The explosive growth of smartphones and tablets has pervaded many institutions. The workplace is no exception. The functions these devices can perform have made them an inalienable part of our lives. But the paranoia of security forced enterprises world over to grapple with ways to regulate them. The increasing trend of social networking and commerce via mobile made them realize the huge opportunity it could bring. Talk about opening new vistas to build brands, market products and network resulting in positive footfalls to business. This is incentive for companies to now engage these devices in a constructive way to meet their business objectives and comply with corporate policies.
This also brings good tidings for mobile app development companies who can offer their clients more than just mobile apps.
Need for Enterprise Mobile Strategy
Growing crops in a glasshouse is different from growing them in the open. Similarly, tolerating the use of communication devices in official environments vis-a-vis their use outside is a different ball game. Stark nuances like security and rigorous compliance with company policies need to be addressed.
The boom in social media and the web in general has opened up many vistas to network, acquire business, build brands and nurture them. These initiatives contribute positively to the profitability of companies. Mobile communication devices let employees stay in touch with company information and resources. This is another important reason why enterprises must factor in mobility in their businesses.
Companies must therefore devise and implement a suitable Enterprise Mobile Strategy. This strategy must clearly spell out provisions for 24×7 support for mobility, management of enterprise apps on mobiles, integrate with back end infrastructure, interoperability, be robust and function in all mobile platforms. Quite a lot of conditions, isn’t it? The remaining part of this article sheds light on evolving an effective strategy.
Components of Enterprise Mobile Strategy
Mobile app development companies now have more to offer to clients seeking an effective mobile strategy in their premises. The consulting and services provided by mobility firms hover around the tenets described in the following paragraphs.
Aim of the strategy: Companies must build their brand as well as put in safeguards for managed use of resources in individual mobile devices. A thorough study of the existing business process, including infrastructure, applications (including mobile applications, if any) is made. The companies direction henceforth with respect to harnessing mobility to expand business, ensure greater connect with employees, conform to regulations, scalability and seamless adaption to industry demands is ascertained. All these factors help the mobility service provider in formulating an effective strategy.
Design of Applications, Infrastructure and Deployment: post analysis and setting expectations, the strategy needs to be designed. The following nuances are critical in designing:
- Platforms: The base on which the entire mobile architecture is going to rest is the platform. This also includes the software part that is the OS, interface applications and hardware. Interconnection between devices and mobile applications and database needs to be evaluated and the best connection media selected. The platform is the interface between the back-end systems and individual devices disseminating the corporate mobile strategy throughout the organization.
- Tools for development: developing apps and surrounding protocols requires apt development tools that are scalable and robust as well as being cost-effective. Emphasis must be placed on reusability of content developed on these tools.
- App development: apps of all hues required in the organization must be developed and implemented from time to time. All apps may not be required in one go, therefore the vision document must specify the roadmap. These apps must be broad based to be compatible with majority of mobile devices. The development must therefore take care or reusability of the app codes. Android app development, iOS app development, Blackberry app development, Windows app development
- Monetize the medium: organization can also embark on monetizing the mobility set up for more avenues like mobile commerce, marketing, messaging, as well as indulge in social responsibility.
Type of Apps (native or web): the common debate over usability of native vs. web apps extends to strategy as well. Each has its advantages and disadvantages (see article on What’s Trending in Mobile Application Development?). In case of web apps, internet connectivity in individual devices and secure protocols is a must, when accessing the company’s resources. Native apps need to be installed in every device, either BYOD or the company’s, and need to be compatible to the OS residing in these devices. This may hike the cost of the enterprise strategy mobility program.
User Interface: Usability of apps especially in the mobile medium is of utmost importance. Proper sizing of screen and navigation controls are paramount to ensuring transactions are achieved quickly. This would have a positive impact on productivity.
Cloud Strategy: with this concept finding traction, mobile strategy can look to putting up some if not all of the implementations on cloud, especially mobile apps for access at all times. This could be a cost saver as well.
Business transformations happen for various reasons but none so much as the need to stay relevant and ahead of competition. Mobile devices and communication have brought about a paradigm shift in the way business gets done. It’s only prudent that organizations invest a significant portion of their resources and strategy to develop and implement mobility program.