The Mobile App Stack: Defining Life Cycle, Management & ROI

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From rapid mobile application development (RMAD) to conventional application development platforms now infusing artificial intelligence into newer technologies, the enterprise must be aware of the importance of mobilizing legacy systems to further digital transformation.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange has drilled down its focus on the mobile application ecosystem, recently hosting an entire week of webinars focused on everything from mobile application security to life cycle management, and how to go about harnessing return on investment (ROI) throughout the process.

So how are businesses succeeding with enterprise apps? What’s the roadmap for IT teams, and how can upfront costs, stakeholder buy-in, and research and development be hit on the first try without disrupting workflow?

“If you’re going to be serious about deploying mobile apps for your employees, you must invest in (research and development) heavily,” said Jeff Fox, Solutions Architect with Marriott International. “Support issues rise up quickly, and organizations need the infrastructure and support teams in place to manage that.”

See related: [Webinar] Winning With Enterprise Apps

According to app development platform Kinvey, more than a third – 36% - of enterprises were spending between $100,000 and $500,000 on a single mobile app’s design, development, and deployment. Additionally, 49% of companies were spending more than $5,000 just on research and development alone, before design or functionality was even considered. It’s hard to accomplish an end result without considering the foundation, and that’s the sole purpose of research and development. While daunting, it’s necessary before taking any steps in the mobile application transformation journey.

Once the IT team feels it’s ready to go on the mobile application adventure, it must have its framework outlined. Identifying the seven stages of mobile application life cycle management is critical, including:

  • Identification
  • Specification
  • Develop or acquire
  • Secure
  • Install
  • Manage
  • End-of-life

The deployment and management of a properly functioning enterprise mobile application isn’t just about meeting a need, rather, it enhances productivity and creates a wider economy for end users and IT managers alike.


“Defining ROI can be a tricky proposition on mobile applications,” said Brad Shafton, Director of Innovation & UX at Hologic. “Many efficiencies come from process, or are seen as just keeping up with competition. So how do we show value in our investments? What are we looking for to justify the next project? It can be tough to compare one project to the next but we have to define some consistency to see where our investments are worthwhile and when we need to move on.”

Conversely, there’s a fine line that must be straddled by CIOs who are pushing app-first transformations, as app fatigue has become an issues for many workers. In a recent study by RingCentral, the average worker is using four different communications apps, with 20% saying they’re using six or more. Because of that, 69% of those surveyed say they’re wasting up to an hour of work time each day just navigating between their communications apps.

See related: R.I.P. Productivity. Cause Of Death: Too Many Apps

The app overload is certainly a concern for decision makers and must be addressed early. Just because one new mobile application works well or fits the enterprise perfectly doesn’t exactly mean it should branch out and force various lines of business to adopt more apps than are needed.

Digital transformation has taken on many forms in the last few years, but none more clearer than in the enterprise mobility journey companies are embracing at high speeds. In order to equip workers with necessary tools, mobilizing legacy systems and creating workflow-enhancing applications is an absolute must. Those who are able to establish goals, fully understand the life cycle management, and keep data secure will quickly become leaders in their space.