Mobile apps are far more cumbersome to develop than standard desktop or web applications – given the different operating systems, form factors, and devices they need to seamlessly work on.
Since speed is everything when it comes to making changes and updating features, mobile app development organizations need to take a far more agile approach to app development.
Why has Mobile DevOps become a topic of conversation after the COVID-19 pandemic
Although the mobile app industry has been witnessing tremendous growth since the last few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it under the spotlight.
With a majority of companies driving efforts towards building a work from home culture, the rate and pace of mobile app development has surged. From online education to online training, online shopping, and more, the mobile app industry is poised to experience a boom like never before.
As more and more users turn to online modes for carrying out day-to-day tasks, the concept of Mobile DevOps can go a long way in ensuring these tasks are carried out with utmost efficiency and precision.
Mobile DevOps, through continuous everything, makes it easy for app developers to deliver high-quality apps to end-users while being in a position to make changes and iterations – as and when needed.
Benefits of Mobile DevOps
In today’s competitive mobile app scene, user experience is one of the most critical factors. Since mobile users are far less forgiving than desktop users, development teams have to embrace concepts like Mobile DevOps to meet their expectations – quickly.
Here are some of the top benefits of Mobile DevOps:
• Creation of better applications faster: Mobile DevOps can greatly help developers increase the frequency of deployments through a faster, more iterative release process. Pairing automated deployment with a continuous everything culture, it brings down the time taken to roll out new iterations/respond to feedback while ensuring regular releases of high-quality applications to end-users.
• Making efficient use of resources: Mobile DevOps, through automated deployment pipelines, sets the foundation of efficient use of resources. Since most mundane, repetitive tasks are automated, teams can focus on tasks that really need their expertise and proficiency – without wasting time on repetitive manual tasks.
• Ensuring quality: Mobile DevOps uses a highly Agile approach to ensuring app quality. Since it focuses on instant reports and feedback as well as testing throughout the development lifecycle, it enables developers to troubleshoot errors and fix bugs quickly, leading to the development and delivery of better-quality apps that meet (or exceed) end-user expectations.
• Better management of bottlenecks: Mobile DevOps also brings in the required level of transparency into the development process. Through frequent communication between different teams, it paints a true picture of issues and challenges that are currently being faced – across inconsistent environments, poor workflows, operational inefficiencies, and more. Such insight helps in better management bottlenecks and the development of better applications.
• Reduced cost of development: Mobile DevOps works on identifying and resolving bugs and issues earlier in the lifecycle, helping teams bring apps to the market quickly. Since it provides faster and more effective solutions to problems, it contributes to reduced cost of development while shortening release time.
• User satisfaction: When it comes to mobile apps, delivering the latest features and innovations is key to user satisfaction. Mobile DevOps helps developers avoid costly mistakes through continuous testing. Through close and regular monitoring of user feedback (as well as ratings on app stores), it helps teams keep pace with needed enhancements, continuously improve the performance of apps, and drive user satisfaction.
Why Mobile DevOps is different from DevOps
Software development has always been a complex undertaking, especially as user expectations keep changing and the tech landscape keeps evolving. However, in the recent years, as developments in mobile technology have skyrocketed, the mobile app development ecosystem has become increasingly multifaceted.
Here are some reasons why Mobile DevOps is different from DevOps:
• Mobile app development is more complex: Unlike standard desktop or web applications that have to be developed for a standard system configuration, mobile apps need to be built targeting multiple environments. Each app needs to be built such that it offers a seamless and consistent experience across different devices, operating systems, and form factors. This makes Mobile DevOps different from DevOps as teams have to constantly work towards introducing new features and capabilities that align with evolving mobile device technology.
• App testing is complex: In addition to the complexity of developing mobile applications, testing them is also a Herculean task – when compared to web-based applications. Device fragmentation, differences in screen size, operating systems, and network operators take testing complexity a notch higher. Add to it the existence of different app types such as native, hybrid, or mobile web applications.
• Mobile app deployment has to be initiated by the user: When it comes to deploying mobile apps, developers can only bring their mobile app to the app store. Once the app is there, deployment has to be initiated by the user. Users have to manually download the app to be able to use it. Therefore, developers have to contend with a pull and not push strategy.
• Apps require faster iterations: Given the speed with which new apps get launched, developers have to constantly introduce new features and changes – to meet customer expectations and rank high in the app store. Since apps require faster iterations, the speed with which changes can be made often draws a line between success and failure.
How to ensure success with Mobile DevOps
Mobile DevOps is a lot more than just adopting a handful of new tools and practices. It requires teams to build a culture of continuous everything – so changes and iterations can be delivered to end–users – in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Here are some tips to ensure success with Mobile DevOps:
• Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery: Given how fragmented the mobile device market is and the pace of advancements in mobile operating systems and technologies, developers need to constantly work towards merging changes in code and reduce the risk of errors. A CI/CD approach can ensure that the development efforts of different teams are compatible with each other, and new changes can be easily incorporated – without issues.
• Continuous Testing: Since mobile apps go through continuous iterations and more frequent releases, a continuous testing approach ensures every change or iteration is frequently and thoroughly tested – before it is deployed to the app store. Such continuous testing ensures every feature that is introduced is of high quality and meets the expectations of the modern user.
• Continuous Monitoring: In addition to continuous testing, teams embracing Mobile DevOps also need to constantly monitor the application under development for issues or bottlenecks. Since even a small error or bug can lead to customer dissatisfaction, through continuous monitoring and real-time performance tracking, teams can get to the root cause of issues faster and resolve them before they cause any UX problems.
• Continuous Development based on feedback: Mobile app development teams also need to constantly incorporate feedback into the development process and ensure every change or improvement is woven into the solution quickly. Having a continuous development mindset will go a long way in the success of Mobile DevOps efforts.
To make the process of developing mobile apps more efficient, developers are always keeping an eye on the latest IT developments to stay a step ahead.
Embracing Mobile DevOps is a great way to set the stage for a continuous culture, so changes can be introduced faster, issues can be resolved sooner, and customer expectations can be met quicker.