Mobile app development for businesses

On Wednesday both IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) announced new initiatives to spur innovation in app development. IBM announced the 25 finalists of The Watson Mobile Developer Challenge and Facebook announced that if you are a developer and want to build a mobile app, they will willingly hand over $30, 000 worth of services to get you kick started. Facebook's gambit to take over the mobile apps industry from the ground of up is a classic example of Mark Zuckerberg's strategy to innovate by firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately IBM's mobile app development initiative for Watson is a bit of a joke.

The Watson supercomputer itself has so much potential. It has advanced cognitive computing capabilities and can actually teach itself by analyzing Big Data. We all saw what Watson could do on Jeopardy, the thing is incredibly impressive. Watson can even understand and process natural language, it frequently called upon entire database of Wikipedia to answer questions on the show in real time. If developers could find meaningful ways to integrate the power of Watson into mobile apps, theoretically we could solve some really important problems. But regrettably all of the worst qualities of IBM have manifest themselves in The Watson Mobile Developer Challenge.

Last year the market was asking a lot of questions of IBM. The share price trended down from late March highs all the way through mid December. Investors really weren't quite sure which direction IBM wanted to go in and were getting fed up with the lack of a clean plan. Big Blue is one of the largest companies in the world and they do a lot of things very well ranging from consulting services to building extremely advanced hardware (like Watson). However, these strengths are balanced out by a few weaknesses.

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(Graph from ChartIQ Visual Earnings)

One of the problems with IBM is that as a company they move slowly. It took IBM much longer than their competitors to realize that it was time to get serious about cloud services. 3 months ago IBM finally announced that it would sell off its low end server business and invest $1.2 billion in 15 data centers across the globe to bolster its cloud computing capabilities. Since the announcement IBM stock has had a great performance, increasing from an early February low of $172.19 to $195.24 for a 13.4% gain in just over a 3 month period. It wouldn't be fair to talk about the short term performance of IBM without also mentioning the broad sell off in high flier tech and social stocks and the rotation into what investors are calling "old tech", the more established tech companies with more modest price to earnings valuations like IBM.


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Given URL is not allowed by the Application configuration.: One or more of the given URLs is not allowed by the App's settings. It must match the Website URL or Canvas URL, or the domain must be a subdomain of one of the App's domains.

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Q&A

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Do You Need to Develop a Mobile App for Your Business?

Mobile apps are today part of every conceivable business, irrespective of their size or services they offer. Apps are the best way to keep your customers engaged with your product - they act like gentle reminders to pull them back to your product of service, while also generating new customers in the process. However, are mobile apps really necessary for each and every business? Do you particularly need one to promote your brand or business? Read on to find out the answer to your question….