The mobile application space is incredibly competitive. Gartner predicts global app downloads will reach nearly 180 billion per year by 2015. A study by AppDynamics found that consumer expectations of application performance are increasing, and 90% of people will stop using an app because of poor performance.

No matter how good the user interface is, apps live and die by their performance.

However, there is a major problem with the way that developers are currently going about managing users' data, which ultimately impacts performance and functionality. When creating their app, developers have to: Either build their own file system on top of public cloud infrastructure, which takes time, specialist expertise, and resources; or they'll go to the likes of Dropbox, plug into an API and surrender their users data and limit the functionality of their app according to Dropbox's capabilities.

In either case, performance is not guaranteed and many apps experience growing pains as their user base grows.

An alternative

The good news is that a third option is emerging that will give developers the simplicity of plugging into an API, while offering developers ownership of data, flexibility, scalability and most importantly performance. In this emerging space, companies are also allowing developers to create a layer of logic that sits on top of public cloud infrastructure - effectively a cloud file system offered as a service.

Pre-built, high performance and scalable file systems mean developers don't need to invest time and money in doing it themselves, and they no longer need to surrender their users' data and compromise app performance by using quick-fix API alternatives.

At the same time leveraging specialist cloud file systems give developers access to proven technology that's already been tested across millions of users. It's a comforting thought for a developer who desires rapid growth and user adoption.

Security and data management

A developer's primary focus is the design and the user interface. They are not security experts and often waste time and resources trying to build their own infrastructure that takes security of user information into account.

The next generation of apps will be able to plug into cloud file system APIs that take care of security authentication, data management, and more technical aspects such as on-device encryption.

Additionally, these highly accessible and secure file systems will give app developers the ability to offer sought after functionality instantly – features such as file sync, sharing, media transcoding and streaming, as well as organization of meta data.

Building apps on a scalable and secure platform, will give developers complete control of user data and user experience. This frees up developers to invest their time in what they do best, focusing on delivering a high quality user experience. Developers who intend to create the next big app should consider this third option to enhance their chances at success.

  • Ranajit Nevatia, Senior Vice President of Products and Marketing, at Bitcasa