CSI Magazine: Industry trends – Beyond the app
www.csimagazine.com | by Max Ramsay.
Customers are demanding smarter, native multi-screen apps and sophisticated UI technology.
In 2017 we are seeing an increased focus on UI technology with customers looking for sophistication beyond “just the apps” from their vendors. They need powerful UI features including targeting, testing, dynamic variation, upsell and advanced editorial. We see clients needing these features to stand out in a crowded marketplace, and to ensure that users are always delighted by the app interaction and importantly arrive at content they are looking for faster and every time.
The share of wallet is moving to advanced user interface platforms, like Massive AXIS, and away from more commoditised elements, such as encode, hosting, payment and identity where we expect to see further downward pressure on cost from customers; we see the industry favouring increased investment in its engagement with end customers through customer experience, rather than through interchangeable commodity systems which previously took the front seat in terms of vendor billing.
Further, in line with increasing user experience satisfaction, and despite the industry promise of less fragmentation through HTML5, we believe we will continue to see UI tech stack fragmentation as more devices with more languages, and more nuances proliferate. The industry is now much less open to cross-technology code and hybrid applications, and is looking to squeeze every ounce of performance from their apps, and to offer true native apps to meet every customer expectation.
“It is ultra-critical that apps are developed with their logic server-side, where UI logic and integration are server-side.”
This drives another key trend, which is, if apps must all be in a stack per device, it is ultra-critical that apps are developed with their logic server-side, where UI logic and integration are server-side. This avoids a return to the situation from five years ago where we saw evidence of major video services maintaining ‘fat’ apps in multiple tech stacks almost per device, a practice which drove vast code complexity, painfully slow feature introduction and effectively blocked the test, sample, iterate mentality that modern product managers need to understand and satiate their audiences.
Ultimately the industry now knows it must deliver smart multiscreen apps, under dynamic control, that can be iterated quickly and that can be used to power all the properties across their enterprise, and we see that reflected in RFPs. Our customers understand that to be competitive they can no longer ask in an RFP for a vendor to come in and deliver work for hire app code, they understand they need to have a management solution, where the natural outcome is apps. If they don’t do this, they are stuck with static apps, or constantly RFP’ing and cannot react tactically to changes in their marketplace. They also understand that their apps are not static for three years and modelled into a three year TCO, their apps need to be endlessly controllable to allow product managers to adapt to changes in their marketplace.
Max Ramsay is Chief Technology & Operating Officer, Massive