Enterprise mobile apps adds efficiency by providing employees at all the customer touch points with the data they need. However, developing lots of mobile apps is not always the best way to improve productivity.
Mobile developers need to analyse and streamline business processes before providing mobile access to enterprise business applications. System integration and process orchestration can eliminate busywork and put the precise information needed in front of the user for added efficiency gains.
Here are six things to keep in mind to make the most of enterprise app development.
1. Avoid “I have an app for that”
It’s important to prioritise apps based on the value that they bring rather than churn out one app after the other. Avoid cluttering desktops and screens with a multitude of apps with too limited scopes Too many apps, especially when some of them have limited value, can result in a disconnected set of solutions that is difficult and costly to maintain, create a fragmented and confusing user experience and can have a negative impact on productivity.
When transforming a business process, it is important to take a cross-functional approach that breaks down “stovepiped” divisions and focuses on enabling end-to-end processes within an organisation. The process for taking and fulfilling an order, for example, may flow across sales, production, shipping, and accounting departments.
Make sure apps integrate needed data and processes across all business processes, both internal and external, on-premise or cloud-based.
Mobilise the specific functionalities that make sense, even incorporating different functionalities for different users.
3. Delight Your Users
Be aware of the users device, context and reason for using the app. Include extra functionality and productivity tools that makes users’ lives easier, like Google Maps integration that lets employees in the field find the shortest route to their destinations or see what other clients are in their vicinity.
Carefully consider the differences between smartphone and tablet uses. Where possible and relevant, managers should be able to see graphical dashboard views of important KPIs. Whenever possible, the context should be used to intelligently present wizard-like options and next steps rather than forcing the user to navigate from screen to screen as in traditional desktop applications.
4. Look Under the Rug
Most of the important features of the enterprise app lie below the surface, including security, data accuracy, the ability to update, transform and synchronise data across multiple systems, along with the ability to automatically trigger processes according to specific changes, thresholds or actions.
Your integration platform must be able to connect the systems you want, the way you want, reliably and in real-time. And your mobile app and server must be able to work in disconnected mode and then synchronise when back online.
5. Monitor App Value
Nothing provides validation for an app like facts and figures. Whenever possible, make decisions based on usage data and user experience research. Avoid making assumptions about what you think works best. Talk to your users. Gather hard data based on usage patterns and behaviour.
Prove the business case by calculating man-hours saved and improved productivity and innovation through new capabilities provided, reduced errors and improved speed of processes. Update the app based on all feedback and allow the app to reface itself based on context and behaviour.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Abandon an App
Act like a nimble start-up company, and don’t have reservations about pivoting your strategy. Choosing a low coding platform provides the freedom to scrap a project and start again. If you observe several months of low/no usage or results, don’t be afraid to abandon an app, merge apps or break them apart. Embrace agility. If you need a sudden strategic change, take it and breathe new life into your apps.
As enterprise mobility evolves under the greater digital transformation umbrella, there is a natural need to revamp apps and retire those that are no longer useful or relevant. Remember to look at the big picture: mobile enterprise apps can no longer be isolated functions – they must be facilitators of larger end-to-end processes. With this vision in mind, it is easier to choose the right tools and solutions to support your enterprise app needs for speed, agility, and reliability.