Are consumer and enterprise apps converging?

20 year olds build consumer apps and 40 year olds build enterprise apps. Over simplification, or there some truth in my non-scientific observation? The consumer space is full of entrepreneurs, large investment, lots of success (and lots of failure) with high speed to market. The enterprise app is full of return on investment studies, business cases, slow speed to market, but lower failures, at least that’s the traditional view.

But, taking the vibe at Apps World at the ExCel, London it was clear that consumer apps weren’t being built using the traditional “waterfall” process, everything is about speed to market, so agile or scrum methods are the order of the day . Change is embraced with these methods, constant re-prioritisation and “fail fast, learn quickly” is normal practice. I have noticed a recent trend where naturally more risk averse enterprise customers are accepting that agile gives better results, largely due to the closer involvement of the business throughout the app lifecycle. I’ve seen an increase in enterprise apps built with “gamification” – in other-words, taking some of the consumer app gaming style to keep enterprise users engaged through the app workflow.

Businesses seem to be learning the lesson that enterprise apps, done well, are a significant competitive advantage and that failing fast and learning early is an acceptable way to harness innovation in their businesses.

Author: David Hartwell

David Hartwell is an IOT & Digital Transformation Consultant at Tech Data, EMEA. His career began with over 20 years in design and engineering within the nuclear industry, after which he travelled extensively across China, Europe, America and South Africa in customer-facing roles with various software vendors associated with asset-intensive industries. Today, David advises customers on IOT and digital strategy and brings real-world experience with sensors, cloud, communications, digital and analytics technologies. He believes that the lessons of digital transformation, where users are firmly centred at the heart of the solution; can and must be applied to IOT.

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