Enabling work from any location, improving collaboration, and reducing time spent on data entry, B2E mobile apps are a growing opportunity for enterprises.
However, despite testimonials from companies like Coca Cola that their field service mobile app is a game changer by improving customer service as well as productivity, many mobile projects don’t meet their true potential.
Mobility projects can be shot down because a more cumbersome but workable solution is already in place. Other times employees resist using mobile apps because they are difficult to use.
A recent study found that 43% of smartphone users and 41% of tablet users are not impressed with their corporate mobile apps.
>See also: Top 5 strategies for testing enterprise apps
Here are 6 ways to ensure that mobile app development projects are a success.
1. Employee involvement
This can be encouraged by using the “water cooler” approach where users are invited to describe which tasks are the most time intensive and can benefit from being mobilised. In addition, employees should be asked which non-corporate approved mobile apps they are using, which functionality they provide, which jobs do they make easier, and which features can be added to create a corporate mobile app that’s ever better.
More employee engagement increases chances for success and elevates IT from a cost center to driving business value.
2. Rapid prototyping
This allows users to provide input on functionality and test the concept through development. Using agile software development methods solutions evolve quickly. New functionality that wasn’t identified up front becomes apparent, as well as pitfalls that can be resolved early, preventing a project from missing opportunities or getting too far off track.
3. Limit the scope of the app
Doing this, instead of launching a huge project that requires mobilising several processes at once, bounds the mobile app to exactly what the user needs, thereby increasing the chances for success.
4. Consider the context for different types of tasks
This determines if they should be implemented on smart phones, tablets or laptops, ensuring that the unique capabilities of each mobile device will be leveraged.
5. Build templates for enterprise apps
This ensures that policies concerning security, management, provisioning, off line access and data storage are built in. Certain functions can also be shared across applications eliminating the need to develop them from scratch. A template can also make mobile applications easier to learn since there is a common user experience.
6. A mobile application development platform
This can help accelerate the process of shifting to mobile apps by including built in multi-channel capabilities to support multiple mobile devices, while enabling mobiles apps to be easily scaled up for more users, or scaled out to include more functionality. In addition, a platform simplifies the process of integrating with back-end systems.
>See also: App, app and away: building an enterprise app store
Many enterprises have already followed these suggestions to launch successful mobile apps. A golf equipment manufacturer, for example, used a mobile application development platform, and rapid prototyping to make real time inventory information available to sales people.
This mobile app integrated data previously available on separate systems, thereby enabling sales people to respond in real time to customers’ inquiries about order status and product availability.
An insurance company rapidly deployed an e-signature mobile app whose success resulted in launching a series of other mobile apps based on the same template.
A university hospital invited employees to identify the process that should be mobilised first, and then using a development platform and a rapid prototyping method developed a successful mobile app that provided workers with quick and convenient access to the information they needed.
Mobile is the future, and employees are eager to get on board. Successful mobile apps not only deliver ROI based on increased efficiencies, but they also an additional shine on the brand that builds employee loyalty and enthusiasm for the value IT brings.
Sourced from David Akka, managing director, Magic Software Enterprises UK