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Mobile & Web

Mobile is Dead; Long Live Mobile

At Cantina we’re thinking about two under-recognized technology shifts: that everything is now mobile, and all digital technology is potentially public-facing.

Nearly all digital interactions are now being consumed, at least in part, on mobile devices. Though there are still debates about apps vs. responsive sites, or even mobile-only sites, those debates are really over. All sites need to be responsive. Mobile-only sites are dead, and apps make sense for a narrow slice of brands. However, the "appification" of site function continues; the difference between an app and a site is lessening as site functions are unbundled and become intrinsically mobile.

All sites need to be responsive. Mobile-only sites are dead, and apps make sense for a narrow slice of brands.

And it's not just public-facing efforts that are mobile, every technical project has mobile implications now. Back-end systems, databases, API's, management systems: all of these have rapidly developing mobile facets. They have to integrate with a near-infinite variety of screen sizes, OS variants, users and contexts.

This has implications for how projects are developed, particularly for the enterprise.

Infrastructure and the customer experience

The days when nine months are spent writing the requirements, six months sourcing the vendor and two years writing the code are fading away. In some cases infrastructure projects are deemed too costly and risky to develop iteratively, but in other cases they are now being built like start-up consumer-facing products using a lean development method, agile development and a fast-fail/optimization cycle that's pushing out updates in weeks, not months/years. And even the bigger, slow-moving traditional infrastructures are being developed to be more open and flexible than they were in the past.

Thus, sophisticated user experience design is now required of more projects than ever before. Even purely internal systems are now expected to have a user-friendly easy-navigation interface. Systems that used to be purely internal are finding their way out to partners and customers. Expectations are higher from employees, executives, partners and the public, who expect a consumer-quality mobile experience.

So to develop for the future is to develop for mobile, and that means adapting every technology aspect of your business support your mobile goals. Focus on the experience you want to provide to your audience, and the context they’ll be having it in and you’ll rise above the noise.

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