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GCN : November 2013
Mobile development: Four steps to getting it right WHEN IT COMES TO mobile applications, govern- ment agencies have no lack of commercial apps from which to choose. But that's not necessarily an advantage. Although there are countless mobile apps available in the market, the number of feasible options is reduced considerably because of agency concerns about secu- rity and privacy. Still, the Digital Government Strategy calls for "developing models for the secure, yet rapid, delivery of commercial mobile applications into the Fed- eral environment." With government employees already using between 5 and 20 twenty apps --- and most agency IT executives saying they hope to integrate between 20 and 100 apps --- the message is clear: Agencies need to invest in developing their own apps or nd ways to mitigate risk and control access for employees. The good news is that organizations have identi ed a number of strategies that can make the development process move along more smoothly. Here are four that experts say can ease the transition into custom mobile app development. While the tagline, 'There's an app for that,' might suggest that apps should be available for every process within an organiza- tion, that's simply not the case, says Brent Iadarola, research director for Frost and Sullivan's mobile and wireless group. "It's up to IT to uncover which business processes would be more ef cient with mobile enable- ment," he says. Most organizations don't have the right develop- ment skills on staff for the mission they are trying to achieve, says David Eads, founder, Mobile Strategy Partners. "In healthcare or nancial there are regula- tory issues that will require people to have a deep knowledge of those standards to be involved in the creation of apps," he says. It might be tempting to develop apps in a simple language, such as Java- script, but security will be stronger when apps are running in a native application shell, says Eads. While most agencies won't be selling apps or even releasing apps to the general public, it's still important to make sure the apps you are building and potentially supporting are being used and aren't slowing down your employees or constituents, says Jack Gold, an IT consultant and founder of J. Gold Associates in Northborough, Mass. Explains Gold: "If you're not measuring use how will you know if your app is successful?" Mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application manage- ment (MAM) help with the deployment, security, and ongoing development of apps. MDM functions as a single point of contact and control for the management of mobile devices, including pushing out new con gura- tions, policies and apps. Meanwhile, MAM is designed to control, distribute and manage mobile apps. It gives IT an easy channel for developing, testing and publish- ing mobile apps as well as giving it the ability to push out new versions as they move through the develop- ment lifecycle. GET THE FULL REPORT ONLINE AT: GCN.com/2013MobileStrategies Get More Online... Mobile Strategies Report Articles: What's next for mobile security? The other side of mobility: Connecting with constituents Measuring mobile: How to zero in on performance Mobile playbook: Building an agency app store SPONSORED REPORT: SNAPSHOT MOBILE STRATEGIES