Mobile apps are on the rise and the user base is growing. This is not just a prediction, but a reality that many businesses should consider when marketing in the Mobile Age. Did you know that mobile devices make 55% of internet access in the U.S. this January? Surprisingly though, 47% of this traffic came from apps and only 7% from mobile browsers. If you’d like to know more about these figures, you can check out this post, plus this fact sheet from the Pew Research Center. The numbers may vary slightly from one study to another, but one thing’s crystal clear: You Need a Long Term Mobile Strategy.. Seriously.
When Mobile Apps Meet the Enterprise
Surely by now, you have overcome your picture of a mobile app as some techie way to kill time. Mobile productivity apps are on the rise and these help employees become more efficient while collaborating on-the-go. The top goal of these apps is to deliver maximum impact to your business and there’s a good reason that the market for these enterprise apps are growing. From those apps that allow you to do basic tasks like having access to your contacts and emails, we’re seeing more complex tasks like dashboards and analytics. We even have social business apps helping teams communicate real-time updates with their peers, wherever they are located in the world.
What Can Exactly Go Wrong?
While adoption of enterprise mobile apps is on the rise, your employees may be using those that are not approved by IT and you may just be exposed to security risks (malware, phishing, etc). How can you protect yourself? Most seasoned enterprise software developer will tell you that you should:
1. Spell out how the mobile app will be handled – from conception to deployment. Guidelines must be established, a.k.a. Governance.
2. Iterate. You have to develop and test your mobile apps more as this will be updated frequently by your users. If you’re running apps on your corporate WiFi, make sure that this is capable of supporting your application’s protocols and its users.
3. Put security on your priority list, which is a no-brainer. What standards and practices would you set? Do you even have a secured VPN connection?
4. Educate your users. While proactively posting updates can help your employees remember to download them, you have to document and train your team on how to use the app – from tutorials, user manuals to FAQ sheets.
5. Measure what you can improve. This is why it’s important to set metrics to determine if the app is really useful and functional – and how you can make it better for everyone.
The worst mistake you can do when adopting a mobile enterprise app is to separate it from your business process. Rather, you would want to see it blend seamlessly with the entire organization. For example, your mobile app allows exchange of notes on this idea map but then, you can’t update the data on your central system that it requires your users to enter details manually – adding more work than ever. The last thing you need is a fancy mobile app that makes your team work double time. More so, if you’re running cloud-based platforms, you may just have to build a central hub to integrate existing systems with new ones.
It sounds simpler than it looks but overall, the point is to start building your mobile app plan that will move your business forward and make your employees happier – minus the risks.
Just another reason… Why You Should Get Seriously Mobile This 2014