There is no doubt that mobile constitutes an essential part that every business has as a part of the digital transformation agenda. Global corporations and small to medium businesses alike are incorporating mobile apps into their business strategy. But prior to diving into a mobile development project, businesses should ask these important questions so as to build a scalable and future proof mobile strategy.
1. Whats the business case ?
A business case is a set of clear intentions about what a project is going to do, where it is going to go, and what it is supposed to achieve. Without this written down somewhere and agreed by stakeholders, mobile app development projects will lack purpose and direction. Moreover, you have to examine how realistic your business case is. Is it really an achievable goal? Will it produce the difference it promises? Does it add enough value to gain momentum and downloads?
2. Does Mobile App adds value to the business process ?
First and foremost – is the mobile app “a feel good” factor or “must-have” case ? This means market and competitor research. Couple of important issues in terms of whether mobile app helps business in terms of simplifying the process, in terms of creating newer engagement model or does it simply cut the operating costs ?
KPIs, strategic objectives, end-goals – what are yours? It’s all too easy to jump on the bandwagon and assume that you need to build an app because everybody else has one. However, like all strategies, the business rationale has to be flawless. This process will take considerable investment and this will need to be offset by the value that is being brought to your business. Possible answers might include boosting productivity and customer service, or increasing employee responsiveness.
3. Which device to develop for ?
Does the app addresses an internal audience or is it a customer facing app ? What about BYOD policy ? Does a specific platform would help user experience (complex data intensive apps might work better with a larger real estate – Tablets/iPad ) ? While it may be helpful to get information on the devices being used for an app proposed for internal audience, so that you are able to optimise on the app development efforts, it may be a wiser decision to build the app for multiple platform in a customer facing environment.
4. Can existing infrastructure handle the increased traffic?
Another important aspect to keep in mind when developing a mobile app is the need for integration with backend systems and pre-existing infrastructure. Would the existing infrastructure support the need ? Are there any additional licensing issues to be tackled, especially while integrating with the backend IT systems.
5. Will people love using the app ?
User experience (UX) should be near or at the top of the list for every enterprise mobility strategy, and this is no less true for enterprise apps. The whole point of enterprise mobility is that it is intuitive: people are bringing in their own devices because they are easy to use. Look at what’s happening in the consumer market. Consider bringing in test groups of employees and getting their feedback – after all, they are the ones that will have to use it.
6. Is the app secure ?
Many enterprise mobility strategies focus on securing devices, but the need to secure the application itself is often overlooked. It may be worthwhile to invest in a platform that enables you to secure the application using multi level authentication. From an enterprise angle, ability to integrate with LDAP might offer great flexibility with a single sign-on policy.
7. What’s next ?
Any developer can tell you that application lifecycle management comprises six key steps: design, develop, test, deploy, manage and update. Consider the last step of this process. It’s not enough to just put the app out there – if your business is going to evolve, so must the app.
Your offering needs to continually evolve if you’re going to keep the attention of employees. Constantly feedback your findings into the app to ensure that it ages well.