App developers urged to head for the cloud

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App developers urged to head for the cloud

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Analysts have urged application developers to embrace cloud computing, improve flexibility and cost effectiveness, and focus more on the user experience if they are to thrive in 2010.

A new report by analyst firm Forrester, The Top Five Changes for Application Development in 2010, said that developers must focus on several key areas if they are to become "lean and mean " enough to hit the ground running when the recession abates.

"In times like these, application development shops need to think like the underfunded startup that is always in the throes of a one-company recession," the report noted.

"Many enterprise application development shops have discovered their inner startup, and are on a journey to a new normal beyond just working harder. The new normal is lean and mean."

In order to achieve this, Forrester recommends five key areas of focus for apps developers, the first being public clouds, which it said will speed the delivery of custom applications, and provide straightforward scaling up or down.

"The strategy should address basic questions including: 'What will we use public clouds for?'; 'How will cloud platforms relate to the rest of our architecture?'; and 'What coding, quality and evolution practices will we use for cloud development and deployment?'," the report explained.

Forrester also recommends that application developers should favour flexibility and cost over platform loyalty, focus more on the user experience, and find talented team members who can balance technical skills with a great understanding of the business.

"It may take years; the speed of your progress will depend on the results your organisation delivers to the business," the report said. "Results will engender trust in your business partners for the new normal for application development."

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