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HP Software's community for IT leaders // November 2012

Start building the apps your users will want

The Enterprise 20/20 ebook tackles the future of the dev center and finds three key concepts you should embrace right now.

Take a look around you. How many items can you spot (and are you carrying on your person) that include some form of software? Now imagine what this same view will look like in the next decade.

By 2020, software will compose the fabric of our lives. Already, smartphones are nearly ubiquitous, premium automobiles include millions of lines of code, and some household appliances are Wi-Fi-enabled. More will surely come.

What does this mean for app development in the future? Our Enterprise 20/20 community—an online collaboration of top executives, analysts, technologists, and industry peers—has identified “the three Cs” that will drive application development in 2020: consumerization, commodification, and computing everywhere. Here’s a quick overview of what’s detailed in the latest chapter of our crowd-sourced e-book, “Dev Center 20/20.”

Consumerization: The evolution toward user-centricity

Consumerization means more than just mobility or bringing your own device. Apps must now provide a seamless experience in a multi-screen world, placing the user over the device as the most important part of the equation. App development teams in the future must embrace user-centricity, and be prepared for the following effects of consumerization:

  • User experience (UX) design will be paramount. Apps teams will be expected to think of design and user interaction together.
  • Enterprises must be able to deliver experiences on different form factors, screen sizes, and devices with different computing power and capabilities.
  • Apps teams must test user behavior on multiple form factors, and be able to adjust functionality quickly.
  • User ratings and social media trending will determine success just as much as application performance and ROI.

Commodification: Borderless IT and the ‘citizen developer’

In a commodified world, many minds will contribute to app development. Central IT will be a thing of the past as architectures evolve from monolithic to service-based, opening up a free-market system in which enterprises can access services that provide non-core functions (payroll, CRM, etc.). Enterprises will be able to focus innovation on the systems that differentiate them while selecting supplementary apps from a variety of sources:

  • Apps will consist of larger anchoring systems, such as HR/payroll, CRM, and supply chain suites, supplemented by apps that perform discrete functions.
  • Apps stores will provide a baseline of quality, security, and consistency, which will lightly regulate the free market of app development.
  • IT will be tasked with maintaining a master record of data to avoid a proliferation of conflicting data views.

Computing everywhere: A universe of “smart things”

The combined influences of consumerization and commodification will result in software enveloping our world. Smart cars, smart appliances, and ever more personal devices will all require code to be written and data to be collected and managed. These systems everywhere, large and small, will need to be managed, secured, and updated.

By 2020, the lessons learned by IT application groups will have passed over to business computing:

  • IT enterprise desktop management best practices will help enterprises keep the thousands upon thousands of “things” they’re managing up to date.
  • Correlating the root cause of IT problems and setting up automated self-healing to keep our smart technologies healthy will be a key practice borrowed from modern IT management systems.
  • The techniques we’ve learned to defend our IT systems against viruses and hacks will be carried over to protect our smart things.

The dev center of 2020

Tomorrow’s enterprise dev centers have a big job ahead of them. They’ll need to innovate faster and more frequently as the three mega-trends described above will be applying constant pressure for change. How do you see enterprise dev centers taking on the needs of tomorrow’s users and business needs? Share your perspective by joining our Enterprise 20/20 community.

Read more about “the three Cs” of app development in 2020 in our latest e-book chapter, “Dev Center 20/20.”


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