Mobile Application or Mobile Website: How to Decide?

Have you counted the number of applications (or “apps”) that you have downloaded onto your cellphone? The answer is probably in the 100 range, without including the number of updates that you are asked to install each week!

What should your business choose to offer: a mobile app or a mobile website?

Depending on the use that you wish to make of it, both of these solutions are worth considering. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

In the case of mobile apps, these are defined as software applications that are downloaded onto a mobile device, whereas mobile websites are Internet sites that are tailored to the formats of smartphones and tablets.

How long will mobile app remain on our devices before we decide to remove them? This is up for debate. Mobile websites, however, are at all times available to users.

Over time, the support and maintenance of a mobile app could require more effort compared to a website.

Mobile app updates must be downloaded by users, thereby reducing the available space on their devices, whereas web updates are less cumbersome both for users and for businesses.

Is it thus worth considering the abandonment of mobile apps?

By 2019, it is predicted that 20% of brands will abandon their mobile apps (Pemberton, 2017). Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult to entice users to download an app, as they have the luxury of choosing whether or not to do so.

This shows that the number of app downloads has plateaued due to user fatigue for downloading and using the apps that are available. It is accordingly difficult for businesses to maintain interest among users for their mobile apps (Leow, Baker, Marshall, Revang and Wong, 2016).

By 2022, it is predicted that 70% of software interactions will be completed on a mobile platform, but if the trend continues, apps will only be one element in the chain of interactions between users and their devices rather than being at the centre of these interactions. For example, virtual personal assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Google Now will become increasingly present in such interactions and will thus leave less room for the apps themselves (Leow et al., 2016).

You must be wondering: what are the recovery prospects for developers and promoters of apps? Here are a few proposed solutions.

One suggestion is to put emphasis on the development of ultra-personalized user experiences. This means developing sophisticated apps that use cloud computing services as well as device functionalities to manage data to make predictions for user needs in real time and to offer a unique, personalized and dynamic experience (Leow at al., 2016).

In the case of a mobile app for a retail business, rather than sending the same notification to all users for a 30% rebate, the notification could be sent to one client in particular according to his or her needs, determined according to his or her online activity and profile saved in the customer relationship management (CRM) records of the business.

For example, according to the cumulative historical data on a user based on his or her past use, it is a lunchtime that this client is most likely to consult his or her mobile device. It is accordingly at this time that the customer receives a limited-time offer of 50% savings available at his or her favourite swimwear retailer, meanwhile a local heat wave is predicted for the following week!

It is anticipated that by 2021, 50% of all apps will generate personalized events according to user interest, thereby rendering mobile applications more efficient (Leow et al., 2016).

Brands who design such apps will thus have a better chance of success.

Project delivery success factors

After more than 15 years of specialized project management work, I have noted several essential elements that
are key success factors that will greatly influence the outcome. This article aims to share with you some of
those elements that come up most often.

In order to successfully deliver a project, there are some prerequisites that can not be circumvented :

N˚1 Having a senior project officer in the organization, motivated to support the project.
N˚2 A clearly defined scope.
N˚3 An understanding of the measurable benefits that will be gained by delivering the project.
N˚4 A team fully dedicated to the project whose performance will be evaluated by the project’s leadership. This team should be composed of competent members, expert in their field and empowered to make decisions.
N˚5 Availability of experts from different business sectors in support of the project.
N˚6 A work environment (including desk and meeting rooms) that facilitates teamwork and interaction among project team members.

If any of the above elements are left unmet, it is essential to develop a plan and actions to remedy the situation otherwise the success of the project will be impacted or even doomed to failure.

Once this step is completed, it will be the responsibility of the project manager to :

N˚1 Define the roles and responsibilities of each member of the team.
N˚2 Define the deliverables to be produced and the person responsible for each of them.
N˚3 Build a detailed delivery plan.
N˚4 Define processes for review and acceptance of deliverables (to be considered in planning).
N˚5 Clearly communicate, usually in a kick-off meeting, this information so that it is clearly known by each member of the team as well as to the organization that will take it into account.

50 % of the success factors of a project are based on a well-established and communicated
project plan and all the elements mentioned above.

Important note
A project plan must be realistic, which does not mean to amplify the duration of the activities, but to understand
the necessary steps to complete a deliverable : For example, if the review and approval cycle of a deliverable is as long as the time to develop it, this should be reflected in the project plan. One way to do this would be to assign 80 % of the resources to the tasks of creation of deliverables and 20 % to the approval of these tasks. Other planning techniques will need to be evaluated as well; for example, if a deliverable requires 10 days of effort to complete a first version (before approval), it may be a good idea (to be assessed on a case-by-case basis) to consider making two deliveries in parallel of 10 days each over 20 days . The reason being is that there may be waiting times in response to questions or any other delay. These delays will have little or no impact if the team members can continue to
do productive work.

Finally, a tight management of the stakes linked to the daily performance of the members of the team are essential to the success of the delivery of the project. This daily task can not be underestimated and represents the other 50 % of the project’s chances of success. There are many other things to consider before, during and after closing a project (change management, profit measurement, etc.). However if the points mentioned in this article are implemented, the project manager will put all the chances on his side in order to obtain a quality delivery!