How The Gig Economy Will Disrupt Next-Gen App Development

Vaibhav Vohra

By now we’ve all heard of the transformational power that the gig economy will bring to enterprises. It’s assumed that by 2020, over 40% of the workforce will be contractors.

One question that I’ve repeatedly received from development leaders revolves around how to become more agile in leading development initiatives within more mixed and complex environments. I believe that there will be three key considerations for leaders to become more successful in leading development in the gig economy.

Three ways to lead development in the gig economy

Give developers the right toolset – and a choice. Like all good carpenters, developers need the right tools; they need a set of programmable interfaces that are well-documented and that just work. Especially in mixed environments, if this does not happen, employees will become disengaged, and the work will show that.

Our developers chose to integrate the Mapbox mapping capabilities with our programmable communication APIs so that developers could build applications quickly. Working with Mapbox, we put together use cases to embed maps and dynamic location via two-way messaging into mobile applications.

Now, logistics companies can let their consumers know where their package is on the driver’s journey, and whether packages need to be rescheduled.

“Ride-sharing, package delivery, and on-demand services require accurate location and timing to be communicated to users,” said Matt Irwin, director of Business Intelligence and Data Visualization at Mapbox. “I want a 15-minute window for when my package will arrive at my door, not a half-day. Anything less is a hassle for a modern consumer and will bottleneck adoption of an app, platform, or service.”

Select and build communication capabilities early in the lifecycle. Often when organizations provide development timelines, the last thing they consider is how these applications and systems will communicate with their customers and audience.

Given the global nature of work today and the challenges that it brings, organizations may be forced into an integration with an API that is incompletely documented, insecure from an authentication perspective, or even fails to provide universal capabilities.

Interfaces need to work with intelligent notifications, enabling customers to consume APIs across any channel (push, email, SMS, and social). Organizations shouldn’t have to hope that their communication provider will support the next big social app that varies across geographies. It should just work.

Connect with things. Sometimes lost in the gig economy discussion is that by 2020, there will be billions of things that will need to be connected all over the world, and there are a number of IoT interfaces that are emerging – wideband, narrowband, LoRa protocol, and so on.

The technology that connects these “things” needs to also be ubiquitous, and not fail as the device roams on various networks. Simplifying challenges must be top-of-mind and woven into everything that developers do in the future.

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This article originally appeared on The Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce.


Vaibhav Vohra

About Vaibhav Vohra

Vaibhav Vohra is Vice President and Head of Product Management for SAP Digital Interconnect at SAP. Leading an organization within SAP that intelligently connects everyone, everything, and everywhere, he has launched award-winning cloud solutions in the fields of marketing, business continuity, and developer ecosystems. Most recently, the team launched SAP People Connect 365, which enables organizations to manage intelligent communications during times of planned and unplanned business disruption.