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Should Sitefinity 6.0’s Mobile Capabilities Make Development Firms Nervous?

by Dennis Junk

Like me, you probably live and breathe technology in both your personal and private life. The fast pace of change is a source of exhilaration, but at times requires certain adjustments, especially when new technologies change the way we do business.  Such is the case with Sitefinity by Telerik, which makes content management so accessible to business users that it makes development firms like ours necessarily shift the way we approach projects.  

New Approach to Development
It seems weird to talk about the way things were done in the old days. But I still remember when updating websites meant companies had to go through a long cycle of strategy meetings that ended with them contracting with outside development companies like ours. Telerik was one of the first software designers to realize that businesses needed the ability to adapt much more quickly than that. That’s where Sitefinity came into the picture. With Sitefinity, you could make many of the changes and updates to your website that you used to have to hire developers to do.

Before long, Telerik was making a splash with an out-of-the-box version of Sitefinity complete with a module builder. It gave business users options right on their dashboard for creating modules for News, Events, or Blogs. There was even an e-commerce module that let you set up online storefronts where your customers could make purchases. Equipping users with tools like these put a lot of pressure on developers to up their game as it seemed there was less and less need for some of their lower-level services. 

Hello Mobile
As fast as businesses rushed to get online back in the day, today they’re moving en masse to mobile. And with good reason. The percentage of Americans who use smart phones passed the halfway point in 2012 and continues to grow. The projection is that in 2015 time spent on mobile devices is going to surpass that spent on desktops. Like it or not, whatever industry you’re in, you can count on your clients and customers sampling your mobile offerings before they choose your company—and if they aren’t happy, it only takes a couple screen pinches to find your competition. 

Once again, Telerik is one of the first software companies to capitalize on businesses’ need to not only have a mobile strategy in place, but to have the ability to adapt that strategy quickly—without always having to get help from developers (Somewhat scary, I know). As of now, Telerik is the only company with a content management system on the market that’s integrated with mobile. Sitefinity is already so easy to use that incorporating mobile web pages and mobile apps into the familiar user interface will be possible by business users. 

From a developer’s perspective, there are three ways the new Sitefinity 6.0 makes life easy for business users. You can check out demos of the specific features on Telerik’s website. But, generally speaking, the new capabilities include: 

1. Up-to-the-Minute Marketing Strategy
Sitefinity 6.0 actually has a module you can use to build your own HTML 5 mobile apps.
And just as earlier versions made it easy to update websites in minutes, Sitefinity now lets you do the same with your mobile web pages and mobile apps. 

2. Comprehensive, Integrated Access
What makes the platform so remarkable is that it makes maintaining and updating content ridiculously easy even for non-technical people. A lot of companies have their various sites, portals, and modules scattered across departments, all of them working differently and requiring help from various third parties. Sitefinity brings all your web and mobile tools together on a single platform you can access through a single dashboard that almost anyone will find easy to use. 

3. Syncing with Other Software and Services
Companies who use SharePoint for collaboration and business intelligence will actually be able to access it through the Sitefinity platform. And you can also use the new Sitefinity to securely link into hybrid-cloud services. All this really makes it just stupidly easy and convenient to basically take everything you could possibly need from your office anywhere you need to go. 

But shall all these enhancement be perceived as a threat to developers? Certainly not.

Developers Are Here to Stay!
Technology improvements only shift the developer focus to more complex, and in my view, more interesting web development. While you no longer need firms like ours to make site updates, change a template layout or add a calendar to your site, we are essential partners you will absolutely need if you want to properly set-up your site, create widgets, customize the API, integrate with 3rd party systems or incorporate your mobile strategy. It’s true that in many cases business users have been liberated from developers, but it likewise follows that developers have been liberated from the mundane because of Sitefinity. 

I actually think of the process as similar to the way factory automation seemed to threaten jobs at first, but actually ended-up freeing workers for careers in creative and knowledge fields. Developers are still a great asset for set-up, configuration, customization, and when you need to build out the presentation layer of your site. Though Sitefinity’s rapid advance into the mobile market may make people at development firms just a little uneasy, our jobs are safe for a while. At least, I keep telling myself that. 

About the author:
Dennis Junk is a Content Manager at Aptera Inc., a custom software and web design firm in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He holds a master’s degree in English and has been doing copywriting and content marketing for Aptera for the past three years. You can read more of his posts at blog.aptera.com.  

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