According to various studies, many retailers are still prioritizing customer-facing programs over strategic infrastructure improvements, and choosing to invest in data capture for marketing purposes and pricing programs over mobile platforms and improved delivery. This is really a surprising finding as mobile-first initiatives are spreading across verticals and domains – and soon a significant majority of consumers use mobile web as their first data point to make their purchasing decisions.
How can brands ensure their quality criteria isn’t compromised and how to build better user experiences for customers?
First of all, according to these studies retailers are still stuck with non-agile and non-DevOps – and that means the app development is way too slow to meet any sort of requirement for faster time to market. It’s just in line with this study that retailers looking to develop mobile applications may be facing a hurdle on the development side as a growing number of businesses have a backlog of mobile projects that can’t get out of the development phase.
Because of this, application development with the right approach, tools and environments, mobile marketing and electronic/mobile-commerce are the top initiatives and priorities among retailers.
In addition, there are significant differences between Agile methodology adoption and DevOps culture inside organizations. When it comes to mobile app testing and development organizations should consider only integrating their internal development and operational resources with real device testing in the cloud.
Can Mobile App Monitoring Help?
Today’s mobile app developer organizations are increasingly investing in monitoring systems that can capture production, development, and bunch of other metrics all in real time. This growing trend is great, but if monitoring is done only for specific silos of the overall flow, results may not expose how to optimize the most important resource hogs and therefore monitoring only produces imperfect results.
The mobile app monitoring itself doesn’t help any mobile app to make its way to success – but the right tools and methods used in the development and testing process will. Also, there are various different ways to use mobile monitoring, However, mobile app monitoring is an extremely efficient way to improve visibility and transparency of resource problems, performance and user experience when the native mobile application is still under the development.
Too Slow Mobile App Development is Hitting The Revenue
There are a couple of important aspects why every company that produces apps for consumers should be looking to accelerate the delivery of their mobile apps and use a variety of channels to provide those capabilities for consumers to buy – and among those, web experiences:
1. Very few consumers ACTUALLY USE mobile apps provided by retailers. Despite there is an app available for every need (or anticipated need that consumer might have) those apps aren’t used. Typically, those apps get in lost in the sea of apps.
2. When those apps aren’t used in volumes and for specific needs, retailers – or whoever that builds those apps – do NOT get feedback or cannot tweak the functionalities of those apps to be more suitable for consumers.
3. Furthermore, many of those retailer apps are getting SLAMMED due to very bad functionality and quality. If the app gets 1.5 stars in any of those app markets, it is not likely to pop-up in search for consumers looking for new apps.
4. One of the topics for retail apps has been also compatibility with the logistical back-end systems. This is naturally where raw testing with a variety of different configurations will help to understand what sort of problems could there be and how to fix those.
With the average application Dev & Test & Delivery process taking between three and 12 months, this slow app development cycle is resulting in a competitive disadvantage. Mobile teams must use tools and techniques that match the increase in mobile app needs within their organizations.
The Mobile DevOps Shift-Left Has Changed Things
This is why mobile DevOps culture and adoption has streamlined the entire development flow and made things getting out faster.
Instead of the traditional 4 step process – plan, develop and test, deploy and operate – there are actually more flavors in the process that should be emphasized. Especially when it comes to considering what tools and techniques are used, how those fit together and enable seamless tool flow from planning to production. Mobile Test Automation is without a shadow of a doubt critical part of the flow and enables the process to be highly iterative, repeatable, and robust. Automation is actually an enabler for continuous everything, in each step of the process.
Now, it’s worth of mentioning that agile methodologies and mobile DevOps culture don’t compete against each other, but they can significantly complement each other’s benefits.
From Complexity to Agility – Dev & Test & Delivery
Mobile development and delivery are complex processes that require independent services to be delivered in a coordinated, reliable, and efficient manner. All enterprise mobile teams should aspire to continuous improvement in these ways:
1. Release planning – small, frequent releases
2. CI/CD — each team’s work is continuously integrated with that of the development team and IT Operations
3. Continuous Testing and all its flavors
4. Continuous Delivery — automated deployment of software
Naturally, we are in the business of embracing continuous integration, continuous testing, rapid feedback and continuous delivery. Automating this process increases reliability, quality and ensures that the app delivering what was required.
The rise of mobile brings major changes to traditional development methods. As Gartner explained at their recent Digital Workplace Summit, IT must adjust the way it manages product releases as the cadence of mobile release cycles speeds up.
In short, enterprises cannot approach a mobile development project in the same way that they approached traditional development projects in the past. Efficient and customer-satisfying mobile apps and especially development of those requires agility. But it also requires and delivers short release cycles – and delivers better return-on-investment.