Mobile is the future, and employees are eager to get on board.
Two-thirds of executives claim mobile apps are playing a greater role in facilitating sales, communication, and training processes as more and more employees rely on mobile devices to do their jobs according to a Forbes study. The Guardian revealed that 37% of employees are so convinced of the value of mobile apps they use for work, they would even pay for them out of their own pocket.
Despite the potential benefits and strong demand for mobile apps in the workplace, if enterprises want their apps to be used, those need to be easy and intuitive to use and provide employees with the functionality they need to be more productive; otherwise, they will not be adopted.
Here are six secrets for developing apps that employees will be happy to use:
- Encourage Employee Involvement. Invite users to describe tasks that are the most time-intensive and can benefit from being mobilized. Getting employees involved early and often increases the chances for smooth adoption of mobile apps and positions IT as a business unit that drives app development based on business value.
- Practice Rapid Prototyping. This allows users to provide input on functionality at the early stages and developers to make the needed adjustments quickly, resulting in a final product that is usable and meets business objectives. Since enterprise mobility can introduce new work flows, rapid prototyping is a convenient way to test new mobile functions quickly and to continue to test all the way through to final development.
- Limit the Scope. Focusing on the exact process users want to mobilize increases the chances for success. Launching a huge project that mobilizes several processes at once can result in too many technical complexities, too long of a wait before the benefits are realized, and too high of a risk that the project will be bogged down by political issues.
- Consider the Context. Due to screen size, use situations (e.g., one-finger input, short availability in between other tasks), and device features (e.g., camera, GPS, scanner), certain mobile devices are more suitable for the processes of approving POs, checking an order status, or creating sales proposals. Developers should analyze each task and usage scenario and then determine whether it's most compatible with smartphones, tablets, or laptops.
- Leverage Reusable Components. Certain functions can be shared across applications, eliminating the need to develop them from scratch. Reuse of tested components lessens the chance of introducing new problems into your app. Components based on the same framework make them easier to manage and modify and provide your users with a common experience across applications, making them easier to learn and use.
- Employ a Mobile Application Development Platform. A multi-channel app development platform can put organizations on the fast track to enterprise mobility by enabling users to leverage a single development effort to deploy apps for multiple mobile devices and operating systems. A development platform also enables mobile apps to be easily scaled out to include more functionality and scaled up to accommodate more users. Moreover, an app development platform that provides integration capabilities on the same technology stack further speeds development by enabling you to easily connect the front end to the data and processes of your backend IT systems.
Mobile is the future, and employees are eager to get on board. Mobile apps can be launched successfully if employees are involved, agile development methods are used, the most applicable mobile devices are selected for each task, and mobile development platforms and reusable components are used to help facilitate and streamline development efforts.
Successful mobile apps not only deliver ROI based on increased efficiencies, but can also create strong employee loyalty and enthusiasm for the value that IT brings.