Smartphone usage is skyrocketing. As a result, organizations are embracing enterprise mobile app development to increase efficiency in service delivery, simplify business processes, reach customers, and enable remote operations and internal collaboration. 2014 saw more apps being developed than ever before, a trend that is expected to continue in the coming decades. According to Growth Business, by 2016, 25% more enterprises will use mobile apps to generate increased revenue.
Mobile App Development: Best Practices
As the competition intensifies and user expectations intensify, developers need to understand and adopt best software development practices for developing successful enterprise mobile applications. This article focuses on best practices that developers should implement in order to create successful enterprise mobile applications to meet business needs and enhance user experience.
Define the purpose
An app should be developed to satisfy a specific purpose. If an organization has many enterprise functions that need to be mobile-enabled, then it should prioritize implementation in accordance with business criticality. An app can also be developed to fulfil related functionalities, for e.g. an app, which will primarily focus on customer relationship management, can integrate customer analytics.
Leverage device capabilities
Smartphone applications function effectively when they leverage inbuilt features and device capabilities. For example, location-based services can be used to create a marketing app that uses geographic targeting of prospects. In addition, enterprise applications can integrate with other apps in the device to create an integrated experience. Another important factor to consider during app development is that apps should provide interoperability and uniform experience across multiple devices and platforms to reach a wider target audience.
Create task-oriented applications
Today’s enterprise applications need to be sophisticated and capable of accurate and reliable performance. Many businesses have employees working from different locations, or remotely, who need real-time access to business critical information. A task-oriented app provides content and functionality to a defined set of people seeking specific information. For example, an app designed to manage employees’ travel expenditures should be up-to-date with related features and add-on features such as optimal travel route, destination information, etc. to support the core activity.
Minimize end user typing
Smartphones have built-in features to support ease of use. An app should leverage these features to enhance user experience. Optimal use of predictive text and autotyping – which can be further customized according to user preferences and usage history- can save end user typing efforts by determining what is being written with increased efficiency. For example, a great app will learn from writer’s habits by comparing inputted text into the device’s keyboard with past texts and offering predictions/corrections based on that.
Support off-line usage
It is important to create an app that allows offline usage to make information available during downtime. An app that allows a user to do this efficiently and reliably not only allows offline usage but also supports the need for information availability anytime and from anywhere.
As smartphone usage increases, and the mobility of business functions becomes critical, the need for enterprises to build efficient mobile applications intensifies to provide ease of use, operational efficiency and performance improvement. Given this, an enterprise mobile app, which is designed for use by its employees, customers, partners and other stakeholders, should promote quick user adaptability and optimal user experience to ensure best returns on investment and performance in line with the enterprise mobile strategy. The best practice mentioned above helps the developer optimize the app functionality, while reducing development time and efforts.