Seventhman Blog

  1. Bringing Mobile Apps to Your Enterprise

    "enterprise mobile apps"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

     

     

  2. Are You Ready to Embrace Enterprise Mobility?

    "enterprise mobility"Change is coming… to enterprise mobility and the shift is happening in a blink of an eye.  You might say that it’s an over-statement on my part.  The reality is not really far-fetch, thanks to the BYOD movement.  Mobile is the new IT, no doubt.  Back in the 80’s, big companies invested millions on desktop computers because they believed that this will make their employees productive.  Today, everything changed with mobile apps running on smartphones, tablets and somewhere in between.  Going mobile used to be a business cost and now, a means to transform the way people work.  With these said, one can wonder who owns mobility in the enterprise.

    From Cloud Exploration to Cloud Business

    The adoption of cloud within the enterprise is becoming less experimental, evolving into a vital production tool in the workplace.  IT departments are starting to take cloud computing and security more seriously.  From the CIO to marketing departments and business managers, the power-shift is happening.  Almost everyone can now work with mobile applications, thanks to vendors who have listened well and designed something simple and useful for their end-users.  According to a research done by Forrester, business leaders who are making lots of renegade tech purchases are 50% more likely to increase spending.  No matter, we’re seeing a rise in the number of tech-savvy business executives who can now interact more effectively with IT.

    Taking the Management Out of Enterprise Mobility

    There is an emerging discipline within enterprise where people, processes and technology are managed based on the increasing use of mobile devices, computing and wireless networks in the workplace.  While mobility may free business units from the iron grip of IT, there must be balance where managing this revolution is concerned.  While you can play the paranoia game, thanks to the revelations made by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, people should be empowered to go mobile without putting corporate data at risk.  One way to do this is to implement a unified network infrastructure that delivers a secured virtual network for its user.  This means having reliable connectivity too.  Also, having a unified architecture approach helps – from routers, servers, wireless access points, security to business apps.  The last thing you want is for your people opting out simply because the company-provided tools didn’t perform well on their devices.

    Should You Mobilize Everything?

    What can empower your team more is through giving them access to their work and personal data – anytime, anywhere on their mobile devices.  The challenge?  Not everyone feels ready for this transformation simply because they think they are wasting money on this investment. Can you really bring in mobility, data security and self-service come to work without risking data control?  This is everyone’s dream.  The solutions available right now in the market may be far from perfect,  but I’m optimistic that we’re finally getting there.  For now, I’d say spend more time researching on how you can create your own work apps, train your people to efficiently use mobility in their jobs, and make sure that everyone knows the value of going mobile.

    Technology has the power to transform or deform your brand.  The choice is totally up to you…

  3. Five Questions You Need to Ask Before Building Mobile Apps

    "mobile apps"If there’s one thing entrepreneurs need to know, it’s this: Mobile is not a trend.  Rather, it’s a new mindset and everyone, from your employees to customers, will expect your brand to be on their mobile devices.  There is no room for disappointment this time.  The problem kicks in when you become too ambitious with your mobile app project.  Just because you find your idea interesting doesn’t mean you should assume the same reaction from your target audience.  Did you know that most mobile apps fail to deliver because those who built them did not spend time validating their products with real users who would be willing to pay?  Before you even shell out thousands of dollars and countless man hours, you have to ask these questions:

    1.  Is there a real need?

    Don’t be tempted to launch an app just because it looks ‘cool’.  There must be a real purpose.  Does your app solve a problem?  Start with this in mind.

    2.  Who are you building it for?

    You have to segment your target audience, whether you’re building a mobile app for new or existing customers.  It’s all about context and the benefits that will drive higher conversion.

    3.  How will it look like?

    You don’t have to come up with something totally disruptive just to make your app look innovative.  There is such a thing called as user experience and sometimes, making things simpler and faster works better than all those fancy graphics combined.

    4.  What type of device will your app run on?

    With the explosion of smartphones, tablets and phablets of all resolution and screen sizes, you have to consider the type of device your app will be running on.  For the same reason that many major brands are implementing responsive web design on their sites, studying the demographic behavior of your target customers will help a lot.

    5.  How do you build it?

    Ideas are just as good as the air you breathe if they’re not turned into reality.  You have to be realistic about your budget for building a mobile app.  Who will work on it?  You can either look for local talents or outsource work to trusted experts.

    The final goal you must aim for in terms of developing for mobile should be gaining customers’ loyalty and productivity among your team.  Gartner recently predicted that more than 2.3 billion mobile devices will ship worldwide this year. This tells you one thing – Mobile is the new normal of how we connect online.

    What will guarantee success for you then if you decided to build one?  The answer is really simple – as in keeping your end users in mind.  Their experience will spell your app’s success.. or failure.  The key here is to keep on improving what you will come up with, on promoting what works and ditching what doesn’t.

    You have a great idea, no doubt.  Are you ready to execute it well?