Apps for Europe/flickr

Apps for Europe/flickr

With the mobile app market growing faster than ever, developers are looking for new ways to simplify their process. Horizontal development may be the next big thing in this highly popular field.

The mobile app market continues to thrive and expand, leading developers to look for new strategies that increase efficiency. In an article for the SD Times, [tweetable alt=”In an @sdtimes interview with @drubinstein, #horizontaldevelopment is a possible new future of #app creation.” hashtag=””]industry maven David Rubinstein emphasizes horizontal development as a possible new future of app creation.[/tweetable]

But if you’re anything like me, a term like “horizontal development” can be confusing. Let’s take a second to discuss what it means and how this process has the potential to become a major part of the mobile market.

Horizontal vs. Vertical

In the business world, the terms horizontal and vertical integration refer to differing methods for running your company, as azcentral explains. Horizontal integration involves reaching out to other organizations for their goods and services.

Think of a burger chain sourcing their beef from a local farm or butcher. By using a pre-existing service, the burger chain is able to focus efforts on its operations, not the production of ingredients.

Vertical integration works in the opposite fashion — a company tries to create their own means of production. With a vertical business model, our hypothetical burger chain would either purchase the farm or somehow establish its own means of beef production.

In this case, the advantages are fairly obvious — by owning all aspects of production, the company eliminates the unpredictable variables involved in dealing with an outside source. However, this kind of expansion often spreads a company too thin, drawing focus away from other aspects of the business, such as restaurant design or customer services.

So now let’s replace the word “integration” with “development,” and apply our newfound business knowledge to the world of apps.

How Horizontal Development Can Change the App Game

Until recently, horizontal development (or integration) was simply not a possibility when creating apps. Companies worked within a vacuum — custom applications were built from the ground up and were only accessible to their author before being published.

Times have changed, however, with the emergence of the digital cloud. App creators find that horizontal development in the digital world has become more possible than ever.

By utilizing the cloud, developers are able to use outside resources to adjust their apps, making them more responsive and effective. The cloud allows access to numerous other applications and programs, providing the developer with resources that were once unavailable.

Common Knowledge

CEO of Appian Software Matt Calkins describes horizontal development’s benefits in the same SD Times piece, saying “You’ll see the same common objects the same common way, unified by a common acknowledgement of the facts of those objects.” This statement might initially seem like a Buddhist koan or a passage from Kant, but [tweetable alt=”Matt Calkins of @appian says that #developers who use #horizontalintegration are no longer stuck on an island.” hashtag=””]Calkins essentially means that developers are no longer stuck on an island.[/tweetable]

With the help of horizontal development, their work, once entirely self-contained, now benefits from the input of others along the way.

A cloud based in the theory of horizontal integration provides developers with a common area of thought, creating an array of different resources to help streamline the development process. If this trend does become the norm, it has the potential to exponentially increase both the effectiveness and rate of output in this highly profitable area.

Now that you’ve seen the future of app development, let Infinite Monkeys help you get started on one of your very own.