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Enterprises Fall Down on Mobile Apps

October 01, 2015

The slogan “there’s an app for that” predicted a new way of living and working when the iPhone burst on the scene in 2008. And back then, that cry seemed aspirational. Now, we know it to be true. That has led to struggles for companies when it comes to controlling and managing the raft of mobile apps in the enterprise, and a recent study shows that a vast majority of them are missing out on capitalizing fully on mobility’s benefits.

A study from Accenture shows that 87 percent of executives recognize the value of mobile apps for their business, and 82 percent of respondents see apps as integral to their organization. A full 85 percent believe that apps are the dominant user interface of the future.

However, less than half of respondents are taking advantage of apps to improve their business efficiency. Just 46 percent reported using productivity apps, and only 44 percent are using apps as a channel for sales, customer service or information.

Other apps that could represent major operational benefits to enterprises, such as mobile learning and collaboration apps, are only in use in 35 percent of businesses (although a further 38 percent of respondents not using them today intend to adopt them in the next two years).

“Apps are becoming critical to access business data for real-time decision making, whether it’s to manage industrial processes, employee collaboration, training programs or the customer experience,” said Abhijit Kabra, mobile applications practice lead at Accenture Digital  for mobility. “So, user experience and app performance are more important than ever. Our research shows that business leaders clearly need to raise their game in app management to make sure they make the most of their investment.”

And when it comes to bespoke applications, during the design and build stages of app development, only 52 percent employ a testing program that includes user feedback. Only 48 percent carry out usage reporting or analytics to understand any user pain points in live apps.

“Businesses are not keeping a close eye on their apps,” said Kabra. ”To get the best results from apps, businesses must do rigorous testing before launch and robust app management once deployed. Not only does this help to provide the best possible user experience, but it will also help make sure that security challenges are addressed as an ongoing priority.”

Image via Shutterstock

He added, “We found that too many companies are neglecting to continually improve their existing apps. So, they risk wasting their investment.”

Half the survey respondents (49 percent) cited security as the greatest challenge faced in managing and developing mobile apps. After security, the second biggest challenge cited was performance issues, such as crashing and bugs (37 percent), but just over half (55 percent) make use of any bug fixing or tracking tools to help overcome this.

“Nine out of ten respondents told us that they see high customer demand for effective mobile apps, but despite that half of respondents felt that mobile apps cannot be appropriately secured for business purposes, and only 45 percent of them have crash reporting in place,” Kabra said.

Bottom line? App management throughout the app lifecycle and for third-party apps can avoid impaired performance that frustrates and alienates users and leads to weak security. It can also help identify where mobile apps can be more effective and improve core business functions like customer service and employee collaboration. Businesses need to up their game, Accenture concluded, to make the most of today’s mobile reality.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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