August 17, 2014

Three key considerations for enterprise apps

Written By Martin Sandhu

Businesses have come to realise that mobile apps are more than just a marketing tool or new gaming platform. Employers hoping to improve productivity are finding new ways for their staff to work through mobile applications and enterprise apps that modify or streamline the way businesses work with their clients or supply chain are becoming commonplace.

In order to get the most from enterprise apps it’s important that they are treated differently to consumer apps, in order to achieve the greatest ROI. Among other things, there are three key areas of difference…

1. Security

Security is a critical issue when it comes to apps for business use, and one which often puts companies off utilising them. It is not just the threat of malware or cyber crimes that poses a threat; with employees carrying their mobile devices with them 24/7 it’s easy to see how an app might end up in the hands of someone else.

As enterprise apps become more sophisticated and have access to more sensitive data, security becomes even more important. As well as building strong security features into the app itself, polices should be put in place to ensure only those who need the app are able to install and use it. It is also worthwhile educating employees on the importance of using passwords or facial recognition on their mobile devices.

2. Design 

Design is key for any app, regardless of its function. In order for an enterprise app to be effective users should be able to achieve the necessary as easily, or easier, than the previous or alternative ways.

This means the user interface needs to be clean and simple. Enterprise apps don’t need to market themselves through design, so there’s no need to impress with bells and whistles, a clear path to complete a task, in as little time as possible, will suffice.

If your app is likely to be seen by clients – be it while they use it or simply over the shoulder of your employee – it’s worthwhile keeping the design on brand. Use your company colours, font and logo.

3. Integration

Essentially, enterprise apps must be integrated with all other necessary platforms. If a user is on the road using an app to gather client information, that same information must be available to him when he gets back to his desk.

Integration with accounting software, email systems and other essential platforms will make the app more useful than if it simply stands alone. Although it’s worthwhile noting the heighten security risks this comes with.

Other considerations

There is a long list of considerations that must be taken into account when planning an enterprise mobile app. Such platforms can make huge differences to business productivity and profit, but only if the app is successfully and securely planned, built and launched.