This sponsored post is produced by Stephen Forte, Chief Strategy Officer, Telerik

Last January, when we said “Mobile Apps Are Dead” during the launch of the Telerik Platform, it wasn’t a gimmick. We were trying to make a real point about the future of application development. What we meant was, the way developers and early adopters have been adjusting to the mobile revolution thus far is broken. Contrary to general perception, while enterprises are building mobile apps today, they are in their relative infancy. But 2014 is the year where the enterprise wakes up to mobile apps. So for those enterprises who are amidst initial adoption, rest assured that mobile applications will continue to exist. In fact, you’re arriving to the mobile party at just the right moment.

For years developers have struggled with trying to figure out how to build mobile applications for an increasingly complex matrix of devices and platforms, causing them to work in siloes. Rather than focusing on “how” to build an app, developers must start focusing first on “what” an app needs to do – app requirements should drive the development approach. When this focus is flipped, it becomes obvious that a mix of web, hybrid and native apps is the only way to efficiently match the “what” with the “how.” At Telerik, we like to call this adaptive development. Adaptive development encompasses the entirety of the web, hybrid and native universes and puts app requirements ahead of the development approach. It enables developers to create optimized experiences for every app and every screen. When it comes to mobile development, this is the most efficient and future-proof strategy.

Mobile application development has progressed so much that developers now don’t have to develop based on device, for example, developing for iOS first. At Telerik, we’re seeing great things come out of this adaptive development approach as we work with customers and develop on behalf of their needs. As your enterprise determines its approach to application development I have a few key pieces of advice to consider.

  • Avoid application siloes: Don’t think of a mobile app, web app and desktop app as three separate entities; treat them as one entity. While most modern developers have stopped thinking in siloes, in many enterprises a huge mobile division still exists. This siloed approach makes it difficult to integrate applications in the future and continually innovate.
  • Be mobile-versed, not mobile-first: With applications like Instagram and WhatsApp, there’s a huge focus on mobile right now and a lot of enterprises are being told they have to be “mobile first.” Instead, put the user experience first. In many cases, this translates to focusing on UI or the graphical element. By not pigeon-holing the enterprise and instead putting efforts toward a rich and beautiful user experience, it will naturally lead to adopting for mobile.
  • Hybrid, hybrid, hybrid: Enterprise leadership should push the hybrid message among their developers instead of straight for iOS or Android. By building an app once, for both operating systems with a cross-platform app builder, you can avoid having two code bases (which, by the way, usually means double the work).

When determining what’s right for your enterprise and customers it’s of course important to carefully select a vendor and platform that supports and even improves upon your approach. In terms of modern application development, this means finding a vendor that allows for development on any kind of technology. Furthermore, remember that UI is more complex today because there are so many form factors and devices – we have have smart watches, big screen TVs, mobile apps everywhere. The best way to address this UI puzzle is to find a product that utilizes the cloud to enable modern application development across any screen and device. Like I said before, you’ve arrived at just the right time because not only is adaptive development possible today, but the cloud makes it easy.

Stephen Forte

Chief Strategy Officer

Stephen Forte is the Chief Strategy Officer at Telerik and is the co-founder and executive director of AcceleratorHK, Hong Kong’s first startup accelerator. He mentors at several startup accelerators, including Haxlr8r, the world’s only hardware startup accelerator. Stephen is also a board member of the Scrum Alliance. Prior to Telerik, he was the co-founder of Triton Works, which was acquired by UBM in 2010 and was the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Corzen, Inc., which was acquired by Wanted Technologies in 2007. Prior to Corzen, Stephen served as the CTO of Zagat Survey in New York City (acquired by Google in 2011) and also was co-founder of the New York-based software consulting firm The Aurora Development Group.

Stephen speaks regularly at industry conferences around the world. He has written several books on application and database development, and is also a Certified Scrum Professional, CSM, and PMP. Stephen holds an MBA from the City University of New York. He is currently based in the Telerik office in Palo Alto, California.

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