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Making Mobile Work in Your Enterprise

December 30, 2015

Some enterprise executives aren’t convinced their enterprise needs a mobile app, but most have jumped on the mobile bandwagon. That’s a prudent move. According to Datamation, 68 percent of CIOs and IT managers believe mobility is critical for success (the number grows to 74 percent when discussing companies over 1,000 employees). But there are hurdles to mobile integration and implementation, and inexperienced businesses can’t always navigate the unfamiliar territory of app development.  If you can’t afford to contract a mobile app designer, make sure your in-house developer follows these basic mobile guidelines:

Measure Thrice…

A decent mobile app needs to be well-executed from the start. Users will very rarely comply with your app’s initial bugs, and nobody wants to consistently download patches for simple issues. Take this three-pronged approach to design, so nobody ragequits your unfinished app’s first release:

  1. Consider multiple development strategies, including HTML5, Android/iOS9, and NativeScript. Weigh your developer’s expertise against the cost of a poorly designed app, a limited audience, and the possibility that the project may take longer than you expected. Don’t forget that in 2016, 70 percent of IT departments will allocate at least a fifth of their budget to mobility initiatives. This a lengthy and expensive venture with clear rewards, so be patient.
  2. Prepare your internal infrastructure to handle bandwidth strain, more users, and the unique demands of mobility. Make sure your IT crew has the tools to monitor network strain in real time.
  3. Always plan your apps with the user in mind. It’s not hard to take a few shortcuts in programming that app. It’s also too easy to miss core user experiences, too, so make sure testers cover all your operations.

Get Inspired

Don’t be afraid to do your due diligence by asking other companies what they’re doing. You probably have a working relationship with some non-competitive companies; ask them what they’re doing, see what tips they’ll give you. It’s in everyone’s best interests to promote better through mobile, so take someone else’s IT team out on a corporate lunch and pick their brains.

Also, feel free to roam through business apps that you think work well. Developers can often replicate the effects of another app, allowing you to cherry-pick features that would work well in your business. We’re not advocating outright theft, but you need a foundation before your app can really innovate.

Remember Mobile Browsers

While you’re designing a mobile app, have your mobile team fix the problems with your regular site. Almost every site has issues when viewed on a phone, and that causes some major problems for businesses (would you order a product from a sketchily designed mobile store?). Most Americans use their phone as an initial point of contact with the internet; don’t alienate them. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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