Balancing Desktop and Mobile Development with Tom Bradley

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Tony Bradley is a regular contributor for Forbes and Editor-in-Chief for Techspective. In an episode of IT Visionaries, Tony discusses the balance of developing applications for desktop and mobile – and how building an app for your employees is different than designing for customers.

But one area Tony really dug into was mobile technology and the rise of mobile apps.

There is no arguing that mobile has become ubiquitous in the lives of many. In fact, a mobile device — be it a phone or a tablet — is the main computing device that many people use on a daily basis. This trend will likely continue, but Tony cautions that we can’t get too far ahead of our skis when it comes to mobile. There are still many things that you can do on a desktop that would be impossible on a mobile device. Either way – companies need to be thinking about optimizing the experience for users on their mobile devices.

“Mobile has exploded —it’s definitely the trend, and it’s definitely the future,” Tony says. “But I’m not sure that I would call a ‘time of death’ on the PC anytime soon. That said, I think tit’s important for all companies – whether you’re talking about building a customer-facing app or an internal app for employees – to have the app and not expect people to use a mobile website.”

A mobile-specific app will always offer a better user experience than a mobile website, Tony explains. And it is thanks to the invention of mobile apps that so many modern companies even exist. However – Tony also explains that not every company needs an app, and determining whether you do or don’t boils down to knowing who your customers are.

“Not every company needs to have a mobile app,” he says. “If you’re asking, ‘Do I need to develop a mobile app?’ I think the start of the answer to that question is: are you expecting people to do something else on their on their mobile device? If your business is such that there wouldn’t be any reason for someone to pull out their smartphone and try to go to your website and do business with you? If not, then you probably don’t need a mobile app. But if there’s any function or any interaction with your company on the mobile device level, then yes, I think it’s worth looking at. But I don’t think you want to just build a mobile app for the sake of building a mobile app, because then it becomes an administrative and potential security headache to  make sure that it’s updated. I you’re going to have it, it’s got to be good. Otherwise, you’re making yourself look bad.” 

For more from Tony’s interview, click here.

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