Enterprise App Development: Most Critical Elements
How Mobility Leaders See It
On the surface, developing an enterprise app seems like a standard task for any IT department. However, there are numerous considerations that must be examined before development is complete.
Top Considerations For Enterprise App Development
Over 20% of users abandon apps after just a single use. App abandonment is serious problem in the enterprise, but it can be avoided if certain precautions are taken during the initial stages of development.
The first step is to ensure that the mobile app addresses a critical and urgent business need. Apps should not be created just for the sake of having them. Employees are given dozens of apps, and they don’t need one that fails to address a specific need. The apps should be developed with the intent of helping workers complete their jobs. In addition, the app should be as user-friendly as possible, with business users testing the app before deployment.
Once an app is developed, it is critical to get a buy-in from the workers. Mobility leaders should communicate to the workers about the benefits of the new app. After the deployment of the app, IT should leverage app analytics (that includes both real-time data and historical insights) to understand usage and to determine app improvements.
There is also a series of legal considerations that must be part of the mobile app development process. Without preparing for these issues before deployment, an enterprise could face serious legal consequences. It is critical that the app protects sensitive data and ensures user privacy. This also includes making sure that all content in the app is either copyright-free, or written agreements from contributors are in place.
Finally, security is another top consideration for enterprise mobile app development. Mobile devices represent one of the growing attack vectors in the enterprise, and that includes the apps. Limiting data leakage should be a priority in the development stages.
How Do Mobility Leaders Feel About App Development?
It is important to understand more about how mobility leaders feel about app development. At the 2018 Enterprise Mobility Transformation Exchange, we spoke to some mobility professionals about the most critical element of enterprise app development.
“I would say the most critical element of app development in the enterprise is understanding your environment,” said Joe Rago, director of digital innovation at ULTA Beauty. “Understanding where the app or device might be going into, such as if its going into a store or distribution center, [knowing] what the unique scenarios or unique limitations of that environment might be, you definitely need to know about that up front. Otherwise, you might go into a situation where you test it at your office, but if you go into a store, or you go into a distribution center, and those other elements make it [faulty].”
The environment of the app is just as critical as the capabilities of the app itself. Some locations might require specific uses that have to be programmed into the app before deployment.
“The most critical part about developing an app for the enterprise is understanding the user’s needs,” said Don Coates, manager of integrated digital development services at Northrop Grumman. “What does that person do in their job, and could this application —this solution — make their job easier and better? So you really have to understand the requirements and the needs of those people, those users.”
In the end, it’s still about the end users and having the technology support their roles.