How many of you are still outsourcing your mobile application development because your internal technology "just doesn't get it"? I interviewed 25 eBusiness professionals in 2012 about their approach to mobile and how their challenges were evolving. (The first piece is due out soon, with more to follow quickly.) A lot of eBusiness professionals think their success hinges on "owning" the mobile development team directly (internal) or through an agency (external). Their worst-case scenario is funding the mobile development even if the team doesn't roll directly up to them. Reasons offered include:
"They move too slowly."
"They are in India. How are we seriously supposed to be agile with the distance?"
"Mobile isn't a high enough priority."
"Their idea of an excellent customer experience and ours is like 'Men Are From Mars And Women Are From Venus' – we're not even on the same planet, let alone speaking the same language."
I talk to our eBusiness clients a lot about "context" and how it will define the future of mobile. Consumers will become very task-oriented on mobile devices and they will expect their mobile phone to personalize or make the real world richer and more relevant to them. There are already great examples in the travel industry, with retail, banking, insurance, healthcare, and many other industries beginning to push the envelope. What has held them back have been development resources and an IT team that can support their vision.
My colleague Jeffrey Hammond has come to your rescue. He has taken the vision of the contextual or modern app (and very generously listed me as a co-author) and created a mandate for your mobile development team. Download and read this report. More importantly, use it as a tool to sit down with your mobile development team and map out a plan to achieve your vision of the next generation of mobile applications you will build. This report will help your mobile dev team understand what it is you need. At Forrester, folks like Jeffrey and I have been working hard to bridge the gap between some great ideas for mobile services and how to build them cost-effectively. My colleagues Ted Schadler and John McCarthy are pulling together the story and the road map for the back end. (See their report on systems of engagement.) "The Future of Mobile is Context" reports (we created one for each role) were collectively the top read reports in 2011 at Forrester. The systems of engagement report was top in 2012. This report fills in the middle – the mobile development shift – and I expect it will top the Forrester charts in 2013.