Developing business mobile apps: How user experience drives the process

By Karin Kelley

Tech-savvy employees are influencing today’s business IT decisions and strategy. Not only do they conduct work on personal devices, but workers expect the same functionality and user experience from business mobile apps that they receive from consumer apps. As businesses continue to go mobile, CIOs and IT leaders need to understand how employees are using business mobile apps and devices so they can make decisions that encourage workforce productivity.

Keep it simple

Today’s workers are very particular about how they interact with mobile business apps and devices. They expect simple, easy-to-navigate user interfaces and on-demand access to critical systems and data from any device on any network. Simply extending desktop apps doesn’t work for mobile, particularly because the screens on smartphones or tablets are too small. If a mobile app is too difficult to use or limits workers’ capabilities, chances are they won’t use it, resulting in a significant loss of productivity and potential consequences to businesses’ bottom lines.

Develop a “mobile first” strategy

Enabling a mobile workplace presents CIOs and heads of IT with more challenges than traditional desktop app design. First, organizations need to ensure that business mobile apps will be compatible with a wide variety of devices, operating systems and web browsers. Securing critical data is a key concern when granting users access to data and systems through personal devices, which may be more vulnerable to loss or theft. CIOs need to implement policy-based mobile device management platforms to restrict access to specific devices, users and locations on the network. Further, organizations need to implement more agile development procedures to keep up with rapidly changing mobile technologies.

Analytics

Without solid analytics platforms in place, CIOs and heads of IT have a difficult time gauging the performance of their business mobile apps. Organizations need to establish key performance indicators and use analytics tools to help track these metrics, including user adoption and usage metrics.

Understanding how workers use business mobile apps

Most of all, CIOs and heads of IT need to understand how users interact with mobile apps. This can be achieved by setting up a dedicated mobile advisory group that surveys employees and studies their interactions with mobile apps and devices, tracking where they run into usability and performance issues. Finally, businesses need provide employees with proper training on how to use the applications and any related security policies and procedures.

Mobility, the consumerization of IT and proliferation of mobile devices are realities that no business today can afford to ignore. In order to enable today’s mobile workforce, CIOs and heads of IT need to take new approaches to business mobile app development and recognize that user experience is of utmost importance.

Written By

Karin Kelley

Independent Analyst & Writer

Karin is an independent industry analyst and writer, with over 10 years experience in information technology. She focuses on cloud infrastructure, hosted applications and services, end user computing and related systems management software and services. She spent nearly eight years…

Other Articles by Karin Kelley
See All Posts