When opposites don’t attract: The app vs The platform


The IT world is a dichotomy.

On one hand we have our peers and educators telling us that to learn to code creates a foundation for entry into the world of the software business and yet in our own enterprise domain we yearn for the ability to create without code. Take a look at the startup scene and once again we find examples of lean and agile apps which allows a user to quickly imagine and prototype what the experience and process will look like.

No code prototyping

AppGyver is one such example, it’s a mobile app prototyper, aimed at those who need to rapidly iterate on designs during the mobile app-dev process. While is doesn’t mean that the prototype is anywhere near a finished product the fact you can build the look and feel in minutes is a standout feature.

I look at the enterprise platform industry and it’s as far removed from the above example as possible. I’ve seen plenty of marketing from vendors about their ‘no coding’ approach to building process based applications but it always falls way short of the promise. When an organisation invests in a platform it expects to be able to rapidly prototype and show its business users just what it will look and feel like without the need for significant investment in technical upskilling of its business workforce.

But the problem is two-fold;

  • the platforms themselves are not as agile as they make out. They require analysis, requirements gathering, technical input, data, connectors, training, in order to make something look remotely feasible and workable.
  • the methods we apply in business transformation are too deeply rooted in the past to allow lean startup approaches. You only have to look at PMP and Prince2 to recognise there’s nothing in there that means agile. Even SCRUM doesn’t lend itself to prototyping this way, in reality  it still takes days/ weeks not minutes/ hours.

Opposites don’t attract

The IT world is indeed a dichotomy.

Modern enterprises are looking to move swiftly toward a leaner, app-centric approach. One which allows the business user more input into design, process and implementation without the need for technical expertise in the earlier stages. But enterprise platform vendors are a long way off in understanding this trend and still deliver solutions which are the exact opposite.

And in this case, opposites no longer attract and those platforms will be pushed out in favour of the app.

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Categories: Apps, BPM, Information Technology, Tech Strategy

Author:Theo Priestley

"I had more creative ideas from Theo in 6 months than I have had in 6 years from most people." Theo Priestley is one of the most recognised independent technology industry influencers and evangelists, ranking in the Top 100 thought leaders across Virtual/ Augmented Reality, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things and future trends. Theo has written insights for Forbes, Wired, The European Magazine, Venturebeat to name a few, and has been interviewed for many online publications including the BBC on his thoughts on technology and the future. A regular paid keynote speaker and panelist at conferences and events, Theo is engaged for his forthright views and isn't afraid to challenge conventional thinking and the marketing hype surrounding the industry when presenting, never pulling punches to get the message across on how technology can be applied to improve business and the customer experience. He has also successfully organised and run TEDx and Ignite events. Highly active across social networks, he sits in the Top 1% for social media engagement on Kred and Klout and is constantly sharing articles and his analysis that he feels his audience would be interested in. Theo is also active in the startup community, mentoring within UK and US accelerators and sits on a number of advisory boards. Former VP and Chief Technology Evangelist at a Top 25 European enterprise software company with a career spanning both innovation strategy and delivery of software and business change in Financial Services, and as an independent technology industry analyst. Follow Theo on Twitter @tprstly or connect here directly for constant insights on tech and marketing trends. • Top 1% Influencer on Kred (915) • Top 1% Influencer on Klout (70+) • 12,000+ Followers on LinkedIn • 13,000+ Followers on Twitter • Recognised Top Influencer in AI, Virtual/ Augmented Reality, Fintech, IOT and Wearable Tech, Big Data and Analytics.

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One Comment on “When opposites don’t attract: The app vs The platform”

  1. March 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    @ Theo Priestley – I agree with you that IT world is dichotomy. IT world can be divided into two parts – business technical and Coding technical. IT world believes that creating business software is an art. But my understanding is that it is not a art but a science.

    Creating business software similar to the business application requires knowledge of across industries, across functions, across business processes and knowledge of behavior science and It interfaces. IT world believes that it is not possible to learn all the knowledge by one person. That is why SAP produces specialists of one module NOT the SAP specialists.

    If you find any sponsor interested to code the body of knowledge and create business software, which can convert your thoughts to reality, please let me know

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