Mobile developers: 5 tips on how to become a mobile enterprise

By Karin Kelley, on


As time goes on, enterprises are under increasing pressure to deliver the same experience through business apps that users have become accustomed to with consumer apps on multiple devices. Unfortunately, mobile developers are having a tough time meeting that demand. In fact, Gartner predicts that “market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them by the end of 2017.”

As mobile phone sales are expected to hit 2.1 billion units by 2019, this task is even more pressing. However, many organizations are still at the forefront of addressing the realities of the quickly evolving mobile enterprise. They’re having a hard time retaining the right talent in light of ever-shrinking IT budgets.

Mobility is clearly here to stay, but many organizations are in the very beginning stages of actually implementing it. Whether it’s due to a lack of technical expertise, limited budgets or poor execution resulting from a siloed approach between line-of-business owners, developers and IT operations teams, enterprises face many challenges when working to go mobile. By taking new approaches, mobile developers can help clear the path to the mobile enterprise.

The following are five tips for mobile developers working to transform their mobile enterprise:

1. Plan your strategy carefully

Mobile developers need to have a clear vision of the overall business strategy before they can embark on a project. They should work with management teams to define the purpose of the app, how it will integrate with existing back end systems and the timeline requirements for the entire application lifecycle.

2. Take a user-centric approach

The underlying purpose of enterprise mobile apps is to enable your employees to be more productive and happy. Users have increasingly come to expect the same experience they get from consumer apps. To ensure the app will serve these purposes, developers need to first consider which devices the app will run on and then ensure the program is simple, intuitive to use and easy to access. To do this effectively, developers need to create focus groups to understand what actually works with users. They should include employee feedback throughout the entire ongoing developm

3. Be agile, collaborative and open

The mobile app lifecycle is much shorter than the traditional app one, and the process needs to be iterative to keep up-to-date with new devices, operating systems and user expectations. Agile development platforms help developers lower overhead considerably by collaborating and accelerating app development time. Teams should plan on releasing the first version of an app that quickly provides the basic requirements to users and then make any required changes in following releases. Collaboration features in agile frameworks enable teams to minimize errors and rapidly fix bugs, as they can track every step of the application lifecycle.

4. Focus on data security

Any app that’s important to the company will process sensitive, critical data. As such, apps should be designed with security in mind from the ground up. Developers need to consider the network and communications components, factor in authentication mechanisms and then ensure the apps will integrate with mobile device and application management frameworks to keep data secure.

5. Use analytics, monitoring and reporting

In order to gain visibility into how the app is actually performing and how secure it is, developers need to deploy proactive monitoring and analytics tools. Development teams also need the capability to generate and provide reports to C-level management in order to justify any initial and ongoing investment in development.

Employees are already using an average of three mobile devices to do their work, and that number is expected to increase to five or six devices as the IoT continues to gain ground. This makes mobile app development a critical part of any enterprise strategy. By taking proactive and agile approaches to application development that include a solid understanding of business processes, organizational structures and security requirements, mobile developers can provide the app experience users expect, create a more secure and productive workforce and generate more value for the business as a whole.

About The Author

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 at 451 Research, where she spearheaded coverage on emerging desktops-as-a-service (DaaS) markets. She has extensive expertise in enterprise infrastructure software and services, as well as a deep understanding of SMB, MSP and hosting markets.

Articles by Karin Kelley
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