Posted by:Srini Bhopal January 20th, 2014

Enterprise Mobility is the future. And lo behold, the future is here, already.

In trying to stay competitive in today’s global market, enterprises are turning to mobility as their savior. Custom mobile apps are serving both internal and external customers and leading to increased productivity, customer loyalty and enhanced efficiencies, enterprise wide.

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But, lets face it, not all businesses today are equipped to take on mobile projects in house. From a lack of mobile expertise to skilled developers, the next stumbling block is the actual development of custom mobile apps. And there are a plethora of mobile vendors, who have put forth their services to help businesses with their app development needs.

But, are they all created equal? Is it easy for enterprises to take their pick among the varied choices in the market today? Well, that’s a whole different ball game. And enterprises, after having experienced the woes that come with making a bad vendor choice are more cautious and picky today.

Where is it that they went wrong and what lessons did they learn? Here it is condensed in to a list of costly mistakes to avoid –

Mistake # 1 – Choosing an individual developer / group of developers

Very often, in order to meet shrinking budgets and go to market timelines, businesses place their bets on individual developers ready to slap together an app, at what would be attractive prices. But, this comes at a high price. Because a mobile app, especially one for the business needs to be developed keeping in mind, well, the needs of an enterprise. An individual developer will not be able to understand the unique domain requirement, plan for contingencies nor have well equipped testing and QA skills. All three are absolute essentials for a successful business app.

Mistake # 2 – Not considering backend integration with enterprise systems

An app, for the business, will entail exchange of information with various existing enterprise systems like CRM, ERP and third party applications. (A detailed post on just this topic here) This requires knowledge of not only mobile technologies like Objective C, Cocoa or Java but an in-depth experience in web technologies like web services, .Net and J2EE . All varied skills and definitely not something a single developer can possess. What you need is a vendor who has expertise in varied skillsets from SalesForce to SharePoint to be able to seamlessly integrate your app with backend databases, so the app does enable exchange of critical data.

Mistake # 3 – Not prioritizing user experience

An app is held to high standards today. A business app, just by virtue of its definition cannot be a series of lifeless screens that performs functions. Users, both employees and customers, are used to consumer grade app experiences. It is crucial for businesses to build engaging, pixel perfect apps that incorporate UX principles. In this day of alarming app abandonment rates, this is a crucial piece to developing an app that endures and succeeds.

Even a single mistake from the above list is bound to be an expensive one. So, relook at your mobile vendors and make sure they fit these criteria.

If you have any more points that you feel earn a place in this list, I welcome your thoughts.

So, eager to learn more about Mobility ? Deep dive into your topic of interest !

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