[Column] Operational concerns of mobile apps, is there any solution?

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More recently, it has become a jaw-dropping situation to say that mobile is a major trend in the IT environment. Already a few years ago, mobile has become the platform of the future that the IT environment should pursue in the future, and companies have also developed mobile-based applications, in other words, apps in various fields. There were apps for customers, there were apps for internal employees, and there were also a wide variety of areas of work. Mobile apps have now grown into one of the pillars of a company’s information system in such a short period of time that few companies of a certain size or more do not operate one or two mobile apps.

In retrospect, the first time I started to consider introducing mobile apps was around 2009, and in early 2010, I opened the first app to use mobile devices in my company’s operations. The environment at the time was the Windows Mobile operating system, and the handsets were based on the famous Omni. 2010 is four years ago. Looking back on other information systems within the company, there are many systems that have changed little compared to the beginning of 2010 and most of them have changed only a part of the changes that have been made according to the work requirements. But what about the mobile environment? First of all, the Windows Mobile-based app, which was introduced in 2010, developed an additional Android and iOS-based app the following year, and the handset expanded from a single model to an iPhone and several Android phones. And the applicable tasks have expanded from groupware to such areas as sales, inventory management, customer service and purchases.

The mobile environment is very different from the information system environment in other companies. First of all, the software environment of mobile platforms is very fast to change As you already know, the mobile operating system will be upgraded for months at a short time and once a year at a long time. These upgrades to mobile operating systems often provide an environment that is not 100% compatible with the previous environment as mobile-related technologies evolve.

The second is the environment of so many mobile handsets. The iPhone comes with one new model a year, but it’s never too few. Four years later, the iPhone alone is likely to use more than 90 percent of the nation’s mobile operating system at the same time) Android has more than 10 handsets from several manufacturers and it is impossible to tell which types of Android handsets will be used in the field in about four years. Considering that the resolution of these handsets is different and the operating system is also slightly modified, it is really close to disaster.

The third is that despite such a serious operating environment, experts related to mobile apps are not available in the operating organization, which is in charge of running the company’s information systems. It is not easy to let a mobile app expert work long even if he or she is struggling to hire a mobile app expert because he is being treated best in the developer market these days and does not prefer to work in a stagnant operating organization to survive on his own in a rapidly changing technology environment.

This mobile app environment is creating a number of problems. First of all, the high-cost mobile app is difficult to respond quickly even though it does not work normally due to a lack of compatibility due to the emergence of new handsets or upgrades. This will prevent some users from using it, which leads to a decrease in confidence in the system. I’m also a constant source of concern because I’ve experienced several disruptions to these corporate mobile apps due to the iOS upgrade.

And even if the mobile app developed through a difficult management persuasion process is not utilized, it is difficult to upgrade to meet the development of mobile technology in the absence of mobile-related professionals. However, the cost of development is enormous as outside experts are to be employed. Mobile apps that users encounter are constantly evolving day by day, and the company’s mobile apps are still years away from being developed, so it’s natural to look far behind the user’s elevated level. That said, not many companies will be able to upgrade their mobile apps on a regular basis at a high cost. As a result, applications that have been developed are in danger of being reduced to Gyeoreuk. Is there any good way to overcome this situation?

 

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What if a company’s mobile apps were to be provided with specialized technical support or operating services for the mobile app segment? A company’s mobile-based information system can be largely divided into the server sector and mobile app sections. The server portion is not much different from a typical 3-tier Web application. Therefore, an environment has already been established that can be fully operated through an in-house operation organization. On the other hand, the part of the mobile app that corresponds to the client is the main target of the difficulties mentioned so far. Therefore, if professional mobile companies that are familiar with mobile environments provide mobile app special operation services to ordinary businesses, they will have sufficient capabilities in the aforementioned technical aspects, they will be able to utilize professional personnel efficiently as they will be able to reduce maintenance costs, and the application of the latest technologies will be easy, as they will be able to take charge of the mobile app technology environment of various companies. Wouldn’t it be a real add-on if you could get better technology at a lower cost?

Of course, there are still many issues to be raised in the initial introduction, as these cases are still difficult to see. Examples include security issues in the program’s source code, possible leaks of corporate sales information, and unclear accountability. But if we can come up with a mutually reliable solution to these anticipated issues, it may be a good solution for the operation and maintenance of increasingly troubled mobile apps in the enterprise. If there’s any difficulty, there’s a fixer that’s

*Jeong Chul-hwan, a former professor at Samsung SDS and Hanyang University, is currently the head of Dongbu Steel’s IT planning team. His book is “The Way to an Expert in the SI Project,” and he has a one-year history of writing manuscripts for Samsung. It was named the CIO of the Year at the CIO Awards 2012 organized by Korea IDG. ciokr@idg.co.kr

Original article
[CIO Korea] [Column] Operational concerns of mobile apps, is there any solution?