Forget converged systems and the cloud, what’s really important are the apps.

My wife is a special education teacher, uses technology at school and at home, but looks to just get the job done, and is not interested in all the flashy features a product may offer.  She does try to love technology for my sake, but I can tell when I get some new idea or piece of technology to test, she is just not excited about it.  She is, however, long suffering and patient with my crazy ideas, which makes her an excellent sounding board for many of my theories or concepts.  One thing I have learned from our conversations is that she doesn’t care what the technology is, she is very much more concerned about the apps.

I remember when I first convinced her to take my old iPhone.  She had previously used an LG VUE, a basic phone with a slid QWERTY keyboard.  My company had given me a new iPhone 4s, so I dropped my personal line, and was left with my iPhone 4 no longer in use.  She agreed to try it, so I set her account up and started downloading some apps she typically used on the PC.  This was the summer she also decided to get serious about running, so she loved the Nike + app, and the Chase Mobile Banking app became very convenient.  Ironically, a few months after I gave her the phone I was in the middle of a job transition, and without a work phone for a few weeks.  I immediately started going through smartphone withdrawals, so I asked her if we could switch back for a few weeks till I got a new work phone.  Needless to say that was a mistake, as soon as she was back on the standard phone, she missed all her apps.

The following summer, against her will, I convinced her to upgrade to the iPhone5.  Her only concern was, what will change?  Will my apps be there?  There was no thought to the faster technology, there was no wow factor, she just wanted to know that her apps would all be there.  We had a similar issue when she finally upgraded from ios 6 –> ios 7, what will become of my apps?

This is a long winded story, but I think it makes a good point.  At the end of the day, what I care about is shiny new technology.  Is it faster, is it cooler, what can I make it do?  For the consumers of technology though, it isn’t about the cloud, it isn’t about converged systems, those are simply words to them. It is about can I have my apps,  can I have them everywhere, on every device, and can I have them now?

I would leave you with this thought, as the providers of the applications, or the infrastructure on which the applications run, it is long past time for us to stop thinking about how cool our technology is, about who makes a better system or product, but rather about what is the users expectations, and how can we provide them the experience they need without regard for what device they are on, or what the platform or technology they prefer.  This is the real reason for cloud, for converged system, and for the time we all put into making this all work.

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Forget converged systems and the cloud, what’s really important are the apps.

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