A New Approach to Enterprise Mobile App Development
With more companies trying to stay connected with their own employees, it increasingly takes place on a mobile device, like a smartphone, smart watch, or tablet. Because of this growth, the number of organizations engaged in enterprise mobile app development continues to expand.
With more companies trying to stay connected with their own employees, it increasingly takes place on a mobile device, like a smartphone, smart watch, or tablet. Because of this growth, the number of organizations engaged in enterprise mobile app development continues to expand. As with any maturing programming process, a new collection of mobile development best practices emerged; helping software engineers work more effectively.
Businesses that want the highest return on their mobile app investment need to provide employees with a world class experience. Of course, this goal often challenges software engineering teams, especially those without significant experience in building exceptional mobile apps. In this scenario, following a new approach for enterprise mobile app development plays an essential role in any successful effort.
As an experienced developer of exceptional mobile apps, understanding our experiences provides a measure of wisdom for your company’s own development projects. Check out these insights to help your software engineers find their own path to a successful project. An enterprise mobile app is essential for keeping your employees connected, especially in an era of remote working.
Enterprise Mobile App Development Requires Different Design Considerations
Instead of flash and sizzle, enterprise mobile apps typically focus on functionality and ease of use. These apps also usually interact with databases, which requires a strong focus on security. After all, online criminals want more fruitful targets for their nefarious activities.
Additionally, expect any mobile enterprise app to require high scalability. While they typically don’t have as many users as any popular mobile app, corporate apps with database access transmit large amounts of data across the company’s network. Therefore, providing a smooth and responsive experience to users is a must. This is especially the case in areas where mobile network performance suffers.
Enterprise mobile apps generally integrate with the company’s corporate applications using APIs. The mobile development team needs to work closely with corporate developers to ensure these APIs are highly secure and easy to implement on a mobile app. This close collaboration also prevents any bottlenecks on the project.
Also try to leverage any enterprise cloud-based microservices used by your company. They facilitate interaction with corporate databases in a fast, scalable, and secure manner. Your internal developers might already boast familiarity with any APIs used to access microservices.
It’s important to ensure your mobile development team understands the differences in distribution between public and enterprise apps. The iOS App Store and Android’s Google Play both have their own deployment peculiarities for enterprise mobile apps. Understanding both platforms’ private distribution methodology is a must.
Best Practices for Enterprise Mobile App Development
Combining design thinking and mobile first strategies makes sense when designing any enterprise mobile app. Design thinking helps the development team focus on building an app that truly meets the users’ goals. It’s an iterative process that involves user interaction to ensure the project successfully achieves the measurable outcomes detailed in the goals for the app.
In fact, following this user-centric methodology is easier when building an enterprise app, considering access to the company’s employees. Identify a few “super” users before the project begins, and keep them involved through each iterative phase of design and testing. Make sure to respect their opinions and insights. In the end, expect a more usable mobile app as a result.
Focus the app’s UI design on a mobile footprint, including screen size as well as a gesture-driven interface. While this limits the usability for those accessing the app on a desktop web browser, a mobile first design philosophy ultimately reaches more of your user base. Additionally, leverage cross-platform mobile development tools to ensure your app works well on the iOS, Android, and any other mobile platforms targeted by your app. Expect a more efficient development process when using the right cross-platform tool.
Remember, a completely different approach applies to complex, data-intensive corporate applications more suitable as a desktop application. In short, don’t try to fit an entire desktop into a smartphone!
Don’t Skimp on Enterprise Mobile App Testing
Of course, a thorough QA and testing process remains an essential part of any enterprise mobile app development project. When targeting multiple mobile platforms, make sure to test the app on each one, including devices with different OS versions.
An organized testing effort needs to be tightly integrated with your development team, especially when using an iterative software development methodology. Note that continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) also benefits from continuous testing of the app’s functionality. Achieving CI/CD is a worthy goal for any enterprise; ultimately supercharging the efficiency of your software development process.
As noted earlier, leverage the domain knowledge of your super users to vet the overall usability of the app and any embedded business rules. Again, their insights on the mobile app need to be respected and considered. It’s a critical part of design thinking.
If you need advice on crafting an exceptional enterprise mobile app for your company, speak with the team at NineTwoThree. We boast extensive experience in cross-platform mobile app development, and look forward to partnering with your organization. Let’s see what we can achieve together!