Enterprise App Survival Guide: Six Tips to Winning the Enterprise App Wars
With the explosion
of mobile devices, many enterprises developed a broad stable of mobile apps to
keep up with demand and to test what worked and what didn’t. The emphasis was
on rapid development of many small mobile enterprise apps to improve isolated business
enterprises and organizations of all sizes, tackle digital transformation at
full throttle speeds, they are now realizing that mobile enterprise apps should
be considered as extensions of larger processes, not isolated islands in and of
Here are six tips to help your enterprise app strategies survive in the
digital transformation era:
1. Less Is More – An endless
portfolio of mobile apps is not a sustainable strategy. Focus on apps that
bring value. Not only are many apps difficult and costly to maintain, they
create a fragmented and confusing user experience. Identify the app’s place in
your organization’s digital transformation strategy. Make sure any new app
supports this strategy with tangible benefits and value.
2. Think Comprehensive – When
transforming a business process, it is important to take a cross-functional
approach that breaks down “stovepiped” divisions and focuses on enabling
end-to-end processes within an organization. The process for taking and fulfilling
an order, for example, may flow across your sales, production, shipping, and
accounting departments. Make sure your app integrates needed data and processes
across all business systems involved, whether that of the organization or a
partner, on-premise or cloud-based. Mobilize the specific functionalities that
make sense, even incorporating different functionalities for different users.
3. Go for Features That Delight Users – Include
extra functionality and productivity tools that makes users’ lives easier, like
Google Maps integration that lets mobile CRM users find the shortest route to
their destinations or see what other clients are in their local area. Where
possible and relevant, managers should be able to see graphical dashboard views
of important KPIs.
4. Integration Is Key – Most of the
important features of the enterprise app lie below the surface, including
security, data accuracy, the ability to update, transform and synchronize data
across multiple systems, along with the ability to automatically trigger
processes according to specific changes, thresholds or actions. Your
integration tool must be able to connect the systems you want, the way you
want, reliably and in real-time.
5. Monitor Usage and Feedback – Whenever
possible, make decisions based on usage data and user experience research.
Avoid making assumptions about what you think works best. Talk to your users.
Gather hard data. Prove the business case by calculating man-hours saved and
improved productivity and innovation through new capabilities provided, reduced
errors and improved speed of processes.
6. Use a "Fail Fast" Philosophy – Act like a
successful start-up company, and don’t have reservations about pivoting your
strategy. If you observe several months of low/no usage or results, don’t be
afraid to abandon an app. Invest time reviewing and realigning business
processes as well as the user interface and experience.
mobility evolves under the greater digital transformation umbrella, it’s
natural that there is a need to revamp apps and to retire those that are no
longer useful or relevant. Remember to look at the big picture, mobile
enterprise apps can no longer be isolated functions, they must be facilitators
of larger end-to-end processes. With this vision in mind, it is easier to
choose the right tools and solutions to support your enterprise app needs for
speed, agility, and robust and reliable connectivity.
Stephan Romeder is General Manager of Magic Software Europe