It isn’t easy to become a mobile enterprise: building high quality apps, enabling secure transactions, and leveraging mobile data is pretty complex.
Everyone has a favourite app, whether it’s a favourite retailer, social networking app, or checking business mails; we’ve all become accustomed to grabbing our phone or tablet for almost everything but what we don’t see is the complexity that goes behind building these user-friendly mobile apps available at the touch of our fingers.
But enterprise apps are fundamentally different from mobile apps, an enterprise app is designed to empower employees no matter where their work takes them. And by 2018, the demand for the enterprise mobile app development will grow by 5 times and the number of smartphone users will cross 2.5 billion people and that’s a lot of people using smartphones. Companies understand that and are investing heavily on creating effective internal communication channels and what better channel than using mobile devices as the source and the stats about mobile devices do tell a story.
- Today we have over 1.4 billion smartphone users across the globe
- iOS and Android devices which cover nearly 80% of the smartphone market have over 2 million applications combined
- Till date iOS has counted over 25 billion app downloads and Android has counted over 15 billion downloads
- In a recent study of 3000 mobile users: 46% of the time users used smartphone for web browsing, 41% for internet searches, and 37% for social networking
How businesses use mobile apps
Here is a look at how businesses are using mobile apps in 2015:
- Organizations averagely used 1-5 mobile business apps in 2014.
- These apps minimized the paperwork and reduced man hours and after tracking and calculating their cost savings, 17% saved between $25,000-$100,000 annually switching to mobile apps, while 81% indicated cost savings between $1,000-$25,000.
- Mobile apps are in an enterprise is used mainly for inspections (52%), work orders (35%), checklists (20%) and surveys (20%).
- According to Canvas survey in 2015 they tracked organizations use image capture (56%), signature capture (52%), workflow (23%) and GPS (22%).
The purpose of every app is to make work easier, reducing man hours and make complex tasks easier. So in a way every app finds a problem and solves it, sometimes these apps will focus on one single task and redefine the entire process.
IBM’s MobileFirst for iOS is designed specially for iPhone and iPad will help employees to complete tasks, make decisions and communicate like never before by having access to the information they need at a moment’s notice, at their fingertips.
Trends in 2015
- Faster and easier app development – The tools for building enterprise apps are becoming faster and easier to use. With growing competition it’s important to understand the value of saving time and this what they do.
- Enterprise apps are overtaking consumer apps – The mobile world has been dominated mainly by consumer driven apps, but the enterprise apps are seeing explosive growth in the market and generate $400,000 of revenue versus the hundreds of apps on the App Store or Google Play.
- Cloud apps are thriving – Cloud based apps have become the default choice for the companies to build apps.
- Apps that ease workflows – Truly useful apps are developed to ease workflows and provide seemless interaction with the enterprise to get things done.
Top 5 Enterprise Productivity/Internal Collaboration Apps
Slack – Slack is replacing mail, with more than 11 million active users daily and 200,000 paid users, it’s a team communication platform available for all mobile OS as well as desktop. It wasn’t intended to replace email but to improve communication and it has certainly become a powerful tool once you understand how to use it, but the UI isn’t completely intuitive and take time getting used to.
Asana – A project management app that allows easy management tools for teamwork, collaboration, and task management—deadline settings, priority and label options, and a flexible, intuitive work environment. It send you reminder notification on your mobile and email to let you keep up with the work.
Jira – Owned by Atlassian, it is also a collabration tool with tracking capabilities for both mobile and computer platform. You get – agile, project documentation & requirements, meeting notes, issue tracking, progress reporting, etc.
Confluence – another collaboration software tool — also by Atlassian.
Trello – I personally like it for it’s simplicity and lack of useless features. It’s a task management tool best self-described as “free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone.”
Strategy for Enterprise Mobile App
A new pattern is emerging in which mobile apps are required to work within the larger framework that provides consumable and consistent digital experiences to all customers across all platforms with the responsive design. The emphasis is on providing digital experiences that leverage enterprise information to have brand-aligned user interaction with the user and personalize their experience. Companies who do that lead in this new digital age. For those seeking to do this need to apply meaningful strategies with a comprehensive approach.
#1. Define Business Goals
The foremost step is to define the goals of the enterprise, whether it’s higher sales revenue, better products, improvement in technology, productive operations, etc. Understanding the goals help in determining actions for future.
#2. Using Technology
After defining the goals and understanding what is needed, it’s time to understand the use of technology that enhances the usability, manageability, and scalability.
#3. Time and Budget
Create a time-frame and budget under which the work needs to be done and create a rough budget.
#4. Determine Risks and Possible Problems
There is rarely a project in which problems doesn’t incur, it’s best to be prepared then catch off guard, determining risks and security approaches must be checked before.
#5. Begin the Process
Evaluate all the information you’ve acquired so far and begin the process of vendor and technology search.
Before the app goes live, test it thoroughly and look for bugs and fixes.
Evolution is a never ending process, when you find bugs in the app, fix them and test again.
As more and more people move to smarthphones and tablets for their computer needs, enterprise mobile apps have become an essential part of the work culture whether it’s for communication or analytics or editing spreadsheets, they are the future of mobile apps.