Enterprise mobility: the key to future success

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Close-up of two hands using a smartphone with business flow chart in white on black background to symbolise enterprise mobility

Work habits are changing along with the new technology. Enterprise mobility will help to shape your business’s future success, says Paul Jarrett, managing director of Sonin app development agency

The phrase ‘enterprise mobility’ was mentioned a lot in 2016 and had a huge impact on businesses across the globe. A shift in our work habits and changing business needs has led many organisations to restructure and integrate mobile working into their strategies. But what’s next for enterprise mobility?

Back in June 2015, the analysts Gartner predicted that the demand for enterprise mobility will outstrip available development capacity by five to one and become an essential IT requirement for most businesses by the end of 2017. A big prediction, but seeing as the advantages are huge, a completely achievable one.

In addition to helping boost revenue, improve productivity, cut costs and stay ahead of competition, enterprise mobility makes it easier for employees to work remotely. Giving them access to corporate information and functions on the go is key for organisations with a large distributed workforce.

And the nature of apps means they can be custom built to support specific goals. Whether it’s to track your delivery drivers, communicate the latest business news or streamline processes, it’s no surprise numerous organisations have already made mobile a priority.

Throughout 2016, businesses in the professional services, energy and utilities, manufacturing and construction, technology and healthcare sectors were all big adopters of the technology. They implemented a mix of both task-specific and employee-engagement apps.

Despite the clear transition towards enterprise mobility, however, many organisations were cautious of making the move to mobile. Our conversations with businesspeople throughout 2016 showed us that many had already explored enterprise apps but struggled to implement them successfully.

Typically this was due to insufficient understanding of users, processes and how apps integrate with other systems. Lots of businesses initially approached app development the same way as web development, despite the two being very different.

Implementing enterprise mobility

Compared to all platforms that came before, app technology has moved incredibly quickly. And enterprises have been struggling to keep up with the pace of innovation, particularly when it comes to assessing new platforms and integrating the new technology securely and successfully into their organisations.

Not only has the mobile revolution moved quickly, but it has been predominantly consumer and employee led. As opposed to IT departments filtering devices into the business, it’s been pushed by employees using their own.

Whether there is a BYOD policy or not, employees are utilising their smartphones for simple work tasks such as emails or calendar management, accessing company data and using remote files on the move.

As 2016 progressed more businesses embraced mobile-centric strategies, marking the year as a tipping point where companies became serious about mobility. They now understand how mobility can help them, and how it can support their core goals for 2017 and beyond.

For any businesses hesitant about approaching enterprise mobility, the one thing I’d stress is to approach it as a product, not a project.

In order for an enterprise app to be a true success, you need to interview the employees who will be using it about their pain points, look at process flows, create an MVP, review the app and continue learning and developing it. It needs to be managed before, during and after development and continually improved as your business grows and develops.

The quality and intuitiveness of enterprise apps grew significantly in 2016, and companies will need to remain at the forefront of enterprise mobility to meet employee expectations. This also applies to technology; as users become more accustomed to using voice platforms, AI and machine learning, they will expect them in apps.

The most successful apps are by businesses that understand how their employees are interacting with mobiles and allocate time and resource into its continued development

Alongside the adoption of new technology, IoT and wearables, 2017 will likely see a continued shift in attitude towards implementing enterprise mobility. Businesses will realise that enterprise mobility is key to their future success and it will become an integral part of any digital transformation initiative.

About author

Paul Jarrett

Paul Jarrett

Paul Jarrett is the managing director and founder of Sonin, an app development agency based in Surrey.

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