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.
Why Are Mobile Apps an Expected Part of Enterprise Marketing?
The wide use of smartphones among the public make it critical for companies to leverage the platform as part of their marketing strategy. This is obviously the case for businesses engaged in eCommerce, especially in retail and the financial industry. Companies in these sectors without a mobile presence simply seem outdated and irrelevant to today’s business world. In short, the modern consumer expects a state of the art mobile experience or they end up looking elsewhere to find it.
So many business marketing professionals want their company to invest in mobile app development. These investments help engage customers; providing them with better support while also advertising new products and services. Once again, companies that fail to spend on enterprise marketing in this fashion stand a large chance of simply being left in the wake of those building compelling and effective mobile apps.
Trends in Enterprise Mobile App Development
As with any emerging technology field, the latest trends arrive in a fast and furious fashion. Enterprise mobile app development offers no exception to this rule. With that in mind, let’s take a high-level overview of some the 2022 trends in mobile application programming.
5G and The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
The continued expansion of 5G networking offers the Internet of Things (IoT) the chance to finally achieve its promise. The manufacturing and industrial sector – the IIoT – especially benefits from the lower latencies and faster data throughput of 5G compared to earlier wireless networking standards. This allows personnel to monitor plant activity remotely, saving money while also boosting operational efficiency. Needless to say, the need for effective mobile apps supporting IIoT use-cases continues to grow, creating a multitude of opportunities for digital agencies targeting this sector.
AI and Machine Learning Increasingly Power Mobile Apps
Enterprises in multiple business sectors continue to adopt AI and machine learning for a variety of purposes. AI-powered chatbots provide customer service, allowing human CSRs to spend time on more value-added tasks. Machine learning models help organizations make better decisions by gleaning actionable information from their databases. Enterprise mobile app developers must understand how to successfully integrate AI and machine learning in their apps to maintain a flow of new business opportunities. The top agencies in this space already boast many examples of successful apps leveraging AI.
Wearables Create a New Frontier For Mobile App Developers
Mobile apps traditionally target smartphones, tablets, and even both platforms with one universal app. However, the market for wearable apps continues to increase, largely driven by smartwatches used for tracking health information and exercise telemetry. In fact, a report by Grand View Research predicts the wearable technology market to reach nearly $118 billion by 2028, a CAGR of 13.8% from 2021 to 2028. This massive growth potential behooves enterprises to include mobile apps for wearables as part of their strategy.
Mobile Wallets and eCommerce Become Normalized
Over time, consumers continue to become more comfortable conducting retail, banking, and other financial transactions using a mobile device. Sure, these devices tend to be smartphones, but also include tablets as well as smartwatches and other wearables. As such, mobile app developers need to ensure their software provides customers with an easy to use and secure shopping experience. This includes supporting mobile wallet standards and ensuring their users’ data remains safe from nefarious online criminals.
Cybersecurity For Mobile Apps Becomes Critical
Somewhat related to that last point, as more enterprises leverage mobile apps to keep employees connected to their work, data privacy and security becomes even more critical. With remote working commonplace in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees’ home networks and mobile devices become the front lines of the enterprise network infrastructure. This makes cybersecurity one of the most critical mobile app development challenges for digital agencies targeting the enterprise market.
Compelling Examples of Top-Shelf Enterprise Mobile Apps
Of course, it becomes easier to grasp the significance of a great design by looking at a few enterprise mobile application examples from within the industry. It helps provide tangible insights into why a certain app works as well as understanding best practices for modern enterprise application architecture. So let’s dive into a few great mobile apps crafted for the business world.
Tracking SaaS Metrics on an Android Smartphone
ChartMogul, a NineTwoThree mobile app example available on Google Play, provides users the ability to track the metrics of SaaS applications using their Android smartphone. The app leverages QR codes for account management, making the process of adding new accounts easier for the user. The mobile app development team researched other successful apps when designing the app’s flow for switching between accounts. Users now see metrics from various SaaS applications with a simple finger swipe. Automating reporting in this fashion makes it easier for the enterprise user to quickly make critical data-driven business decisions.
Facilitating Sustainable Fabric Care With a Mobile App
Hydrofinity is a digital platform for sustainable fabric care that uses mobile apps for iOS and Android as part of its solution. Notably, the app earned a CES Award Winning Application designation for the best innovation of the 2018 show. The technology uses beads to optimize the removal of contaminants during industrial fabric washing scenarios like in the hotel and lodging sector. In short, fabrics are cleaner and softer while reducing water use, with the platform saving over one billion liters of H2O since its introduction. The included mobile app also provides users a way to manage and track industrial washing machine performance.
A Reliable WiFi Baby Monitor
The Dorel Baby Monitor app provides parents and caregivers with the means to check on a baby using their smartphone or tablet. The full platform leverages a camera along with a listening device in concert with either an iOS or Android mobile app. Notably, the listening device functions perfectly without using the app, providing extra peace of mind. The platform also records all video and sound, allowing parents to use the mobile app to review previous sleeping cycles of their child or children. This award-winning platform also earned a National Parenting Seal of Approval and a Family Choice Award.
Letting Foodies Manage Their Dining Preferences With a Mobile App
Dishare is a mobile app that provides an agnostic approach to restaurant and food delivery. The app grows to understands the user’s preferences for cuisine, while also taking into account their diet, any food restrictions, and their ordering history. It saves valuable time spent perusing the copious restaurant menus available on different online food service providers. The app also leverages technology to make value-based recommendations, including motivating users to try something new, either for delivery or even dine-in experiences. A mobile app available for iOS and Android, Dishare builds communities around food in a similar manner as other digital platforms do for music, books, and more.
Hopefully, this information on enterprise mobile app development provides valuable insights on an important technology sector. Leverage this knowledge for a more informed approach to your company’s next app development project. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or ideas.
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!