What Does it Mean to Have an App?

This past week, I got a chance to present and attend the Intel AppUp Elements http://appdeveloper.intel.com/en-us/events/elements conference in Bellevue, WA. Now in its second year, the event was much smaller than most developer conferences (about 150 people in attendance), reflecting Intel's need to rally a small group of technology businesses ready to support and integrate with their technology.Though the event was centered around Tizen, the newest incarnation of the MeeGo platform and a discussion of a new class of PC's called "Ultrabooks", there was lots to think about from the perspective of a B2C business.

At this point, most folks are aware of the app economy, but I think few are aware of the scale and trajectory of this business. Nearly every organization will be affected by the growth of this digital distribution, making it hard to ignore as a tool to make brands and publishers more accessible to their audience.

One of the slides at the keynote at AppUp Elements highlighted that there are currently over 120 app stores and over 800,000 apps available. The scale of this segment of the mobile business is startling and the pace of growth continues to trend upward.

The world of apps today is centered around mobile phones, tablets and soon to be personal computers as well. The next phase of apps includes televisions, household appliances, cars and nearly every other piece of computing.

What today is an app world that few businesses completely understand let alone wrangle for their own benefit, is soon going to get out of reach for all but the few businesses that are building an internal capacity to manage it, or partnering with businesses that can.

Is your business ready?  Who is going to be responsible for the charge?