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    15 2015

    The Pros and Cons of a Mobile First Approach in Enterprises

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    The Pros and Cons
    of a Mobile-First Approach in

    'Mobile-first approach,' the term, is gaining momentum as mobile devices have become one of the primary ways to access the Internet, view emails and social networks, and also first point of contact with businesses. It is a design and development approach in which, applications are first conceptualized for mobile devices, and then for desktops.

    These days, as enterprises look to move towards mobility, applications are being designed first for mobiles, then for desktops. This approach is largely inspired by the growth in mobile adoption, and the urgency to provide content that is optimized for mobile screens.

    Agreed! But responsive designs are already helping businesses to scale down complex applications for mobile screens, then why is the mobile-first approach gaining tractionon the technology frontiers? Why there is a need for this radicalchange?

    Mobile-first approach goes beyond responsive designs. It uncovers design and development possibilities that focuses on the content, and at the same time, exploits mobile features (camera, accelerometer, etc.) for effective representation of key information.

    Focus on
    core content and functionality
    to improve user experience

    When you frame concepts for the desktop version of the application, you take advantage of the larger screen and accordingly shape your ideas. You prefer robust applications featuring high resolution images, text and videos that augment the user experience. However, when you shrink the design for the mobile screens, you land in a spot of bother. The design feels like a diluted version of the desktop application and more like an afterthought than a genuine finished product. This is where mobile-first approach comes into the picture. When you develop applications for a mobile ecosystem:

    • You project what matters to the users
    • Your application looks smart, lean and loads fast
    • You present your best content upfront revolving around a call to action button
    • You focus on the core content and functionality
    • You exploit device capabilities like camera, GPS, etc.
    • You can stage design that is adaptive not fluid

    Modernize key business
    processes in the true sense

    Enterprises have been making a mistake of scaling down desktop applications for mobile screens. Thus, compromising on the ease of accessibility and user experience. However, a mobile-first approach enable businesses to identify processes best suited for mobile automation, and decide the type of application to be developed (native or web-based). Doing this helps businesses to:

    • Provide categorized information to employees,consumers and partners
    • Select the right business process to mobilize
    • Decide on a business model to monetize the application
    • Provide the right user experience
    • Take advantage of the different mobile OS
    • Develop right APIs for application integration

    Bring order to

    The application was precisely conceptualized for the mobile screen and capabilities. As a result, employees were able to collaborate in real-time with accurate information for proactive and right decision making.

    Many businesses are migrating key operations on the mobile screens.They are empowering their workforce with tablets and smartphones that run complex enterprise applications. But the key to their success has been a mobile-first approach. They develop enterprise applications that exploit capabilities of mobile devices and provide greater availability and accessibility of business information.

    According to a report published in CIO, Delta airlines provided smartphones to more than 19,000 flight attendants and tablets to nearly 11,000 pilots.They developed applications that provide precise information in real-time for collaboration, and access to up-to-date flight resources that include checklists, reference documents and key charts.

    The downside of a
    mobile-first approach

    Mobile-First Approach isn’t a cakewalk. Right from the outset, the approach is hit with constraints like smaller screens, fewer resources and device limitations.

    Although many enterprises are implementing this approach to solve specific business problems, looking at their initiatives, it appears to be a temporary solution for feeding the need of mobile audiences. There aren’t any concrete measures taken to scale the existing IT infrastructure or raise new infrastructure for supporting the mobile-first approach.

    The existing infrastructure is focused on powering legacy applications. They are not strengthened to provide uniform support to the current legacy and upcoming mobile applications.

    In addition, the variation in the architecture of mobile applications designed and developed for specific functions like direct store delivery, field service optimization or sales applications for employees in the enterprise causes data integration issues.

    It has also been observed that the front-end client development is easy, but the complex, expensive and time-consuming part is to align the apps with company’s security policies to ensure risk-free and flawless content management on the mobile device.


    As consumerisation of IT and mobile-first trends collide, businesses have a unique opportunity to champion a new generation of enterprise applications and lead their companies on a mobile-first journey. The challenges in the mobile-first approach would continue to evolve; however, this is an exciting time when you can harness the power of mobility and attain unprecedented levels of productivity. So discuss with us the possibilities revolving around the mobile-first approach and get ready to take the leap.

    What we can offer?

    At Cygnet, we develop mobile applications with a deep understanding of the mobile-ecosystem and its relevance to your business. We have been serving global enterprises with innovative mobile solutions that relate people, process and technology for fulfilling their envisioned business outcomes. We have already served some of the leading firms operating under diverse verticals.

    To share your ideas or know more about our mobile solutions, contact us and capitalize on the mobile priority.

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