With the mobile applications market going through the roof, Gartner predicts that consumers will spend $6.2 billion in mobile application stores in this year alone. While this is clearly good news for the likes of Apple and Google, it should also be good news mobile application developers if, and it's a big if, the right IT infrastructure in place.
This is the argument put forward by hosting and virtualization services company Hostway in response to Gartner's recent predictions. Hostway director Neil Barton argues that the challenge for developers hoping to make it big in the mobile space is to learn from the mistakes of the traditional web world and ensure that services and applications have the right mix of technology to support them.
"The key issues developers need to address are looking at their target deployment market and getting some kind of measure of whether there is typically enough bandwidth available to support an application or service once it goes live. If the initial demand exceeds expectations, mobile services can start creaking or even be rendered unavailable which immediately creates a negative impression," said Barton.
Hostway suggests that the limitations of hosting applications in the cloud vs. dedicated servers also prompts questions that the developer must consider; using servers from an external provider can support the application, providing application developers with faster data access and flexibility without the IT overheads of hosting and managing the servers themselves.
Extending Hostway's comments in a piece for IT Professional entitled The Enterprise Mobile Applications Development Framework Bhuvan Unhelkar and San Murugesan also point out that, "Enterprises face several challenges in deploying mobile applications, emanating from features such as location independence, contextualization and personalization. The six-layer enterprise Mobile Applications Development Framework offers a systematic and comprehensive solution to mobile application development and maintenance.
And the list goes on… mobile developers do need to be fully cognizant of infrastructural provisioning as Hostway points out. But there are other considerations thrown up by multiple devices, multiple operating systems, multiple touch and gesture based input methods, multiple development processes (perhaps a mix of Agile and one or more other) and methodologies being brought into play and finally, multi-regional language specific and usage specific considerations.
But yes, infrastructure is important, let's hope that mobile software application developers everywhere will start there and work upwards shall we?