The future is an app

It took us a while to get there, and we had to get mobile first, but apps are about to explode as the best way to do business. It just makes sense to have light-weight, purpose-built functionality that’s highly specific to the various tasks within roles in the organization. We’ll look back someday in the (not too distant) future and chuckle that we once made everyone in the organization use a single application.

Disposable work

As counterintuitive as it seems, the best apps will be disposable by design. Rather than spending time on requirements and cycles of development, apps can take an “Always Be Testing” approach that rides out to meet the customer with iterations of design and development deployed through apps that are either useful or replaced by something better.

The beauty of narrow functionality and low-cost development is the disposability of the end product. The less work invested, the less the organization feels obligated to support the results. Change can happen faster.

The app you never open

A great story in TechCrunch, Irreducible, points out that an app approach done well shouldn’t force the organization to adopt new behaviors. It should make life easier. Bump is an excellent example of an app that significantly lowers the amount of work necessary to perform basic tasks like exchanging contact information.

The future of app development is limitless and involves apps that never have to be opened and automatically perform based on location or other factors.

Infrastructure is everything

Getting to an app approach means having an infrastructure that serves up information when and where it is needed. It means data is independent of functionality and its eventual use.

Rather than data being managed at the point of use, it will be sorted, sifted, moved, transformed and distributed in the infrastructure so that by the time it hits the app, it is just like the app itself…purpose-built. Rules, events, process, patterns, analytics and more will be application-agnostic. It turns conventional design on its head.

Apps are so much more than Words with Friends and Angry Birds. Just like social media, the ‘outside world’ will lead the way for the workplace.

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Categories: Apps, Consumerization, Featured, Workplace Reality

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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2 Comments on “The future is an app”

  1. December 4, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    You are so very right on this one. Perhaps a twist on your theme is having the ability to roll your own app, with some constraints. Much less waiting around for programmers to write code. That will be huge in the future. Critical pieces are a simple interface, such as natural language input through keyboard and voice, and AI for user assistance with realizing their vision. This new generation of apps is coming sooner than later.


  1. Money for nothing and the clicks for free | Successful Workplace - October 21, 2012

    […] mobile sites were mostly unusable before Apple came along with the app concept. The benefits of mobility have been delayed several years by a delay in understanding what mobile […]

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