing maintenance program that effectively covers support for new internal users, repair of any unforeseen bugs and future-proofing of the App to name only a few of the maintenance features.

While there are more checklist considerations than mentioned above, these four are the major developmental and support milestones. If they line-up correctly, the mobile Application will seamlessly and effortlessly deliver meaningful content to its respective digital audience regardless of the ever-changing nature that resides in the mobile vertical.

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