In 2016 we’re entering a more mature phase in Enterprise Mobility with companies focusing closely on how apps can drive productivity and process improvement. We take a closer look at the Enterprise Apps, what’s driving their growth, and what are the options for your business…
What is an Enterprise App?
In simple terms, Enterprise Apps are mobile applications that solve business process inefficiencies and make it easier to complete specific tasks. What all Enterprise Apps have in common is they are “data-centric, user-friendly, and must meet stringent requirements for security, administration, and maintenance” According to Forbes the combination of enterprise big data, powerful analytics and employee mobility add up to Enterprise Apps being “a “must have” for any competitive business”.
The broader definition of Enterprise Apps also includes customer-facing “service apps” that improve the accessibility of online services for many sectors from banks and financial services to utilities and logistics.
It’s really not a one-size fits all approach – each sector has different needs, whether that’s helping patients, empowering field services, or facilitating staff or customers to access their account information.
Enterprise Apps – the drivers
The obvious driver in the explosion of Enterprise Apps is the ubiquity of smartphones. According to Google’s Consumer Barometer 96% of people under 25 in the UK own a smartphone. And most developed countries are well past the tipping point where the majority of Digital Media consumption is on mobile apps.
In tandem with the smartphone explosion, there has also been a surge in BYOD (“bring your own device”) in workplaces. This opens up opportunities for companies to deploy Enterprise Apps that leverage the smart technology in their employees’ devices. In fact Garter predict that by 2017, 25 percent of enterprises will have an enterprise App Store.
BYOD can cause a security headache for IT departments who want to lock down the content of their employees’ personal devices. Solutions to this incude AirWatch (device management) and Púca’s user management systems which allow companies like Thorntons recycling to securely administer their app user groups, adding and removing permissions as needed.
In our experience distribution planning is crucial and shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought. You need to carefully consider how best to make your staff or clients aware of the app, and how to assist them to “discover” the app in the relevant app store, and how to manage access on an ongoing basis.
An additional consideration for customer-facing Enterprise Apps apps is that they should be able to double up as a recruitment tool so if a “non customer” tries to log in that they should be brought through the correct customer acquisition journey.
Where do I start?
The best place to start is to identify the specific issues your staff or customers are experiencing that impact on their productivity or user experience. This helps to build the business case and define the objectives.
We start with following 7 challenging questions;
- What problem(s) is the app is trying to solve?
- Who will use it?
- Why will they use it?
- What does success look like?
- What size is the market?
- What’s my Opportunity Cost?
- What’s my Return on Investment (ROI*)?
*When doing the ROI calculation bear in mind that the returns should be greater in years 2 onwards due to the up-front weighting of most app development budgets.
Let’s take a scenario of a client who wants improve productivity in their Payroll Department. The initial requirements gathering exercise would look something like the table below, and once we have established the objectives and business case using this simple discovery process we can then work out an Enterprise App strategy and budget to meet the defined objectives.
Want to know more?
Contact us and let us know your company’s 2 or 3 biggest process “pain points” and we’d be delighted to offer our advice on how an Enterprise App might help to solve them.