10 Steps to Mobilization
September 22, 2006
Some shops develop mobile applications the way a Boy Scout rolls his sleeping bag: fold, press air out, roll, press and repeat until you can stuff it in the nylon sack and tie the pull-string tight. Companies likewise take a desktop app, remove all the white space in forms, rearrange fields to fit tiny screens, shrink the database and jam the package into a mobile device. In this case, though, it's not a pull-string but a noose they're pulling tight, damning the application project to a slow, painful death at the hands of its own inflexibility and dearth of usability.
Repeat after us: Mobile applications are not the same as desktop applications. Mobile application deployment cannot be compared with rolling out the latest version of Microsoft Office to PCs on the corporate network. Mobile applications feel different, the hardware is smaller, and connectivity is limited and sporadic. Unfortunately, as we discuss in "Mobile Version of the Valdez", the mobile-application ecosystem has been thoroughly polluted by the consumer-focused character of wireless carriers. It isn't easy for an enterprise to completely meet its needs without assembling the parts itself. Never fear: Here's a 10-step road map to ensure a successful rollout.