Everybody seems to be building an app these days and we spend a lot of our time helping those people achieve that goal. However, I am consistently surprised by how little thought has gone into basic things like the platform the app should be built on. The following isn’t an exhaustive list of things to consider, but it is a good starting point to help you frame your thinking when you start thinking about building an app for your organization:
1. Do other people use it? The community of people who are also building and using apps on your platform makes a big difference. It contributes to determining how available talent will be to work on your app, how comfortable people will be with the user interface and what the network of other apps that you may be able to connect to bring more value to your stakeholders will be. Bottom line the value of your app is in some part tied to how popular it is to build on top of the same platform.
2. Is it secure? This is a huge consideration that often doesn’t get the same attention as other factors until you start talking to the security folks in your organization. Then secure connections, two factor authentication and a myriad of other considerations start to get really critical. Unfortunately, this is often well after the decision on where to be built has happened.
3. Can it scale and evolve? Even if your app is built in a cloud environment it is important to take scalability into account. Can you go from tens of users to thousands in a reasonable time line? Do you really get the economy of scale the cloud promises? Will success ultimately mean failure because it comes with lengthening response times and an inability to meet new user requirements?
The above are just a starting point, but I believe these simple questions are a good starting point for thinking about what to do BEFORE you decide to build your organization’s next app. If you want help thinking through the above get in touch.