Being traditionally slow to innovate, enterprise organizations have always lagged behind in terms of digitization and mobility. However, new times pose new challenges. Being able to compete in an increasingly digitized and fast-paced business environment requires decisive actions. Thus, more enterprise-level organizations are investing in mobile solutions.
If you don’t already have an enterprise mobility strategy in place, it’s about time to adopt one. But first, let’s identify the current state that it’s in and highlight major trends in the enterprise mobility field.
The state of enterprise mobile apps in 2017
With 61% of enterprise employees reportedly working off-site (at least partially) and 3+ devices used, on average, per person; the age of the mobile worker is already upon us. Thus, enterprise mobility is currently one of the hottest investment opportunities. Forrester research finds that 71% of enterprise-level organizations consider it a top priority.
Read also: Enterprise app development is among the Top app development trends 2017
Indeed, there are many reasons for enterprises to invest in mobile solutions. Among the most beneficial outcomes are
- better employee productivity and mobility,
- increased process efficiency,
- reduced cost of operation,
- access to the new data sources and their advanced management,
- overall higher employee satisfaction, and
- real-time collaboration which results in simplified decision making.
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As a result of the listed benefits, those companies deploying mobile initiatives have seen up to a 35% increase in ROI. Thus, by lagging behind in terms of mobile adoption, you are putting yourself in danger of being outperformed and outcompeted by your rivals.
But how exactly are businesses turning mobile solutions to their advantage? What are the most popular applications of mobile solutions in enterprise?
Of course, this largely depends on the industry or business domain the company operates in.However, there are some common use cases that can be highlighted:
- Utilities, HR, and collaboration (conference software, scheduling and reporting solutions, asset management, time tracking, project and task management, feedback and rewards);
- Sales & marketing (CRM and contacts management, inventory access and pricing, order placement, and presentations);
- Field services (order management, routing, time and asset tracking, remote access to documents); and
- Operations (logistics, security, and inventory management).
Top 7 challenges companies face when building enterprise mobile apps
While there are many reasons to consider enterprise app development, one should also be aware of the possible challenges that might arise in the process. If you are planning to invest in mobile solutions for your business, be prepared to handle the following challenges.
1. Lack of internal skills
Gartner predicts that the demand for mobile app development services will significantly outstrip the enterprise internal capacity to deliver them by the end of 2017. Many businesses have already experienced the notorious “tech talent gap”: Hiring local developers has become increasingly harder as the demand for skilled tech professionals continues to grow. Thus, more businesses will turn to outsourcing as a proven way to compensate for the lack of internal skills.
Read also: Outsourcing app development benefits
2. Integration and compliance hurdles
When building an enterprise mobile solution, it is important to make sure the new product works well with the existing IT infrastructure. Thus, you need to ensure that the application is seamlessly integrated between all the tools and systems in your portfolio. The challenge becomes especially significant if your business operates on top of legacy systems. Outdated tools and technologies are typically harder to scale.
Moreover, some industries, such as healthcare or finance, have pretty heavy regulations. In this case, any solution that you build should comply with the industry norms and requirements.
3. Choice of platform and technologies
There are many ways to build a mobile app. Native vs cross-platform development seems to be first of the choices that businesses face in this regard.
Furthermore, you need to choose which mobile platform to target first, iOS or Android. In the case of enterprise app development, iOS devices typically dominate the market.
But even if you decide to go for native iOS development, you will still face another dilemma, choosing between Swift and Objective-C. Thus, you need a reliable technology consulting partner to guide you through these hard decisions.
4. Data management
Efficient data management is crucial for the long-term ROI of your mobile project, and enterprise organizations typically have loads of data. Yet, it is often scattered across multiple databases, legacy systems, or even physical storage solutions (hard drives, floppy discs, or even paper documents), which makes it hard if not impossible to collect, organize, and put them to good use.
Mobile application is a rich source of data.
By setting up an efficient data collection and management process, you will be able to extract valuable insights about the current state of your business (such as employee performance, assets management, customer care, etc.) and better predict any potential risks or areas for improvement.
According to the 2016 Cybersecurity Trend Report, the average cost of a data breach equals to $21,155 per day. While it might take from 91 to 197 days to detect and mitigate the breach, the total loss might be enormous.In some cases, safety violations might have an even more damaging impact on the business than a financial loss would. Thus, enterprises are increasingly investing in data protection and cyber security.
From advanced passwords to complex biometric verification systems, there are many ways to secure your data and protect your business from cyber-attacks.
6. Employee readiness
While most of your employees might be active smartphone users, they often require additional training to be able to efficiently use enterprise mobile solutions. You can simplify their learning by investing in a friendly UX and intuitive navigation.
Often overlooked by most business owners, support and maintenance should be a part of your mobile app development strategy from the very beginning. The development process doesn’t stop with the release of the app. If you don’t want to waste your time and money building a throw-away solution, you should include these activities into your budget and plan for ongoing updates and maintenance.
The future of enterprise mobile app development
As more businesses come to understand the benefits of mobile in various spheres of business operations, the demand for enterprise app development is soaring. Sixty-six percent of business owners surveyed by Adobe are planning to further grow their investments in mobile initiatives.
Thus, by 2020, the enterprise mobility market is expected to climb from $208 to $500 billion (according to different resources), as compared to $85 billion in 2014.
With the staggering growth in mobile adoption among enterprises, savvy business leaders should put mobile strategies at the top of their priorities for 2017. Hiring a dedicated development team with the relevant experience in building enterprise solutions is a good place to start.
Having worked with some of the global enterprise companies, including Western Union, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Fly, we at Eastern Peak have accumulated the experience and skills needed to build reliable and performing solutions. Contact us now to secure your team and drive your business forward with modern mobile solutions.