The 10 Essential Steps Towards A Successful Mobile Enterprise

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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How can you make the implementation of a mobile enterprise solution an awesome one? Jonathan Best, vice president of Europe and Africa at mobile app development firm, Kony, has the answers

With the New Year came many new resolutions and goals, not just for individuals who are chasing a new challenge, but also for businesses worldwide wanting to become or stay successful in competitive markets. There are several initiatives that can be adopted in the pursuit of enterprise greatness, but one of the most important in 2015 is mobility.

Mobility is everywhere. The way businesses operate, communicate and deliver is changing at a very fast pace, technological innovations are emerging quicker than ever before, drastically influencing the rules of the game. So to even stand a chance at competing effectively, it’s important to walk hand in hand with technology.

Here are the most important factors to bear in mind when implementing a successful mobile enterprise solution:

byod flexible working1. Remember what and who it’s for:

It’s important that applications are built with the ability to support business processes. For example, for field workers, bear in mind the ‘how’ in the way field workers actually work. Always remember – design outside-in to win!

2. Think of tomorrow today:

It’s risky to assume that an app built to promote simplicity to a simple data source will stay that way. When encouraging business outcome-focused solutions, the usual operational data will not be located in the same system as the analytical or customer specific data, which targets enhanced customer experience.

3. NEVER overlook the integrity and management of the data device, especially in transactional mobile apps:

Your apps can pass quality assurance testing because of the variety and complexity of real world test conditions for data conflicts, as well as data source integration, but don’t be fooled. It may be too late before you realise the app has some big problems for IT and the line of business.

4.  Be sure to certify the security and scalability of the app:

Have an understanding of how apps can support a wider range of users and its impact on other business systems, both technical and operational. This is undoubtedly another danger zone that can delay the roll-out of the app in the critical adoption phase of any successful mobile solution.

5. Quick turnaround for updates is key:

Once an app is launched through the trial phase and into production, user feedback and change requests may rapidly start rolling in. The ability to consume, adapt, implement and rollout changes in a short timescale is vital for the app’s success for user expectations and adoption. If the ability to do this is excluded from the equation, app adoption will drop at a very fast rate.

6. Perception of performance really does matter:

Although hard to measure and react to, good performance is expected. Uncontrollable network, wireless and external systems can cause chaos on the perceived performance of the app from a user perspective. The reason behind poor performance is irrelevant to users, they only want to know that the app works properly, simply and without being intrusive. Be one step ahead and ensure the app is designed to occasionally connect and support offline mode for important business functions that require a snappy user experience or the scenario where users have no connectivity.

pile of cash7. Show value at an early stage and build on it for the plan to be a success:

Develop a long list of functionalities and features that support the mobile app roadmap and business plan to get funding approved and also support a net-positive ROI to the business. However, the solution and its functionality and supported business processes are different from anything else in place, especially in the order of priority. It’s important to have a composite app optimised foundation, so modularity can be built into the foundation of apps and right functionalities can be plugged-in for the right persona. This work can then be reused in other apps created down the line.

8. Mobile first capabilities should be enabled to improve user experience:

Mobile devices can offer many benefits around location based services (LBS); advantage should be taken of these goodies, which includes everything from asset tracking to authentication for a more seamless user experience. Be mindful that in the micro app strategy, additional personas incorporated into the mobile solution might not run the app on a regular basis. Businesses should leverage the native notification services to alert and drive action. This can provide for two to ten times improvement in the business plan around the mobile app.

ticking clock watch9. Ensure that the mobile app is ready to consume data in real-time:

As IT teams push harder for businesses to consume data from different sources – structured and unstructured – they need to use information from that data as it comes in. Report-based analytics are a thing of the past and will remain in the back office. Data should be brought to users in real-time as part of their processes and decision making. The ability to rapidly take in big data to super-charge apps and create multiples in ROI in the business plan should be demonstrated.

10. A secure and agile delivery and management infrastructure designed to provide value at the edge should be in place:

Work towards leveraging the cloud infrastructure and multi-tenancy for the operations and evolution of the app’s roadmap.

So, if you were wondering how to go about effectively reaching the goal of a more successful mobile enterprise, the above tips should help put things into perspective. Staying ahead of the game in today’s mobile-driven environment is vital for improved business processes, increased sales/revenue, decreased costs, competitive advantage/market share, and improved worker productivity amongst many other advantages, which can be easily attained not only with the right guidance but also with the right technology in place.

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