The field of Mobile Application Development is changing rapidly and business is changing along with it. Enterprises have to take several factors into consideration to remain competitive in today's business world and mobile is certainly one of those factors – and a big one at that. With a significant increase in the use of mobile devices, including tablets, smart phones, etc., many companies are looking to develop mobile applications for internal and/or external use.
Developing an enterprise application can be exciting but if proper strategy is not employed, failure is unfortunately quite likely. What then are the key considerations for creating an enterprise mobile application?
An ideal approach for your application software development project involves strategically planning out what you intend to achieve with your new mobile app, how the new mobile apps will fit into your enterprise’s overall business plans and a thorough analysis of the market. This will not only help ensure your endeavor is a success, but will make it more rewarding and will put you in a prime position to achieve a healthy ROI.
As you think of your mobile software development venture, take time to answer the following two critical questions:
· How will the new mobile app affect your enterprise’s goals?
· How do you want the mobile app to help you achieve your enterprise goals?
Then, determine a strategy that not only addresses these questions, but that also incorporates the following considerations:
· Define your user profile
Assuming you already have an existing profile for your company’s ideal customer, use that to help you establish a profile for the ideal user (the audience you’re targeting with your new mobile software development project). Among other things, try to establish the ideal demographic to which your mobile app will be directed, their interests, their pain points, their needs and what type of apps they will find not just useful but valuable and irresistible.
For the sake of employee-facing applications, you may need to decide which workers will access the application, how they will access the application while away from their desks, how the application will help save them time, and last but certainly not least, how the application will boost their productivity and ensure widespread use in the shortest time possible.
· Decide what data will be accessible through the application
For any enterprise mobile application to be successful and have a positive impact on employees and other users, it need not be an all-in-one solution. If you allow too much business data and app functionality to be accessible on a single application, it may become too complex to navigate. The kind of apps that excite users and which they love using are the simple and intuitive ones. Decide wisely which functionalities and data will be accessible on the app.
· Guard security and privacy
Design the data security protocol to protect your company’s privacy. This is very crucial for your new application and has to be put as top priority in your company's mobile software development strategy so that not only the privacy of the company is safeguarded but that privacy of users is too.
· Strategize on how to leverage the data obtained through the mobile app in business decision making
Once the application is completed, deployed, and in use, there will be large amounts of data regarding the users and their usage pattern. Analytics can help you extract meaningful information about users and usage trends and other useful information that is helpful in business decision making and for designing subsequent versions of the application.
· Selection of development tools
Software development requires several tools. In order to create a mobile app, enterprises should invest in a consistent and highly adaptable (to changing trends) development environment. Invest in cost-effective tools that will enable you build enterprise-grade applications from a single platform, and which will also integrate easily with popular software development platforms like Eclipse, Visual Studio, etc. If possible, opt for reusable code that helps bring down costs associated with application updating, application scaling and custom app development.
· Scale-up your system
Given the fact that mobile devices are accessible all-day, the system and data usage patterns are very unpredictable. Moreover, the 9-to-5 hour workdays are long gone. Because you are investing in a mobile application, be ready for large and unpredictable load demands on your back-end web services. Ensure you scale your system so that it’s capable of handling both peak and off-peak periods in order to guarantee reliable access to employees. Your back-end services also need to recover quickly form failures (should there be any).
Is there a need to hire a technology consulting company?
Technology consulting firms have diverse knowledge and extensive experience in handling mobile related strategies and can be a very important resource in the successful creation of enterprise mobile applications. If you do not have the internal resources to complete mobile application development from start to finish, consider the benefits of bringing a consulting firm on board.
Rushing blindly into creating mobile applications or undertaking a software development project for your business or enterprise without a proper strategy on how to go about the process will not only be futile but is also a waste of time and monetary resources. As with other areas of business, developing a strategy is not only a tool to ensure success but also a more tried and true approach to realize ROI.