As consumers adopt more and more applications, it is changing the business model for developers and solution providers and creating opportunity for those who can keep pace with the changing landscape, a new CSC study released Monday said.
The experience of the app and its functionality are now tied together, the study said, which presents a challenge for developers to create more visually appealing and intuitive apps for end users.
"The speed, simplicity and appeal of the app experience may have started as smartphone and consumer phenomena, but this is now the model for how information systems will be built and used in the future. The digital economy is no longer just out there on the web; it is literally in the palm of your hand," the study said.
Developers, the study said, should now take engagement, context, modalities and design into consideration. As more apps flood the marketplace, developers face heightened stakes to increase the personalization and user-friendliness of their apps, said CSC CTO Dan Hushon in an interview with CRN about how the study will affect the channel. He gave the example of an estimate of 10,000 calendar apps on the Google and Apple stores, and how the increased amount of consumer choice means that developers must work even harder to distinguish themselves.
"The bigger piece is all of this opportunity to do things differently is going to create a shift in the economics. ... It's going to be a little less about the infrastructure and a little more about the software, which is kind of the new brains and brawn of the transformation," Hushon said. "It's incredibly healthy. What we see is innovation in user experience is actually driving some of the next wave; ... it's actually going to make it more interesting and native to interact with information."
Hushon said gone are the days of a "chunky [app] with a billion tabs across the top" that is designed for everyone. Without choice, he said, there was massive app complexity. Now, more developers are working on micro applications, customized for each company or even each end user.
With that comes an increased focus on the physical appearance of the app and its visual appeal, he said.
"What we're now seeing, and I joked about this at a recent tech team meeting, but when's the last time that you actually put a graphic designer on an application team as an enterprise?" Hushon said.
NEXT: The Move Away From Functionality Toward User Experience