Skip to main content

4 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An App Platform

Jorge Sanchez, Sr. Director, Product Strategy, Appian
July 1, 2015

Oscar Wilde once said that experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

In a way it makes perfect sense. More often than not, you know from experience what will or will not work in any given situation. Other times, you're afraid to do anything because you don't have enough experience and you do not want to make mistakes.

With the speed of technology innovation these days, odds are that you don't have as much experience building modern apps as you'd like. And, without that experience...without making mistakes, it can be all too easy to create applications on a rocky foundation. With this in mind, here are common mistakes learned from experience to avoid when considering an application platform:

1. Assume all platforms are the same

Simply deciding that you need a platform is a first step. Consider what's available and the capabilities you'll need. From ease of creation, to application deployment and time to market, total costs of ownership, user learning curves, services, and even compatibility with your own organization. Plus, don't forget security! Does the platform have certificates that ensure security and compliance? How about third-party security audits?

2. Assume any application built will work everywhere

Choosing the right app platform is about considering two different types of users: Those that build the apps, and those that use them. For the latter, being able to work from anywhere may be very important. When evaluating different options, take into consideration the application endpoints. Will it work from any browser? Will users be able to do their work from their smartphones and tablets? Will it be easy to maintain and upgrade? Does it have offline functionality? Can I embed it into existing web applications? Likewise, consider the efforts necessary for the app builders. Must you build different apps for every endpoint? What happens if you must update apps...must you make changes individually for every endpoint?

3. Assume application portability is easy

You have selected a cloud-only platform that seems to have everything you need. You start building apps, then you realize in some cases, company policy dictates that data must remain inside your firewall.

Now what?

If portability is important, your platform should allow you to easily port applications and all respective data from the cloud to on-premise and back.

4. Ignore disaster recovery, scalability, and automatic migrations

Whether your needs dictate a cloud, on-premise, or hybrid platform, make sure it can recover from any disaster quickly. Get the appropriate SLAs and recovery strategies in place. Also, as your application grows, so should your infrastructure. Be sure your provider can support an elastic architecture, and that platform migration can be done automatically, or at the very least, with minimal or no disruption to your services.

When choosing the right platform, avoiding mistakes is important. From experience I can tell you that planning for failure is important, but planning for success is even more critical. To learn more about Appian and our platform offering, please visit our product page.

Jorge Sanchez, Director, Product