Mobility is not a just a fad. It is a mega trend impacting the users and enterprises alike. The logs that keep the mobility fire raging are the hundreds of thousands of applications that offer its users with more and more functionalities and entertainment options. The users are lapping up these apps and their interest remains focused towards the M-arena. However, as the enterprises don the M-garb, the focus is shifting from the product to the process of development. Enterprises invest in mobile applications today either because they want to innovate and move forward, or because the competition or market scenarios force their hand. Whatever the reason, creating apps for an enterprise needs to be more process oriented and focused than that in the consumer world. The enterprise requires a different level of discipline and maturity in the development approach. The most important point is that while it is called application ‘development’, typically 30 – 40 % work is done before a developer even lifts a finger. The lifecycle begins with planning and strategy, and ends at a successful handover to support. It requires special skills at different levels.Stage 1: Assessment – An evaluation of the enterprise business and IT functions, the apps that support them, and the business case (ROI) for mobility. The finer aspects like end user (vendors/customers/employees) behavior/ tech savviness, the distribution mechanism, the preferred platform, the organizational appetite for change etc. are also evaluated. The output of the assessment phase is not only what needs to be done, but also, what not to do.Stage 2: Strategy Generation – The output of the assessment is used to create the mobility strategy for the enterprise. But the strategy in itself is incomplete without a near-term, mid-term, and a long-term plan of execution. It is important for the enterprise to budget and plan for the projects, and to expect the outcomes.Stage 3: Development – This in itself has multiple stages. First, the process flows are created. These are the detailed diagrams that visually depict the functionality of the intended product. DThen, the wireframe model is created. Here the development teams go into the next level of detail, and start designing the screens, including the positioning of components and their functionality. The customers get to participate in the branding, color schemes and the overall appearance of the interfaces. The next step is to create and review the storyboard. This is a real-life depiction of your concept, where all the interfaces are shared just as they would look like in the final product with the customer. Any final changes are incorporated, and the solution is finalized. Post the finalization of the solution, the application is created and tested thoroughly for all the use cases. The development team and the testing team are usually two separate entities to ensure defects are not overlooked. Once the testing team gives its nod, the app is put under a controlled-launch phase, where only a few pilot group users have access to it. This is typically a weeklong process.Stage 4: Operate – After the implementation, comes the operation and support of the product. This involves user training, performance baselining, any tailoring required, communication and go-live. The ‘operate’ phase is deemed complete once the customer signs off on the same, having ascertained that the in-house teams are ready to take the project over and run with it.Stage 5: Hand over to support (HOTS) – Post the operate phase, the keys of the realm are ‘transferred’ over to the support teams, along with all the relevant documentation and manuals. The transfer may also involve adding some long-term support resources from the development team to the support group for future minor enhancements.