Over the last few years every enterprise has become obsessed with becoming Digital albeit the majority of IT systems are already digital. Most digital endeavors are really ecommerce teams looking at App development rather than digitising paper processes or redesigning the Domain Architecture landscapes to monopolise on technological advances based on the organisations strategy and vision. Although the rise of App Stores is Innovative they are only a new Customer engagement medium due to the evolution of mobile technologies and limitations of web browsers.
Customers are a fickle breed so just creating an App because you haven’t got one isn’t a good enough reason if you aren’t prepared to research the target audience and do it right. With the advent of Web2.0 everything an organisation does it visible and commentable. In this world sometimes it is better to wait and do something right than to launch too soon and have your client base realise you do not understand their needs. Plus they will certainly tell everyone else if they do not agree and you get it wrong.
In the past the decision was easy, mobile or tablet App (Single Size). There wasn’t any need to have variant flavors of interface or operating system as the offering was just an extension of the existing browser experience. However this has now started to change and as different form factors emerge just rendering the screen in a different way with some ad removal will not cut the mustard. This technological revolution will certainly expose the teams who are creating apps with no overlay onto a strategy or Customer Product Roadmaps.
These Form Factor Changes will force all enterprises to revisit their Customer personas and encourage everyone to consider li fecycle mapping before any development commences. This will ensure that any work is targeted at the right customer, at the right time of life with the correct spending pattern, as without these characteristics mapped how can you possibly satisfy your target audience by deploying onto the correct form factor with the right amount of tone of voice and interaction.
Today you certainly need a digital strategy which covers all form factors and is closely linked with the Business and Customer Strategy. Soon the app landscape will have to include mobile, phablets, tablets, laptops, smart watches, TVs plus Google glass and that is without the new trend of wearable tech.
Form factor is going to become the next customer battleground and more customer persona intelligence will be needed. Just knowing your customers preferences and age will no longer be sufficient, knowing their life stage, financial standing and what devices they are likely to purchase is just as important if you want to offer an App they will actually use.