Enterprise mobile application development strategy differs from the strategies employed in the development of consumer applications. For one, the main users of an enterprise app will be the employees of the business, and the underlying function of the app will be to streamline business processes. Enterprise mobile application development strategies need to prioritize consistency, security, and scalability.
Mobile technology has the ability to optimize workforce productivity and enhance the customer experience at the same time. Business organizations that do not embrace technology solutions and invest in enterprise software will be at a disadvantage to their competitors. Corporate digital transformation is occurring rapidly, and you don’t want to be left behind while your competition is busy innovating. Enterprise apps can be a powerful tool for your business, but they also present unique challenges when it comes to development. Let’s look closer at the things you should consider and some of the challenges you may face when developing an enterprise app.
What Should Businesses Consider When Developing an Enterprise App?
Enterprise apps have a ton of potential to improve your business, but you don’t want to rush into development without first considering some essential points. If you’re unsure where to start or what aspects of the app to consider, app development services can help you parse out your ideas and develop a quality enterprise app. Here are a few things you should think about when employing an enterprise mobility strategy.
Before you get into the details of User Interface design and deployment, you need to think about what your business goals are and how an enterprise app is going to help you achieve them. What tools are you currently using, if any, to achieve this goal? Is your enterprise app going to be more effective and efficient than the technology solutions currently being used by your business?
Once you can answer these basic questions, you need to think about the employees or customers who will be using this app, how they will be using it, and what features need to be included. The long-term success of your enterprise app will depend in large part on how well you define your business objectives. If you are able to clearly define your business’s goals and needs, you’ll have a good start on your enterprise app.
In order to maximize your workforce productivity, you may have to integrate your enterprise app with the other enterprise software and technology solutions you employ. For example, if your employees use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to complete daily tasks, you’ll likely want and need your enterprise app to be integrated with it. When you’re planning your enterprise app, you’ll want to account for all of the other applications, software, and technology that your business uses and how you want your app to integrate with them. Remember, integration equals efficiency. The more processes you can link together, the more productive your workforce can be.
One of the major aspects of your enterprise application to consider is the platform it will be used on. In case you weren’t aware, apps created for iOS devices are programmed using a different programming language than apps created for Android devices. As such, native Android apps only work on Android OS phones and devices. The same holds true for native iOS apps.
If your employees are going to be using their own mobile devices, you’re going to need to make sure that your enterprise app works well on both Android and iOS devices. Will you need to create two different native enterprise apps? Developing two apps would be costly, and it could create more difficulties when it comes to integration and security. Most businesses choose to develop a cross-platform or hybrid mobile app. Hybrid apps allow you to create one app that will work on all types of devices.
If your business provides employees with phones and other devices to use, you may consider developing a native app. Native apps provide the best User Interface and User Experience because they utilize features specific to the OS and device they are built for.
What are the Challenges of Developing an Enterprise App?
Enterprise app development projects face a unique set of challenges. First of all, these apps are completely unique and tailored to meet the specific needs of the business they are designed for. This level of customization already makes the development process more complex. Still, there are some key challenges that all enterprise mobile application development strategies must address that consumer-facing applications don’t have to concern themselves with as much.
Digital security is incredibly important in this day and age. Businesses are not immune to cyberattacks, and just because your app won’t be available to the public doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about security. While security is important for all apps, security is even more important for enterprise apps. Enterprise apps access corporate databases, and there are frequent data transfers. Additionally, since these apps are custom-built, security responsibilities fall on the business.
Creating a security strategy will be imperative to ensure that no corporate data is compromised. This will be an additional investment that needs to be made, but the positive side of custom enterprise app development is that third-parties will not have access to your corporate data or servers. This can help you eliminate any potential weak points in your digital security strategy.
Enterprise app security needs to ensure that all data is stored and transferred securely and all operating system vulnerabilities are kept to a minimum. Allowing your employees to access corporate data from their mobile devices creates more security risks. You need to invest in regular security testing and a robust security strategy to ensure that your enterprise app meets your security standards and keeps your data safe.
Another aspect of mobile technology and enterprise software that businesses will need to understand if they are going to be utilizing a custom enterprise app is lifecycle management. The lifecycle of an enterprise app doesn’t end with development and deployment. Ongoing maintenance and upgrades will be an important part of your enterprise app’s lifecycle. Not only do upgrades and regular maintenance help keep your app secure, but they also help improve performance and key features that are important to your users.
One of the most commonly mismanaged and misunderstood aspects of lifecycle management is end-of-life management. Enterprise apps, like all other mobile technology, will eventually become obsolete as technology advancements and new development trends emerge. This is a natural part of an app’s lifecycle, but it is important to manage this part with as much care and attention as development, deployment, and maintenance.
If your enterprise app has run its course and it is time for it to be decommissioned, you need to make sure that you delete it and users can no longer access it. First, you don’t want users using your old, outdated app thinking that they are using the current app. This will create a terrible User Experience. More importantly, however, old enterprise apps can pose a major security risk if they are not removed and deleted properly. Old, abandoned enterprise apps that are still accessible put your corporate data at risk.
Enterprise apps are great because they are custom, tailor-made mobile technology solutions designed specifically to meet your needs. However, the downside to this high degree of customization is that it takes longer for development. You can cut down on your development time and publish a minimum viable product (MVP). This approach to development offers businesses a way to test low-level prototypes without a large investment of time or money. A minimum viable product is a great way for you to preview how your app will perform with users and get feedback from the public.
Since it can take a while to develop an enterprise app, it can be beneficial to your business to develop a MVP prototype to test features and get a better understanding of what you want your app to do.
Common Types of Enterprise Apps
Since enterprise apps are custom built for the business they are serving, I thought it would be helpful to go over the common types of enterprise apps. While the functions and features of enterprise apps will vary wildly from one to another, they can be broadly categorized by the group they serve. They can be broken down into three different levels:
- Company network
- Employee app
Company Network Enterprise Apps
These enterprise apps are built to connect entire companies. All employees, departments, and management staff are united in one app. Big corporations like to create enterprise apps where they can communicate and share resources across their whole organization.
Department-Specific Enterprise Apps
This type of enterprise app is designed for a specific department or team. Commonly, they work to optimize work-flows and tackle daily tasks. However, sometimes these apps also allow customers to connect with employees and provide feedback and instructions too. You might see this with a delivery or something similar where a customer can leave instructions or feedback based on the service.
Employee Enterprise Apps
This final type of enterprise app is generally created to optimize employee productivity and management effectiveness. These enterprise apps help schedule hours, distribute tasks, optimize task efficiency, and more. The possibilities are nearly limitless.