Developing Agile and Future-Ready Apps

By Seema Gaur, CIO, IFFCO-TOKIO GIC

The market has witnessed a surge in the number of mobile devices. The increase in smart-phones has elevated the number of apps used by consumers. The companies and business houses are coming up with mobile-first applications and products. In Indian scenario, it is also mandatory that the apps are compatible with 2G and 3G networks as the rural India isn’t as empowered as urban. The mobile app development technology has to be agile with frequent updation rolled out as quickly as possible.

With a wide range of apps coming up, the engagement factor is necessary. What makes an app engaging? Things like promotional discounts and notifications engage the customer in case of utility apps. Having an easy to use and self-guiding user interface is just as important. The other factor is that the app should be light as no one likes apps that make the phone bulky. E-commerce apps use attractive discounts to lure customers into their app. The most cost-effective way of designing an app is to have your own development team. This way, we can roll out updates and upgrade according to the requirements.

The latest trend in the market would be creating B2B apps for intermediaries to help customers who need help installing apps. The end services could be delivered to the customer by the intermediary using the app on the phone. B2B apps are like a web-portal, if you give it to the customer, he won't be able to use it as he is not familiar with the internet usage. If an intermediary tells the customer what he/she wants as a service, then that could be delivered on the spot in those cases.

Another common trend is offering App-as-a-Service, where you have web aggregators. In a platform like this, a single app provides multiple services like electricity billing, insurance etc. This trend is catching up as customers don’t need to install individual apps for multiple purposes. Many mobile app development startups are coming up with this idea. A recent example of this would be Billboy, a startup offering a single platform for different activities of the customer.

There are several methods being employed to make apps safe like encryption of data, remote wipe tools etc. Remote wipe tools can be used in cases where the device is lost or reaches a person who is not supposed to be using the app. The tool automatically removes all the data.

The transaction has moved from desktops and tablets to mobile. We are moving towards doing business and meeting daily requirements with just a click of the button. The mobiles are the future; they are becoming more and more powerful. Alerts are going to get more personalized and powerful.Internet of things IoT can be leveraged to send alerts. For example, for insurance industry, if the customer met with an accident, the device would send signal to the call centre. Another example would be an app monitoring driver behavior and sending advice notifications.

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