Three Megatrends To Master For Application Development

Hockey god Wayne Gretzky said, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." For application development professionals, three megatrends show you where to skate to be more successful:

  • Megatrend 1: Get faster. The recession that started in December 2007 created a hunker-down mentality. The sentiment for IT became: "We need to do more with less." As we emerge from the recession, albeit in an unresounding way, the new sentiment is: "We need to get faster." The pace of business change continues to accelerate, and that in turn has intensified the need for application development professionals to deliver and change applications faster. The industrialization of application development has failed. Scrap it. You must get faster, and that means changing your process, changing your technology, and changing your organization. Software development is more akin to making a movie than to making widgets on an assembly line.
  • Megatrend 2: Design perfect user experiences. If you get the user experience (UX) wrong, then nothing else matters. The UX is the part of your application that your employees and/or customers see and use daily. You can do an exceptional job on project management, requirements gathering, architecture, data management, testing, and coding, but if the user experience is poor, your results will be mediocre — or even a complete failure. What has changed is that users expect great user experiences because consumer product firms such as Apple continue to raise the bar on UX expectations. This is your job. You are not genetically incapable of designing great user experiences. App developers are in constant learning mode about new technologies. Get in learning mode about how to design fantastic user experiences, because that is ultimately how your application will be judged.
  • Megatrend 3: Do mobile. Smartphone and tablet applications continue to proliferate. If you are not one of the proliferators, then get on it right away. Mobile is not just another channel. It is the channel. If you think mobile app design is about choosing the best development tools and designing for a smaller screen size, guess again. Sure, the platform is important, but great mobile user experiences don’t happen just because you chose the best development tools. To deliver apps your users will love, you must design a user experience that is useful, usable, and desirable in a mobile context of location, locomotion, immediacy, intimacy, and device. See megatrends 1 and 2.

You Must Master The Megatrends

Deliver faster, design great user experiences, and have the talent to develop mobile applications, and you will be among the top application development teams in the world. To achieve this, you need to make a list of all of your processes, technologies, tools, and talent and question every single one of them:

  • Is this still the best way to do this?
  • Is there a better way?
  • How will the combination of process, technologies, tools, architecture, and talent help us master the three megatrends: get faster, user experience, and mobile?

 Please Help The Community: A Question For You . .

How many of these megatrends have you already mastered, and what processes, tools, technologies, architecture, and organization do you use to achieve success?

Forrester's Application Development & Delivery team also looks forward to helping you master the megatrends at Forrester's IT Forum on May 25-27, 2011, in Las Vegas and our EMEA event in Barcelona on June 8-10. The common theme for our ten track sessions is: faster change, user experience, and mobile.


Absolutely ...

Mike, I couldn't agree more! I just love the Wayne Gretzky quote ...

Which is why we developed a model-driven process and content platform that also allows role-focused GUIs and enables to deploy those GUIs also to mobile in an APP and not through a dumb browser!

Don't let the vision be spoiled by the nay-sayers who are stuck in waterfall models.

Thanks. Max

Don't forget Teamwork!

Mike – great article! The hockey reference is fantastic and if you don’t mind, I would like to suggest that you add “Megatrend 4: Teamwork” to the list for mastering for application development.

“The Great One” was not only a great individual player, but he was an even better TEAM player. His 1,963 assists account for more than two-thirds of his career point total (2,857). He routinely set up shop behind the goal (nicknamed “Gretzky’s Office”) to give him the best view of the play which would help him set up a teammate or two for a scoring opportunity. Gretzky’s talent, vision, and desire to help others succeed are the big reasons why he was such a great leader on his team as well as in the game of hockey.

Therefore, the business of application development - like hockey - needs vendors and companies to leverage their talent, vision, and desire to make teamwork (aka partnership) a core competency to ensure their teammates (aka partners) succeed too. That partnership needs to go beyond fancy words, a logo on a website, and simply supplying the tools. In my experience, you must provide a comprehensive partner program that works closely with partners to build sustainable and growing businesses, views success as a shared experience, and develops a level of long-term trust that can’t be beat.

I think Wayne Gretzky would agree.


Matt, Wow. Thanks for those status and especially reminding me of The Great One's teamwork. You are about teamwork. I would label is Ubertrend #1 since without we got nothing.

Nice to read the article. It

Nice to read the article. It tells us that we have our bets in the right place. Development effort at HyperOffice over the past year has been focused at speed, usability and mobility. We are trying to coin the phrase "mobile collaboration" for the collaboration space.