Smash the mobile app release barriers hindering your release velocity
The mobile app release barriers that you experience during the SDLC can set your timetables back considerably. Read about the most prevalent ones here.
Your new app version is ready for release. It has been dreamed up, developed, tested, and it's time to set it free to swim in the seas of whichever app store you are releasing it to. As the release date comes closer, your users swim up to the surface. It is like feeding fish; they can anticipate when food is coming, and they are ready. However, often a mobile app release barrier will come up like Columbo turning around and asking the villain “Just one more thing.”
Every organization knows that its end-users need a great mobile experience. In fact, in 2020, 1/3 of enterprises said they are making mobile a priority. This is according to a study by the Enterprise Mobility Forum.
That same study also said that the organizations they polled said they would deploy no more than five apps this year. That seems strange. While the importance of having a mobile experience to offer customers, and while we are at it employees as well, is clear, that number seems low.
In our experience, it seems most natural that one of the central mobile app release barriers is cost. As we are seeing through this barely scratches the surface as development, testing, and release times are all part of the process.
Barriers to mobile app releases can come via the planning creation and testing phase. We see developers shifting their focus completely towards app functionality, ease of use. Accessibility, performance, and security. If your goal is to delight your users and frankly it should be, then these items need to be perfect before release. Yeah, more barriers.
So, let’s break down the mobile app release barriers that are preventing your apps from being delivered to customers.
It seems overly obvious that time would be a huge barrier to releasing a mobile app. Enterprises in 2021 depend on their web apps for completing internal processes. Meanwhile, their development teams are under pressure to develop new app capabilities and features. With the strain placed on them to complete projects and move to the next one quickly, they are going to drop something. The bad news is that while the developers are being pulled in different directions mobility teams who would pick up the slack don’t always have the resources to complete tasks from a development perspective. It leads to many enterprise mobile apps never seeing the light of the app store.
There are solutions to this issue if you use a platform to help develop a progressive web app or even a hybrid app. With the right platform and tools in place, you can convert web apps to mobile apps in a short amount of time, and with a fraction of the time.
When developing a mobile app your teams will require specialized skills. At the highest level, you need experts in both iOS and Android development. The next level of skills that your enterprise mobile developers need is security skills so that they can analyze and prevent cyberattack vulnerabilities.
In 2021 these skills are in demand, and interestingly enough they are also in short supply. It makes sense when you consider the fact that businesses must secure both their apps and their back-end systems.
The growth of no-code platforms puts development power in the hands of those that do not have it so even if you lack team members with specific development skills you can still develop.
Many companies lack the infrastructure to support mobile apps. As opposed to web app infrastructure which most if not all companies have.
Another aspect that is one of our mobile app release barriers, is the way that apps are managed and distributed internally. IT starts by setting up an app store. Employees that use their own devices then need to install enterprise-level device management software. I'm sure you can see where this becomes a barrier. The main reason is the privacy concerns but also most software will register as not trusted adding another barrier to adoption and release. This also can factor into the time issue.
Mobile app distribution
We covered the barriers leading up to release but what about getting the app in front of your end-users?
Building and testing a mobile app is a long and difficult process. Distributing your latest versions comes with equal amounts of challenges. One such challenge is regarding getting the binary, for SaaS applications that do not have a mobile web version. Without that, you cannot create a native mobile app out of the web app. Sure you can log in via the mobile browser, but those types of connections perform poorly and lack necessary features like working offline and accepting push notifications.
The good news is that the public app store concept is growing in 2021. Many large corporations create them to distribute their internal employee apps. In fact, using this method of distribution, companies can bypass any privacy concerns, and all the apps will register as trusted.
As for customer-facing apps, it is harder than ever to get an app in front of the right audience seeing as to how you must compete with some 3.5 million apps available. There are ways to improve your visibility by optimizing your app. Choosing a great name and icon along with using the right keywords is a great start.
The barriers are not permanent
The mobile app release barriers that you experience during the SDLC can set your timetables back considerably. There are technologies and a strong market of tools that will help you accelerate your mobile app release strategy. These tools will help you develop hybrid apps that will overcome many of these barriers that are preventing you from releasing your apps securely and at scale.
To learn more about it check out our whitepaper about mobile device labs.