Mobile Enterprise Apps: Strategies For Reaching ROI

Progress’ Dan Wilson Explains Trends And Factors

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Steven Lerner

mobile enterprise apps

The ability to consistently deliver ROI in mobile app development can be challenging. Enterprises are often inundated with complications and unforeseen expenses during the development process. When the app fails to address the needs of the user, it’s time for the developers to reexamine processes and strategies.

The Current State Of Enterprise Apps

Dan Wilson, senior product marketing manager for Progress, delivered an informative presentation about achieving ROI in mobile app development during the April 2019 Digital Transformation Online Summit. Before discussing strategies designed to help organizations improve the optimal value of mobile apps, Wilson analyzed the current situation in the enterprise.

According to Wilson, one of the biggest reasons why some enterprise apps fail to live up to expectations is because organizations are focused on adaptive channels. Instead of adapting apps to devices, the focus should be to adapting the apps to the people using that. This, as Wilson explained, is one area where many enterprises fall short with mobile apps.

It is very common to find enterprise mobile apps that are not user friendly. Comparatively, consumer apps today are very user friendly. Employees have the same expectations in the workplace, and they demand that their enterprises apps have the same quality as their consumer apps. Developers must work together to please the user.

Wilson also described some of the latest trends in consumer mobile apps that are making its way into the enterprise. Some examples include:

  • Augmented reality enterprise apps that can scan a conference room and tell you when it is available for scheduling a meeting.
  • Conversational UX, which allows workers to talk with an app. This can be especially critical to mobile workers who are in the field and can’t use their hands to control the app because they are busy working.

The Challenges Of Developing Quality Apps

Even if developers have the best intentions for the enterprise apps, there are several obstacles that prohibit this. Many IT departments are under intense pressure to develop apps that net a positive return, but this can be challenging. Sometimes, apps that are deployed do not lead to the best outcomes. For example, developers must consider both present and future uses of the app in order to provide the best value for years to come.

At times, the failure to identify or invest in an enterprise app can be devastating. During the presentation, Wilson described an example in the commercial real estate industry between CBRE Group and WeWork. Years ago, WeWork deployed a user-friendly mobile app for tenants, and it contributed to the company’s increase in market share. As a contrast, CBRE Group currently lacks this app, and needs to develop one in order to compete.

During the planning stages of an enterprise app, some teams fail to consider the costs involved in the project. Many projects for mobile apps fall under the hurdle rate (according to Wilson, this refers to the initial cost of development). There are aspects of development that can be time-consuming and complicating, especially if apps are deployed for multiple operating systems. This can be resource-intensive and result in a higher hurdle rate.

Strategies For Achieving ROI In App Development

The right planning is key for achieving an optimal ROI for an app. Wilson said that some developers fail to scale during an app project. An example includes adding more developers to a project. On the surface, this might seem like a benefit, but it might cause productivity to diminish. A better alternative to hiring more developer is to use the right kinds of technology instead.

Wilson recommended several solutions that can help keep app development project costs lower, including the use of low code for certain projects. During the planning stages, developers should follower the users around and consider their needs when determining the capabilities of the app. This includes making sure that organizations avoid “app fatigue,” which involves developing too many apps and complicating the employee experience.

Want to learn more about achieving ROI in app development? Click here to watch the entire session on-demand from the Digital Transformation Online Summit.