Every week our team here at OPI talks to a business or business owner and we get asked “iOS or Android?” and there is no right answer because it is the wrong question that is being asked.
For the small business owner it can be a very elementary decision such as, “Do I need an app?”. The answer maybe as simple as “No, you need a mobile view of your website so people can find your office and office hours.” or “Yes, your customers need a better interaction with your service.”
With Enterprise clients the situation may be more complex, but the questions and answers are the same. We get asked, “My team wants an iOS application, and I am wondering if I need Android now or later…” The answer is “perhaps” but again the wrong question is being asked.
The question needs to be, “What business problem are you trying to solve?” In many cases the problem is much bigger than just creating a mobile application. At OPI we have helped customers solve business issues such as, “Sales are literally walking out the door, because my sales team cannot keep the customer engaged”, or “My team needs mobile tools to more effectively service our customers out in the field”.
Like the small business owner, these enterprise companies have elementary problems. But the solutions to these problems are a technical solution that is more than the mobile application itself. In some cases we might be developing secure, scalable Mobile APIs, that can be used for more than just a mobile app. In other cases OPI has lead the development of a full vertical stack from front to back to help simplify integration issues.
In all of these cases, our job as mobile consultants was to solve a business problem and that solution then brings value to the customer. If you are a business owner always ask yourself, “What problem do I need this technical tool to solve?”. If your technical partner is not helping you answer this question then you are not seeing the full value of your dollars spent.
If you are a technical consultant, do not get caught up in the technical details of a project before you fully understand why this solution is important to your client.
You may also be aware that OPI does some great native mobile development work and we have been called upon by clients, agencies, and even other development shops to tackle mobile apps that require the reliable, secure enterprise integration expertise our team possesses.
So check back, because at least once a quarter we will focus on highlighting some of the past and current mobile work that OPI is working on in 2014. Whether the project is a native app developed in iOS or Android, or is a cross platform mobile app built with modern HTML5 technologies we will highlight why the technology stack was chosen for a project and provided immediate value to the client.