How Important is our Mobile App Strategy?
Posted by ghsmith76
I recently responded to a CIO colleague’s “Challenges and Opinions” about the need and importance of mobile apps. The jest of the presumptions confirmed that mobile apps were positive but with many opinions about how and who should be developing them. The following is my quick offering of my opinion.
Mobile apps are not critical to our success in higher education, but yes we need to have a strategy for adoption and development. As with many trends, higher education, at least with respect to EdTech, tends to jump on bandwagons mostly driven by the fear of competition and lost opportunity to boast. Yes we need a strategy for how we will offer mobile compatible information. This is not innovation, this is just adaption. The world is transitioning to simpler mobile devices and we need to adapt so that our information remains preferable.
I do believe that developing apps for the various mobile operating systems is valuable. Not because the app requires local code but because it is so easy; why not. I also believe this skill set opens the door for a generation of ambitious people to set themselves apart with an employable resume. Maybe similar to being proficient at using Microsoft Office a decade ago. But I hold on to my opinion that a web based mobile app strategy is the most practical. The more valuable contribution that a mobile strategy provides is the motivation it gives us to organize and utilize our vast repositories of data. The motivation to transform that data into usable information and hence be valued as knowledge. Data warehousing with a greater purpose. The IT consultants want to label it with new acronyms that we will again fear that we must understand. But the greatest value that mobility may bring us, is simplicity. I believe it is forcing us to reevaluate what is really important and present it in a form that all can understand.