The demand for enterprise mobile application services continues to grow. However, most companies are vastly under-prepared for successful enterprise mobile app development. Designing, developing and maintaining a truly robust enterprise mobile app requires specific skills that are not often found in-house.
Here’s a short list of three “must-haves!”
(For more info, take a quick look mPortal’s mobile software development e-book, for a deeper understanding of our own enterprise mobile app development process.)
1) Designing a compelling user interface. Enterprise mobile apps must be clean, practical, and easy to use, while remaining full-featured and powerful. While IT teams may know how to create something functional, users expect more than function with mobile apps – they expect beautiful form. Creating a successful mobile app requires developers and designers working side-by-side, which doesn’t always happen in the typical enterprise.
Both teams also have to take into account the needs of different users when creating their UIs. For example, someone working on-site in a field operations role might have a different use case than the account manager who works for the same company. The app needs to meet everyone’s needs, yet still offer the same core functionality.
2) Experience in developing for different devices. Mobile’s no longer just about smartphones or tablets. It’s now smart watches, automobiles, and other Internet of Things…things. Each of these devices requires a different approach. For example, developing an app for a smart watch can be far different than one for a tablet.
To cover the bases you’ll want to make sure that your enterprise mobile app development team is knowledgeable about designing for all types of mobile devices. Most internal teams do not have this expertise.
3) The desire and time to continuously update and modify your apps. Traditional enterprise software development includes an end date – once the software is completed, you put it out in the wild and that’s pretty much it. Occasionally you might have to issue an update, but once it’s done, it’s pretty much done.
That’s not the case with enterprise mobile apps, which are built around constant and continual iteration. There’s no end date associated with the development of an enterprise mobile app; you’re always going to be updating the software as mobile technology and user demands evolve.
As an example, the most recent version of Android, Lollipop, contains thousands of new APIs, many of them enterprise-centric. In only a year, there were major updates and developments that developers needed to become familiar with. These updates were meant to address mobile business needs, and were rolled out one year after the previous version, KitKat, hit the market.
This rapid pace is indicative of the way today’s business runs in general. Mobile and the cloud have pushed organizations toward becoming far more nimble and agile than ever before, but many can’t do this alone. Hence, many are looking to third party partners to be able to help them achieve their goals of quickly delivering better solutions, including mobile apps.
In my next post, I’ll take a look at some things you should look for when choosing a development partner for your enterprise mobile app. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about how mPortal can assist in your app development needs, shoot me a note.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also want to take a look at: