Technology has never been more important to the running of modern businesses and as the demand and usage of conventional mobile apps has increased, so has the implementation of enterprise apps—software designed to help an organisation improve efficiency while solving company-wide problems. This could be anything from a CRM to an app that facilitates team collaboration.
Enterprise apps can have many business benefits, with Forbes contributor Ben Kerschberg claiming they can increase productivity, and empower workers outside the office by giving them real-time insights into business processes. He also notes that access to big data and the ease of development means it’s never been so straightforward for organisations to create smart apps in quick time.
However, for businesses to take advantage of the positive effects of enterprise apps, they must ensure they don’t make the following mistakes:
No Marketing Tactics
Though enterprise apps are designed to meet the needs of an organisation rather than individual users, the technology will be significantly more effective if employees actually want to engage with it. Unfortunately, many businesses take this for granted and neglect to build anticipation, believing that staff will automatically refer to the new app for work purposes—especially if it’s mandatory. However, if employees aren’t particularly excited to use it once it’s available, odds are they’ll be more inclined to stick to the software they’re already familiar with.
Instead, companies need to create enthusiasm by treating their employees as though they are consumers. This means actively using app marketing techniques, that could include spreading teasers on company social networking groups, or perhaps even contacting the local press about the software’s features and benefits. Tactics like these will help create all-important buzz, so by the time the app launches, everybody will be looking forward to using it.
Poor User Experience
Regardless of how innovative the app’s concept is, company efforts will be wasted if user experience (UX) is poor. The software must look clean and professional, and be simple for each employee to navigate regardless of their level of technical expertise.
For example, moving a web app to mobile can be problematic if companies don’t consider the differences between the two mediums. A straight transfer often means that there will be more elements than necessary, like image and top navigation categories, cluttering a mobile’s small screen and overwhelming the user. Screen size also means mobile apps typically require a larger font in order to utilise the space adequately and provide an easier reading experience. Even if a business is creating an enterprise mobile app from scratch, it must follow UX best practice by doing things like streamlining the design, ensuring the touch targets are large enough, and guaranteeing that the software is fully accessible for disabled employees.
It’s undoubtedly important for an enterprise app to be user-friendly, but businesses should not spend too much time making it flawless. Time costs money at the end of the day, and as this app is intended to boost employee productivity, delaying its deployment could seriously impact a company’s bottom line.
Writing for Computerworld, Jack Gold, who has spent 25 years as a tech analyst, suggests organisations develop apps that are just “good enough”. Unlike consumer apps that need near-perfect functionality, he argues this isn’t as important for enterprise variants. “Usable ‘good enough’ apps that provide worker productivity improvements are just as valuable, especially if they can be created easily and updated often to take advantage of changes in the business environment.” Therefore, instead of seeking to design perfect enterprise apps, businesses should aim for software that’s fit for purpose and can be rolled out as soon as possible, allowing them to quickly reap the productivity benefits it will bring.