Making the move to mobile

How to determine the best technology stack and architecture for modern app development

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The importance of mobile strategy

Mobile devices are now the primary channel for digital customer experiences. With this
shift, businesses need a mobile strategy built to last—one that’s cost-effective and can
evolve with services over time. Including a mobile component is key to cultivating meaningful and accessible experiences that keep customers engaged and provide
relevant services.

A successful mobile development strategy is rooted in understanding the problem space,
customer goals, and technical strategy. Throughout this white paper, we discuss five leading technical architectures, their cost to effort benefit considerations, and usability
and performance implications.

The trend towards mobile devices

According to, 52% of people are using mobile devices over desktop and laptop devices. With this shift, expectations raise the demand for rich mobile experiences. No companies or industries are immune to this expectation. Legacy web experiences stand out because the collective bar is raised by improvements in other industries that have embraced new digital strategies.

Technologies compounding mobile strategy include:

  • Voice interfaces: Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s Siri are leading voice UI’s built into mobile platforms. Each of these platforms offer robust software development kits and developer communities.

  • Biometric authentication: Apple’s Touch ID and Face ID, Android’s variety of biometric sensors, and third-party verification kits are driving a rise in authentication methods surpassing pins or passwords.

  • Natural language UI: Whether in a progressive form or a chatbot, reducing the barrier to entry through conversational UI drives adoption and retention.

  • Code portability: To engineers reading this white paper, we know that it is never quite as simple as “reusing the code.” Successful mobile strategies are anchored with intentional architecture decision-making and a plan to iterate over time.

While none of these technologies are required for a successful mobile app, each warrant an intentional conversation as its inclusion drives the architectural approach for development.

Architectures for mobile development

In 2008, Blackberry drove the most significant market share of all mobile devices. Apple, and shortly after Samsung, increased device production. LG, Nokia, HTC, and Motorola all were household names for consideration when buying a mobile phone in the early 2010s. By 2018, two operating systems (Android and iOS) took hold of more than 99.9% of the smartphone market.

This market consolidation drives a development ecosystem that pushes mobile development to feature common and shared patterns—which is especially true for internal use cases where hardware can be standardized. As for wearables and voice assistants, both augment mobile strategies but do not drive them forward. However, choosing the wrong underlying application architecture can preclude future inclusion.

As Android and iOS gain market shares, five architectures lead the development landscape.

  • Responsive

  • Progressive Web Applications

  • Hybrid Applications

  • Cross-Compiled Applications

  • Native Applications

Architectures for mobile development
Architectures for mobile development illustration

Continue to:Responsive web applications