Realizing the ROI of Mobilizing your Applications

In part III of this blog series, we will discuss how to realize your ROI by mobilizing the applications you have identified. Additionally, enterprises and organizations must understand the different scenarios that exist when approaching app development.

By this time you have hopefully identified which applications you need to mobilize and understand how much ROI will be realized. Additionally, you should understand how long it will take you to realize this ROI, whether it be for an enterprise or an app that is public facing.

The BYOD Challenge

The next step in realizing your Return on Investment is taking a look at what technology you are using today. You need to get a handle on what types of devices are being used by both your internal and external customers. The cost to go mobile is greatly decreased when everyone is using the same platform. However, with the global acceptance of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), this has become more of an issue with regards to creating applications. While BYOD has saved organizations huge amounts of money, developing applications for each device type for internal and external customers can be quite costly.

In this scenario, you need to identify if the application(s) you are creating can be fitted to the variety of devices using mobile web or a hybrid app and must always be connected to the Internet, or if they need offline capabilities as well.

Choosing the Right Solution

Furthermore, The type of solution you need is dependent on the data you need to communicate. For apps that are data heavy, you must be prepared to use multiple threading technology. Both hybrid and mobile web apps are not the ideal solution for this, as customers have grown to become very impatient when gaining access to data. In this scenario you will most probably need a native app that can be used both online and off.

Lets take a look at the qualities of each to provide you with a better understanding of the types of apps, so you can choose.

• Mobile Web – This type of app solution is the least expensive but is single threaded so not recommended for apps that are data heavy. They require an internet connection to run. They are extremely popular due to the widespread use of web browsers and support of the HTML5 programming language.
• Native – The most expensive to develop on, it has become the solution of choice for most enterprises. It boasts multi-threading which makes it great for apps that are data heavy and can be run offline without an Internet connection. Because they are built for specific devices they have the ability to utilize hardware and software that is specific to those devices. Creating a native app for the Android platform can increase the costs of app development since a different version would need to be coded for each specific device.

• Hybrid – It is single threaded so heavy data apps aren’t recommended to use such a solution. The way this type of app is structured consists of two parts, web and native. These two parts are completely separate and communicate with each other via sending messages between each other in order to complete tasks. This type of app can work offline.
In any case, you should be analyzing how the app’s users go about dealing with data and create a mobile user experience that is as close as possible to their way of doing things. In doing so, you will be making it as seamless and adoptive experience as possible. For instance, if they are using a pen and paper to communicate data, you might want to create an app utilizing a pen-like stylus and handwriting recognition.

By not arriving to a strategy for developing your app to match your customers’ way of doing things, you may need to invest more money in redesigning or refining the architecture of your app.

Utilizing an App Prototype Strategy

When you are ready to roll out your app, it doesn’t need to be in a full fledged way. If you want to test the app waters with a prototype, there are a plethora of tools that exist on the market that will convert existing applications. There are also a number of third party services that empower you to convert existing technology into web or hybrid apps. This will allow organizations to quickly deploy the app to their internal and external customers, analyze their experience, refine the app as needed and re-release.

For more information regarding Mobilizing Enterprize Applications, download our Whitepaper: MOBILIZING ENTERPRISE APPLICATIONS: OBSTACLES, BENEFITS, AND KEY CONSIDERATIONS

Astegic to Mobilize the 24th Annual Government Procurement Conference

Astegic to Mobilize the 24th Annual Government Procurement Conference

Astegic will be mobilizing the 24th Annual Government Procurement Conference by creating the official conference app for the event, via our mobile app platform, mConference. In doing so, we will be creating an atmosphere for the conference community which will empower, connect, inform and engage. This live event will in essence be mobilized with the most important conference information literally in the palms of all attendees.

Equipped with out-of-the box functionality, the app will employ options that are fully customizable. This will allow all attendees to tailor their virtual conference experience, maximizing it with full access to the conference’s agenda, being updated on keynote speaker info, providing a map to all exhibit halls, advising attendees of special announcements, any news about the event, feeds from diverse social media channels and much more.

Want to learn more? Schedule a meeting with us today!

Conference attendees will be empowered to share and receive updated information in real-time as it happens, allowing them to see the most vital information on their mobile dashboard.

In providing attendees with the knowledge they need, they will also enjoy optimum security utilizing a secure single sign-in that will be seamlessly integrated with the attendee registration system. Rounding out this secure mobile experience, attendees will be presented with a variety of login options and passcodes that are secured via SSL, so all classified information concerning the event can be viewed only by those granted this secure access.

In addition to mobilizing the event, we’re looking forward to partaking in all that this conference has to offer. We have a long history of providing mobile development and IT services to both government and private organizations. Interested in learned more? Schedule a meeting now and we’ll see you then!

About the Conference

The Government Procurement Conference is a national conference fostering business partnerships between the Federal Government, its prime contractors, and small, minority, service-disabled veteran-owned, veteran-owned, HUBZone, and women-owned businesses. Now in its 24th year, the Government Procurement Conference has become the premier event for small businesses throughout the United States.


Astegic Develops Official App for GEOINT 2013

Astegic Develops Official App for GEOINT 2013

Astegic’s latest project has been to develop the official app of GEOINT 2013 Symposium.

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and building a stronger GEOINT Community across industry, academia, government, professional organizations and individual stakeholders. The annual GEOINT Symposium, hosted by USGIF, is the nation’s preeminent and largest intelligence event of the year. Continue reading “Astegic Develops Official App for GEOINT 2013”

Will iOS 7 change the iPhone as we know it?

Will iOS 7 change the iPhone as we know it?

With the iOS 7 release just around the corner (and a beta already out to developers) technophile’s nationwide are buzzing about the features that are rumored to come with it. You’re not alone; we can’t shut up about it in our office! That being the case, we decided to highlight some of the features that are reported to be a part of Apple’s latest release.
Continue reading “Will iOS 7 change the iPhone as we know it?”

Should you create mobile apps for multiple platforms?

Should you create mobile apps for multiple platforms?

Mobile app platformsWouldn’t it be nice if you could write some code (HTML5, Python, Ruby, etc.), send it off to application stratosphere, and have your app work magically across all platforms? That’d be great. Unfortunately, however, that’s not how the mobile world goes round. And the question I posed in the title, should you create mobile apps for multiple platforms, is less relevant than how it can be done.

One of the greatest obstacles for developing mobile apps is simply the amount of smartphones on the market; Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, etc. – all with different platforms and different app requirements. While the iPhone app store may be the most robust, Android is not far behind. Not to mention what happens when you throw tablets into the mix. When I first got by iPad, I downloaded my iPhone games only to find that I was looking at an iPhone sized screen on an iPad…less than ideal!

There are a couple different approaches that are currently accepted while the little elves work on their “magic-all-device-inclusive-app-creator” (I’m guessing the elves live in Silicon Valley and are working with HTML5).

  1. Provide a “driver” for each phone that provides access to scripting languages like JavaScript, Ruby and Python. This allows the developer to write a app script once in the desired language (along with HTML and CSS) and run it on all phones that have the “driver”.
  2. Write the app in one language and have it “translated” to the languages supported by other mobile devices. A tool would then take care of translating the app while the developer would cross his fingers that not too many bugs will arise in the process.

The Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to both options that I listed above. The main advantages are obviously speed to market and easier app maintenance. In addition, you can ensure a uniform look and feel across devices, support for a flexible layout and use of known technologies.

The main disadvantage, besides not yet supporting all platforms, is that you are restricted by what the driver or translator can handle. There is an added issue of performance (as I hinted above in point 2) that the code will likely not be optimized for every phone it’s translated to harming the users experience.

So to answer my question, should you create mobile apps for multiple platforms? Absolutely. How? That’s up to you, at least as long as our little HTML5 elves are still cooped up in their workshop.

iPhone vs Android: The Ultimate Smack Down

iPhone vs Android: The Ultimate Smack Down

iPhone VS AndroidYou want your business to go mobile. You want to create an app that will be found on smartphones across the planet (or at least in the pockets of all your clients). To keep up with the speed of business these days, it’s not really a question of if you should release a mobile app but rather when. So now that you’re ready to take the plunge you need to decide: iPhone or Android. And so without further ado, here is the WWE Smack Down of Smart Phones!

Why go Android?

Did you know that Android actually has a bigger market share than iPhones? True story. And when it comes to hardware, the iPhone just can’t compete. Apple is the only company producing iOS. Android, alternatively, is being manufactured by major firms such as Samsung, LG, and Motorola. That basically means that software and hardware choices and upgrades are a dime a dozen with Android devices.  Apple only has the iPhone and, let’s be honest, it’s usually jail-broken anyways!

Another big plus for the Android is the screen. It’s not limited to the iPhone’s 4-inch screen. And let’s not forget Google’s plethora of built-in apps that we’ve all come to know and love (Google Maps, Google Earth, Gmail, etc.).

The Android battery probably won’t score a TKO but neither will the iPhone’s so it’s hardly a key factor in your decision.

Why choose the iPhone?

While the Android market hosts about 800,000 apps, Apple have already passed the 1 million mark in their app store! And as Apple is pretty strict with their app guidelines, you can also expect higher quality and standards from iOS apps.

And I know that I said Android comes with the advantage of multiple manufacturers but this also works in the iPhone’s favor. Once iOS has been updated, you will be prompted for further releases and be guaranteed the most up-to-date operating system. Android developers alternatively are not always in a rush to stay updated with Google’s latest operating system.

When it comes to games, iPhone takes the cake (and eats it too). It really is the “Ultimate Gaming Device”!

Who Wins the Smack Down?

That really depends on you. There are major pluses with both Android and iPhone. If you’re app is entertainment oriented, the iPhone may be the best choice. If you’re looking to create something that enables productivity, perhaps Android is the way to go. Do you have tons of money and/or resources? Make both!

How to Successfully Outsource Mobile App Development

How to Successfully Outsource Mobile App Development

Outsourcing mobile app developmentIn my previous blog, I talked about the pros and cons of in-house app development vs outsourcing. So, say you’ve opted to outsource. You like that it’s cheaper and doesn’t require you to give up your best developers for the job. Now, the only question is how to outsource the development successfully so that you get what you want at a price that fits.

So without further ado, here are the 3 tips I can offer to guarantee successful outsourcing of your mobile app.

  • Selecting the right mobile app developer

Likely, your decision to outsource development stemmed from a need to reduce costs. Just remember, you get what you pay for! That’s not to say you have to go with the most expensive bid, but you should also be wary of the cheapest bid. To help figure out how much you should be budgeting for this task, try this simple equation.

(Selling price  X  Expected number of downloads)  +  download revenues  =  break even dev cost

Choose a developer that can do a quality job at the right price.

  • Provide clear specifications

You lose some control by outsourcing so it’s crucial to be as precise as possible. The developer will do exactly what is asked so make sure you fully understand the scope of the project you’re outsourcing. Simply put, make sure the developer can answer the following questions:

  1. What is your app supposed to do?
  2. What is your app supposed to look like?
  3. Who are the target audience?

The clearer your specifications, the less likely you’ll be to spend extra money on reiterations.

  • Don’t forget the NDA

Sign a non-disclosure agreement with your developer to ensure your app remains confidential and secure. All developers working on your project should sign on the dotted line.

Have you outsourced mobile app development? What has your experience been? Let us know in the comment section below!

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

app costI love this question. It’s somewhat akin to walking into a realtor’s office and asking, ‘how much does it cost to buy a house?’ or visiting a car dealership and inquiring about the cost of a car. Where do you want to buy a house? How many bedrooms? Do you want the luxury SUV or a little sports car? There are some approximate guidelines but the answer to this question is not as clean cut as the question requests. There are just too many variables.

To learn more about mobilizing enterprise applications download our whitepaper here

According to a guest blog on TechCrunch by former CEO of AppVee and AndroidApps, Alex Ahlund, a survey of 96 mobile app developers found that the average cost to develop an app was $6,453.  Another article reports that developing a “small app” can cost $3000 – $8000. More complex apps can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000!

I’m guessing that you are clearing your throat right now to swallow the thought of such an expense. It is a lot of money but let’s break it down. The average app developer in the US charges around $100 an hour. The more complex the app, the more time required to create it which means a higher bill at the end of the day. When you’re developer shopping, you should have a good idea of what you want to create. This may seem like a given but I’ll spell it out just in case. If you want your app to stand apart from the other 500,000 in the app store, you’ll have to consider:

  • Integration with a back-end database
  • Development on multiple platforms (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry)
  • Design and animation
  • Versions (free, paid, something in between)

Do you have an app idea and want to know how much it will cost? Contact the Astegic team to find out what is involved in bringing your idea to life.

To learn more about mobilizing enterprise applications download our whitepaper here

Mobile Applications: The Future of Enterprise

Mobile Applications: The Future of EnterpriseMobile Applications: The Future of Enterprise

enterprise-mobilityDid you know that one in every five phones sold is a smartphone? Sales of smartphones, tablets, and e-readers are rising all the time and have actually passed that of laptops, notebooks, and desktop computers. The world has gone mobile and enterprises are following suit.

It has been reported that 60 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2012 and this number is expected to increase exponentially with the ever-growing popularity of smartphones and tablets. That being said, decision makers are seeing that these apps can increase productivity, reduce paperwork, and increase revenues in ways that a desktop computer simply can’t. Long story short, it’s time for the enterprise to go mobile!

According to this infographic, companies are adopting and consuming mobile technologies more and more each year. A survey by GigaOm Pro reported that 30% of businesses are using phones more than in the previous year. 43% of business report plans to incorporate more mobile technologies in the future. Let’s take a look at some statistics.

  • Half the devices on corporate networks will be mobile devices by 2015
  • 34% of workers use smartphones for work at least weekly
  • The North American market for mobile office applications is expected to surge to $6.85B in 2015, up from $1.76B in 2010.
  • 60% of employees in the US said data services are more important than voice plans when deploying cellular phones for business use.

reasons_for_using_mobile_appsThat’s all well and good but the bottom line for business is what really matters. Why should an enterprise introduce mobile apps? Businesses that choose to incorporate mobile apps into their operations aim to accomplish several goals but most importantly are productivity and revenue.

Paul Hamerman, in this article from computer weekly, explains perfectly how business apps can enrich business processes in the enterprise. He says:

“With mobile technology drawing so much attention today, the question facing business process professionals is less about where we are today with mobile business applications but rather where we are going. In addition to extending enterprise applications to mobile devices, applications will evolve to encompass end-to-end business processes (for example, procure to pay, talent management and sales to delivery) and a broad range of business users.”