Are mobile apps commodity?

Geschreven door Frederik Op De Beeck op

F1In today’s world mobility is ubiquitous. In the last decade, we have seen an exponential adoption of mobile devices of all kinds. Where smartphones & tablet have become commodity, wearables are the next best thing. And all this not only for business, but even more at home. Today, you likely will find one or more of these smart devices in every household. This consumerization has led to a change in business requirements as well. People expect their data and applications to be available at anytime, anywhere and preferably from any device.

However, making existing business applications available on a mobile device is simply not enough to satisfy the end users’ needs. And why should we blame them? At home, they are used to work with easy to use, simple & user-friendly applications. Naturally, these applications are available while on the go as well. Take Facebook, Google or any Apple product; all very intuitive and good-looking apps. For example, I never heard someone taking a course to understand how to use Facebook. Or take Google search, how simple can it be? A single input field and a single button… It doesn’t get any easier than that.

When people come to the office, they expect the same simplicity and flexibility as they have with these consumer products. Unfortunately, we see that enterprises are still struggling to satisfy these new needs. Obviously, there is much more to it than introducing new technologies. Organisations also have to cope with the mobile enablement or renewal of their current IT landscape, which often consists of multiple applications and legacy systems.

At SAP, we have acknowledged this need for change a couple of years ago. This is why we introduced SAP Fiori.
F2

SAP Fiori is the new user experience (UX) for SAP software. Using modern design principles, it simplifies the UX across all lines of business, tasks, and devices – to reflect the way you actually work throughout your day. SAP Fiori UX represents a personalized, responsive and simple user experience across devices and deployment options.  (More information on Fiori can be found at: http://experience.sap.com/fiori/)

Mobile Experience

F3The introduction of a new and modern interface like Fiori will please your users. If we want to offer a complete mobile experience, we need to take it a step further. For example, if mobile users demand to access their data anywhere, they literally mean anywhere. Therefore we need to make sure data is available offline, also when there is no WIFI- or cell phone coverage. Even today, this might happen more often than you expect. Just Think of a sales man on the road, a field worker somewhere in a basement of a factory,… A standard web-based application is not able to fulfil these needs.

And the same applies for other functionalities that we take for granted when on a mobile device. For example, push notifications to warn users of certain events, integration with devices native features (e.g. GPS, camera) and seamless integration with 3rd party apps installed on the device (e.g. calendar).

This is where SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) come into the picture. With SMP one can build any kind of mobile application, whether it is B2C, B2E or B2B; whereas it needs to be a native app (iOS, Android, Windows) or hybrid app that runs on several device-types. Of course, while providing a solid base to integrate with existing back-end systems. Next to tooling and SDK’s to create, build and integrate mobile applications, the mobile platform also provides the necessary functionality to support your mobile initiatives at run-time. For example, one can make sure apps stay up to date, are accessed in a secure and homogeneous way, etc.

The platform provides support for these key elements to a true mobile experience, without needing to re-invent the wheel for each app individually. Analysts like Gartner believe this is one of the key drivers to add a mobile platform to your landscape. Gartner states that you will benefit from a mobile platform, when you need to support more than 3 back-ends or more than 3 apps or more than 3 device types. SAP was also recognized by Gartner as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms (MADP) in September 2014. (More information on the SAP mobile portfolio can be found here: www.sap.com/mobile)

Consumer is King

To conclude, the increased adoption of mobile devices and the consumerization of mobile applications have led to a shift in mobile business needs. Spoiling the consumer at home with fancy and user-friendly applications, forces companies to embark on mobile initiatives to satisfy their users at work. However, building a mobile strategy is key to succeed, especially in complex business environments.  SAP believes that we can help in keeping things simple. Run Simple – anytime, anywhere.

Last but not least discover more magic of Simple on September 9th at the SAP Forum, Tour & Taxis Brussels.

Discover simple

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