We live in a time where mobile devices are king, and companies are capitalizing on this by developing mobile apps that fit within a company’s business model. A Comscore survey discovered that at least 1.8 billion people around the world have mobile phones, surpassing the number of desktop computers. Plus, research from RCR Wireless projects that by 2022, nearly 43% of the global workplace will consist of mobile workers. As such, this is a prime time to integrate an enterprise mobile app into your company.
Businesses face several unique challenges when developing an enterprise level mobile strategy that effectively improves the daily work environment. As such, it’s important to consider a few key questions before beginning development on an enterprise application.
#1: What Are You Trying to Achieve?
When developing an enterprise mobile strategy, consider how you hope your new app will help your business grow. First, think about where your company currently stands, including factors such as profitability, growth rates, resources, employee efficiency and more. It’s also helpful to compare your company’s position in the market with your competition. Then, create a list of objectives you wish to achieve.
Don’t underestimate external factors that could undermine your business’ potential, including economic conditions and new competition. Some of the outcomes your company should look at include revenue growth opportunities, cutting costs, improved customer satisfaction, added worker efficiency and an enhanced recruitment system. Outlining these steps in detail will help you understand how your app can improve the efficiency or effectiveness of your work and, ultimately, your bottom line.
#2: Who is Your Mobile App Targeting?
Next, it’s wise to consider your target user base; most likely, this will be the employees at your company. Fully understanding your users will lead to the brainstorming of ideas regarding the features and functionalities your app should include, as well as what the user experience will look like. Ask yourself how users will benefit from interacting with your app. In what ways can your enterprise app improve a typical workday? Will your users need specific features, like access to training materials or direct messaging capabilities? Are you targeting executives, workers, companies or a combination of these? Consider other factors as well, such as age, demographics and what mobile platform they use.
Also, remember that, unlike consumer-facing apps, you can likely expect your users to be more proficient with technology. As such, you may decide you can develop a more complex application. By considering these factors, you can craft an application specifically designed for your users.
#3: What Data Are You Using?
The substance in your app is almost entirely linked with data, as you’re trying to convey information to improve the lives of professionals at the workplace. When developing an app, consider what data your employees need, what they will do with this data and how the data is stored.
Discover the best way to access this data, whether it be through application programming interfaces (APIs), remote data access or another method. Also, consider how much contact information you will need to include on the display of your app, as well as what kind of data users will be capable of inputting from their devices. Think about where the data is stored, the best way to access it, how to maintain the integrity of the data and whether the inputted data should be stored locally. Having a full understanding of your data goals and how they will benefit your company will enable you to create an enterprise app that is logical, intuitive, and useful.
#4: Optimizing Your App’s Security
Ensuring the security of your app and your clients is of the utmost importance for your business as it helps maintain the integrity and reputation of your work. This is especially true for financial companies and healthcare organizations that may carry sensitive data in their servers, including Social Security numbers, credit and debit card numbers, emails, addresses and names of clients.
As such, companies need to consider a multi-layered solution to prevent threats and protect sensitive information. Businesses can do this by authenticating their enterprise applications, reinforcing this authentication with an agile device management solution and equipping all corporate networks with the best security practices. Discuss with your developer whether the right authentication system is in place across all mobile channels and if access to the corporate network is correctly controlled. If your employees are using their own devices, it’s particularly important to ensure that enterprise applications are secured to thwart data leakage incidents.
Finding the right balance between security and usability is important, as companies need to instill iron-clad security measures without sacrificing productivity or user experience. Keep in mind that it sometimes takes a trial-and-error approach to find the optimal security parameters for an application.
#5: Avoiding Common App Pitfalls
When developing an enterprise mobile app strategy, there are a number of specific concerns you will need to address. For instance, consider whether to use a bring your own device (BYOD) approach or to ensure all employees are using the same type of device. A BYOD approach can increase productivity because it allows employees to work with a device they’re comfortable with, plus it gives workers access to office documents and emails everywhere. On the other hand, by supplying specific devices, you won’t have to worry about device compatibility and you can eliminate the need for device-specific QA testing. Weigh the pros and cons and decide which approach will be best for your company.
Also, you will need to decide between a native or hybrid app. Native apps are built to work on a specific platform, so they may require less testing and may be easier to use. Meanwhile, hybrid apps are more versatile since you can change platforms at any time. If you are using a BYOD policy, then a hybrid app is likely the best choice as you can ensure device compatibility.
An enterprise mobile app can be a great boon to your company, improving efficiency, boosting profits, and allowing you to achieve your business goals. In order to be sure you are using the best strategy, though, it’s important to carefully consider a variety of factors. And, of course, you need a skilled developer to turn your vision into a reality.
The team at 7T offers machine learning and predictive analytics technologies with experience developing enterprise mobile apps. We’re also well-versed in other emerging technologies, including augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.