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Recently I was asked whether I remembered what the world was like without Apps. My first reaction was incredulity, as effectively I was being asked whether I remembered a world pre-2007 when the iPhone launched, and as I’m not even a millennial (far less a digital native), I do. But this wasn’t really the point of the question, we all remember a world pre-apps, but if I’m honest it seems longer ago than it really was.  

It seems longer ago because Apps have ushered in a step-change in technology, and when this happens (think telephone, TV, internet) the time before it instantly seems somehow outdated. Really the question just illustrates how quickly Apps have become embedded in our day-to-day lives. 

Think about your average working day. How much of it is now taking place via your mobile phone? My guess is significantly more than even two or three years ago. How frustrating is it to find routine work tasks that you can’t perform easily on your phone, meaning you find yourself back at your desk logging onto some random system with another set of passwords?  How much more efficient could your organisation's processes be if everyone was able to act on information from any device the minute they were notified? 

In 2016 the debate isn’t really about whether Apps are transformative anymore, it’s shifted to a debate about what good looks like. What I mean is that few senior IT leaders would say they don’t believe in the benefits of apps and mobility, but it’s not something that can be turned on and off, and frankly some organisations are doing it much better than others. 

The truth is that with any change at scale, especially in IT, once the technology has been accepted the real work starts. Organisations have much to consider, from integration to access and identity, development and deployments models, security policy, and that’s before we even get to the broader challenges of adoption and cultural change. 

Speed, speed and more speed

The secret ingredient though is speed. Our recent State of IT research report revealed that 72% of companies who rated themselves as high performing could develop an app in 3 months or less. For companies ranking themselves as low performing, the number was only 46%, with nearly a quarter taking 7 months or more to develop an app.

Without a platform capable of supporting rapid application development, IT departments can’t deliver on time, the app backlog mounts up and employees (and customers) start looking for alternatives.  These days it’s no longer about locking the doors for 6 or 12 months while IT builds an app, before taking it through user acceptance testing, and then releasing it to a world that’s largely moved on. Rather it’s all about speed, iteration, minimal viable product, background updates… but primarily speed. 

Witness the transformation at Salesforce World Tour London

At Salesforce World Tour London on May 19th we’ll be exploring what rapid application development looks like for today’s organisations. As well as demonstrating the key components of the Salesforce App Cloud throughout the day in the product showcase we’ll be running our Trailhead Developer Zone where developers can get to grips with the App Cloud first hand. 

We’re also running a number of sessions for Developers, Administrators, and those who just want to build beautiful apps quickly with App Cloud. Join us at our App Cloud Keynote at 15:00 where we’ll show you how KLM are using Salesforce, and hear how S Three are transforming their recruitment process. 

Hope to see you there!