Building Quality Enterprise-Ready Mobile Apps

Developing and deploying a high-performance enterprise mobile app can be difficult if you’re not a professional software developer. If done well, an enterprise mobile app can help a business run more smoothly, become more efficient and productive, and drive a higher ROI. Unfortunately, many enterprises focus on the wrong aspects when it comes to enterprise apps and lacks a clear understanding of how the app should work and who the end-user is.

What to Avoid When Building Enterprise Mobile Apps

While the process to build and deploy an enterprise app will differ project to project, here are a few guidelines of what to avoid when building an enterprise mobile app:

1. No Defined Scope/Building the Wrong App

Many businesses choose to create an app without talking to their potential end-users (usually their employees) about the certain needs they face on day-to-day. Instead, they run off of their own opinions with no clear scope of what the application should really do to help improve enterprise operations. This leads to failed apps as they haven’t done enough work collaborating with their end-users to find out how an app can help them.

Because enterprise apps are meant to fulfill a specific task, companies need to clearly define the problem by working with the end-users to find out what the app should accomplish. Here are two questions to ask yourself a few simple questions:
1. Will the app cater to certain members within the enterprise? I.e: employees, vendors, or customers.
2. Will the app use new technology or replace existing technology to fit the needs of the end-user?

The more information you gather before beginning the project, the greater the chance for success.

Defining your scope allows you to easily build the correct app and avoid building the wrong one with irrelevant features that won’t get used. The simple task of working with your end-user before development begins can help you ensure that you’re creating the most beneficial application and will lead to its overall success. Your app should deliver value to your end-user and allow you to see metrics that demonstrate the amount of time saved for users or how business operations have improved.

The takeaway: You must take the end-user into account to figure out what app your company really needs.

2. Lack of End User Involvement

Many organizations fail to take the end-user into consideration. Their insight matters since they are on the ground using the current technology and know what’s working and what isn’t. Without taking their opinions into account, the enterprise won’t be able to develop a successful enterprise app.

Avoid those assumptions that as a decision-maker you know everything that this app should accomplish. Your goal is solving a problem for the end-user, so always listen to the feedback of your employees and other prospective end-users throughout the entire process. Create focus groups and ask leading questions to determine what issues are faced daily and how the end-users expect the app to work.

Active collaboration with the end-user will ensure a successful enterprise app that can be used daily to increase the efficiency of your business operations.

3. Poor User Experience

Enterprise applications can fail because of poor design and user experience. User-experience should be your end-goal because without taking the user into account, you run the risk of developing an application that won’t be used, thus making it a waste of valuable time and money.

Enterprise apps should focus on usability for the end-user. Instead of having an application with multiple functions that the end-user won’t use, develop an app with just the features the end users will need. Build an app that serves a clear purpose that meets business goals so that the app can be user-friendly and intuitive.

4. Obsolete Technology

In order to build a beneficial application, you’ll need to use up-to-date technology. Using obsolete technology or legacy systems can be detrimental to your enterprise application as they may not be compatible with certain mobile services. You also need to make sure the application you develop can be easily integrated with other software and programs that your end-user may use simultaneously for optimal efficiency. Avoid letting obsolete technology cause a breakdown in existing workflows by using up-to-date and effective technology that improves overall productivity.

5. Poor Post-Launch Management and Analytics

Your post-launch is just as important as your pre-launch. Using analytics to understand how the application is performing, what your users are saying, and how they use it on a daily basis can help you continue to drive engagement. Updates are always necessary to meet the ever-changing business environment, so it’s important to stay up to date and use analytics to your benefit.

Driving engagement is key to a successful app so building analytics into the app will help you understand user experience. By testing the app to improve performance and using these analytics to measure engagement, you can easily identify issues and usability issues.

Key metrics to track are:
App Users
Crash Reporting
Session Lengths
Monetization Metrics

7. Slow deployment

With a huge demand for mobile apps, many IT departments are having a problem keeping up and your business may be faced with a lack of experience. With 91% of corporate employees using at least one mobile app for work, according to CITO, it’s important to deliver apps quickly to increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Apps need to be delivered quickly, so the 12-month design cycles many companies use may not cut it. Slow deployment can mean the death of an enterprise app before it even launches as it could take over 12 months to deliver an app and employees may have already moved on to using their own solutions.

8. No marketing

Once your application is developed, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to put it in the hands of your employees. You’ll need an enterprise app store and internal distribution should be coordinated with a mobile device management system to help safeguard corporate data.

You can also use Google or Apple app stores so that you’re able to reach more of your employees. You’ll have to market your application within the organization just as you would if it was for your customers to entice your employees to download and use the new application. Instead of forcing the app on them and making them use it, you should make them want to use it since they will be the ones using it daily.

About the Author: Kristoffer Canimo is an SEO Manager for Bliss Drive, a Los Angeles-based marketing agency. He loves writing about AI Services, Machine Learning, and Mobile App Development. Follow him on his LinkedIn.