The record number of visitors to online retailers in 2011 means that developers and administrators will need to change the way they handle application development, deployment and management, according to HP.
Much of the increase in traffic has come from mobile devices, putting a greater strain on servers and applications.
Companies will need to focus on supporting increased traffic and additional mobile platforms, and take mobility into account when designing application interfaces.
Jonathan Rende, a vice president and general manager at HP Software, told V3 that a small, simple interface is preferable to the more complex environments of many desktop web applications.
"There was a mindset for a while that taking your online application and making it available via a mobile device will solve everything," he said.
"The reality is that, if companies want to be more successful, they need a more elegant application that requires fewer steps."
Companies will also need to consider new security risks and entry points for attackers, as social networks and company databases connect to customer-facing applications.
These new risks will require developers to design and test web applications with a greater emphasis on detecting flaws before they are deployed.
Rende explained that HP had acquired security firms Fortify and Arcsight to beef up its enterprise security lines for this very reason.
"The philosophy of security has changed. It used to be a perimeter philosophy where you could build a wall around things," he said.
"They now realise that building a wall won't suffice if you have any external customer-facing apps because it is all connected."
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