3 Misconceptions of Enterprise Mobile App Development
3 Misconceptions of Enterprise Mobile App Development by Mendix
The Accenture 2012 CIO Mobility Survey indicates that “67% of CIOs and other IT professionals believe mobility will impact their businesses as much or more than the Internet did in the 1990s.” It’s clear that enterprise mobile apps are on top-of-mind for a huge number of business and IT leaders, but with an unparalleled volume of discussion between thought leaders, developers, users, and buyers – it’s nearly impossible to get the story straight. Too many executives are focused on technology debates initiated by consumer-centric mobile application development that are irrelevant in an enterprise setting. Let’s take a look at three commonly overlooked factors that sneak up on you in an enterprise mobile project.
1. The bar is high in mobile
Enterprise mobile apps solve real, immediate business problems. In order to generate an ROI, getting the app to market as fast as possible is vital. Expectations and demand initiated in the consumer world has caught up with business – the result is that your users wish they had the app months ago, otherwise the need wouldn’t exist in the first place.
A few things to think about:
- Are you delivering specifically what is needed to solve the business problem and generate a return? (Don’t get bogged down in ‘nice-to-haves’!)
- Are you in a position to start building any app that may be required by your business without delay? If not – what is holding you up?
- How quickly can you react to ever evolving and changing user requirements? Do you have a way of incorporating them properly?
2. It’s not just about mobile
Speaking of a cohesive strategy shared by web and mobile enterprise apps – there’s more than just one type of integration to think about. Of course you’ll need a way to connect existing systems with your new mobile app – in fact, most companies first start thinking about mobile apps in the context of exposing a mobile version of an existing web app. Integration capabilities between various mobile technologies is one area that hasn’t had much face time in the relentless discussions about whether Native, HTML5 or hybrid apps are best for your business. So be weary of whether or not your new mobile app is going to feel at home in your existing technology landscape – this isn’t a last minute requirement you’re going to want, and may make some “what if” flexibility discussions worthwhile.
The other type of integration lies between your mobile use-case and the existing business processes that it will replace, impact, or improve. Make sure your new app enhances the user’s workflows by streamlining processes. If you understand their processes and the pain points within them, you’ll see faster adoption and happier users.
3. User feedback is paramount
End-user involvement before, during, and after an enterprise mobile development project is going to make the difference between a botched project and rapid adoption. You need to capture user stories directly from end users, prioritize them, and continuously ask for (or enable) feedback both throughout the project and once the application is in production. The reason for this, and the reason why mobile users are different than web users, brings us back to the consumer app world and the expectations that it has set.
The majority of your enterprise app users will be accustomed to downloading frequent updates and seeing the app adapt to user-requests consistently. These users, whom we respectfully refer to as “The Facebook Generation” decide whether an app is useful to them faster than it’ll take you to reach the end of this sentence. This means that things like user experience, app utility, ease of use, and ease of adoption are key.
By making sure you’re cognizant of these misconceptions, you’ll have an easier time implementing and fostering user adoption of your enterprise mobile app. It’s easy to get consumed in mobile tech jargon, but the truth of the matter is that business needs and how your mobile app is a differentiator for your company, will determine success more so than any technical decision.
Are you using a productivity platform to build and uphold a framework for delivering mobile apps that supports the immediate and unexpected future needs of your company?