It's time for agencies to shift from costly manual app development to a build-once, deploy-anywhere model.

Brian Paget, Technical Director for Content & Analytics, Adobe

May 1, 2014

2 Min Read

Instead, they should adopt commercial best practices and use mobile apps to drive down the overall cost of interactions, increase the value of agency interactions for citizens, and open a direct line to constituents outside of emails that often get lost, blocked, or ignored.

Mobile apps represent a core component of an effective "omni-channel" approach to citizen services -- one that incorporates mobile, Web, social, call center, and in-person interactions. Budget-sensitive agencies increasingly eye the omni-channel approach as a way to shift from costly call center and in-person interactions to mobile apps and the web.

3. Evaluate the benefits of a single mobile app development platform.
Investing in building mobile applications is often the first -- and last -- time an agency makes a move towards mobile. Agencies are often steered off course if they experience fewer benefits and higher costs than anticipated.

To ensure the desired ROI of mobile app deployment, agencies may find it more feasible to pursue a build-once, deploy-anywhere methodology that leverages a single template across multiple channels. With a single development platform, agencies can extend content and forms out to mobile devices at a fraction of the cost and effort required for custom mobile app builds.

Instead of coding for each platform (i.e., Objective-C for iOS apps, Java for Android apps, and C++ for Windows apps), an agency can write an app leveraging one common code base (JSP/HTML & CSS), resulting in significant cost savings. Agencies further benefit when it comes to updating content because it is cheaper to maintain and keeps the app relevant over time.

Federal IT providers and contractors that support a build-once, deploy-anywhere methodology are well positioned to address the budget and time-to-market realities agency customers face. And agencies that embrace this methodology for mobile app development will find themselves ready to reap the full benefits of mobile.

What do Uber, Bank of America, and Walgreens have to do with your mobile app strategy? Find out in the new Maximizing Mobility issue of InformationWeek Tech Digest.

About the Author(s)

Brian Paget

Technical Director for Content & Analytics, Adobe

Ziv Kedem is co-founder and CEO of Zerto. Previously, he was a founder of Kashya Inc., where he served as CTO and developed a widely used storage replication solution for disaster recovery. Ziv sold Kashya to EMC for $160 million in 2006.

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