Managing deployed mobile apps

Apps out in the wild

Recently I was introduced to the concept of “RevApps.” These are the apps that an organization uses to strengthen their market share position, grow revenue and advance against the competition. Simply they are the Revenue Applications.

Gartner talks about Pace-Layered applications comprising of “systems of record”, “systems of differentiation” and “systems of innovation”. SoR are those systems that every organization has like payroll and HR. SoD are the systems you need because of the nature of your business: for example if your business is inventory management the inventory management system would be an SoD. And the SoI are the RevApps, the apps that separate you from the competitor like the loyalty card, or the dividend rewards or the free-shipping and no-questions-asked return policy.

These are the apps that need to be revised and deployed with a much faster cadence than other, normal, apps. And the RevApps are invariably mobile apps.

So what is the best way make sure that these apps can be revised and deployed effectively and repeatably. The answer, in short, is automation of the deployment process.

We have come to accept that we need a common infrastructure for our development teams, testing teams and change and release teams. But that was a response to the chaos created, or inherited, over many cycles of technology and methodology changes. We now realize that the way the web team works is completely different to how the back-end team organizes. Yet we still try to standardized the infrastructure.

Mobile apps changes that. The need for speed, for reliable and repeatable deployment means that we have to put in place supporting solutions that understand the complexity of mobile apps, agile development, continuous integration and deployment and that integrate into our existing tools for ticketing and testing and repository management.

The most critical part of modern tools for mobile apps is the ability to directly deploy to the app stores the changes that will come with increasing rapidity. With cloud and virtualization the new watch word in standing up test environments: direct, automated, deployment to the app store is the next logical consequence.

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