According to a recent Gartner survey, companies are frustrated with developing enterprise mobile apps and are instead refocusing on responsive websites to cater to their mobile needs.

Even among existing enterprise applications, more than 80% are likely to fail due to lack of data, problem insight, end-user engagement, or failure to innovate and develop their mobile applications to meet customer needs. With a high chance of success, companies have to take the right steps to build mobile apps for business in the right way.

Mistakes to Avoid when Building Enterprise Mobile Apps

Building and deploying enterprise mobile applications is not an easy task and is seen as a high risk and high value situation by most of the companies. When done well, enterprise mobile apps help business operations run more efficiently across the organization and drive ROI. However, organizations focus on the wrong approach to enterprise applications. More often than not, lack of a clear understanding of what an app needs to do and who its users are, the processes the app will support, the technology/platform for its execution and management are often the main reasons why enterprise mobile apps fail. So, what’s the right way to build enterprise applications? Although the right approach depends on the situation and strategy,

No Clear Coverage

Often the demand for enterprise applications and their scope is based solely on the opinion of a few people and skewed knowledge. Apart from investing a lot of time and money to create business applications, the company’s mobile application development team works in a vacuum and based on assumptions without asking what their customers want or need (internal or external). This in many cases can cause the project to be canceled or the enterprise application to fail.

The Right Way:

Enterprise applications are mission critical and are meant to fulfill a specific, highly focused task. Therefore, to be successful, companies must start by defining the problem to be solved working with end users and other stakeholders. You have to be clear

will the app serve employees, customers, vendors or all of them?
Will the phone use the latest technology or replace the existing technology?
More insights and data points generally means a greater chance of success. Once you’ve prepared a list of business processes and a roadmap has been created around those processes, it’s time to shift focus to understanding the end user.

Lack of End User Engagement

60% of workers use applications for work activities but more often enterprise applications are developed separately without talking to the people who will use them. Therefore, it is not surprising that among the various reasons for the failure of enterprise applications, the single biggest pitfall is failing to serve users. The features and functions of the enterprise app don’t mean much, and it won’t work unless the user starts using it.

The Right Way:

Most importantly, companies should avoid assuming that they know what is needed.

Successful enterprise mobile applications focus on solving one or two problems for the end user and the business. Therefore, the company should always include feedback from end users right from the first prototype itself and continue to collect feedback to improve the application until the final release launch to be successful.

Employees/ Vendors/ Channel Partners facing the application: Create a focus group for each of them to define the business problem they are facing and how the enterprise application can solve it.

Customer-facing apps: A great way is to use surveys and focus groups of current and potential customers to understand what services/products they want to access through the mobile app, as well as the app functionality they want to have within the app.

A thorough understanding of their problem, the problem at hand, and thus a clear vision of the purpose of the application. In addition, active collaboration and user participation can further drive interactive UX throughout the development cycle to ensure a sustainable and engaging experience.

Bad User Experience

Forrester estimates that 64% of employees rarely use enterprise applications due to poor design and user experience. This is not surprising considering that many app developers, who already have to deal with many pressing issues, do not provide a decent user experience.

Furthermore, business users, designers and developers do not face each other in terms of user experience and UI design is often a source of frustration and ultimately the UI fails to meet one or more functional requirements. Usually companies want to build a swiss army feature knife, when all they need is a single purpose enterprise application.

The Right Way:

Keeping things simple is the key! Enterprise applications should be easy with a clean interface for usability. App developers should aim to build apps that have a clear purpose and meet your business goals, rather than trying to bombard apps with lots of features. An application should be user friendly and intuitive so that anyone can figure it out easily and this can only happen when enterprise application developers put themselves in the shoes of their end users to avoid the worst pitfalls of enterprise applications.

Outdated Technology

Apart from poor UX, outdated technology and lack of strong backend integration with backend resources and public APIs in view of extending technology are often one of the main reasons for failure of enterprise applications. Many companies continue to use old systems that are incompatible with cellular services and thus cannot meet user expectations for more additions and changes with the arrival of new technologies. Enterprise applications also tend to fail and only add to the pile of enterprise ‘waste of money’ projects if you have an inefficient API strategy or your BYOD and MDM policies are not implemented and managed efficiently

The Right Way:

Strong and secure back-end integration capabilities, proper API strategy ensures application sustainability and relevance. Given the challenges of device fragmentation, you should make efforts to optimize enterprise mobile apps across multiple platforms. One solution is to choose a platform and technology stack for your business application with an understanding of why your company needs a mobile application for business processes, user needs and wants.

It may also depend on the choice of your core audience. While at one time BlackBerry was the standard for enterprise apps until Apple’s Android and iOS dominated the scene. Both have unique software and interface features. Further beyond OS and device type, there are also industry or market preferences for certain devices that tend to be the more popular choices. So, for example in entertainment industry and retail industry, Apple devices like iPad, iPad Pro are preferred while many retail and large industries prefer popular Samsung or Nexus devices for Android OS.

Poor Post-Launch Management and Analysis

An often overlooked aspect of a successful mobile app is enterprise app analytics and management. While application analysis refers to how often the application is used and how the application performs and is utilized by people and helps provide valuable insights about the application. This information will help you understand how your app is performing and what users are saying so that you can consistently improve your app and its overall performance.

The Right Way:

Apps won’t work unless they drive engagement. Therefore, app developers should build analytics into apps to help companies understand the user experience of mobile apps. By testing apps regularly to improve performance and using analytical tools to measure adoption and engagement, it helps companies identify usability issues and issues. Key metrics for tracking mobile app analytics include App Users, Crash Reporting, Session Duration, Performance Analytics,  Monetization Metrics . Continuously monitoring, analyzing and managing your business applications to adapt to changing user demands of your application and constantly changing technologies will make a dramatic difference in the popularity, lifecycle and ultimately success of your business applications.

The article first appeared on Cygnet Infotech.

Make enterprise mobile apps work for you by partnering with Cygnet today. Our team of enterprise mobile app developer experts translate business logic into engaging app experiences.

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