Posted by:Richard Smith April 8th, 2014

The race is over. You may have a couple of mobile apps to count yourself among the ‘next gen’ organizations that are technologically advanced. But the scope of mobility has soared beyond expectations and businesses are back to square one trying to cope up with the shift.

The new set of opportunities

New devices, better platforms and the pervasiveness of mobility have given rise to enterprise mobility 2.0 and businesses are looking beyond informational apps and games.

Data on the go

The most lucrative feature of mobility is the real time access to information. Everybody will have the most up-to-date information required to effectively carry out business functions and make decisions. While your customers will benefit from real time responses and transactions, anywhere anytime access to information will be a boon to your employees.

Real time collaboration

Today’s businesses are not confined within the four walls of a building. You may have customers and offices round the world. Gone are the days when collaboration was at the mercy of your work desk. Mobile devices will enable you to collaborate while you are on the go. Smart devices and smarter mobile apps will bring your workstation into your palms.

Smarter workflows

Mobility offers the unique opportunity for every business to function smarter. The ubiquity of smartphones along with their device features help organizations to cut down few steps in their workflow. For say, if you have to send a signed document to someone in your organization, you will first print the document, sign it, scan the document and email or share the signed copy. And if you are not in office, the whole process will be further delayed until you are back at your desk. With smartphones, all it takes is to open the document on your phone, put your signature directly and send it. Ain’t it faster and smarter? Well, this is just an example.

Increased productivity

Anywhere anytime access to information, real time collaboration and smarter workflows constitute to improved operational efficiencies. There will be less paper work and minimized wait time for approvals. Your employees will be not be bogged down by lengthy processes anymore.

The key considerations and challenges

Never ignore the big picture

Mobility is here to stay. So it is wise to make decisions with the long term ROI of mobile apps in mind. A mobile app takes no time to hit it off ensuring good ROI. On the other hand, a useless app is an instant kill and wastes the money invested in it. Your mobile app should be scalable in long run with respect to usability and user experience.

Needless to say that your changing business needs will require efficient technology support. Here is the challenge. Mobility is fragmented and is dependent of factors like device specs, network connectivity, constantly evolving platforms etc. Moreover, your decisions on the following will have a major impact on your business:

  • Whether the mobile apps be native or cross platform?
  • If going native, what should be the choice of platform – iOS, Android, Windows?
  • If you want to serve a multi-platform audience, what should be the choice of development platform – is it wise to invest in proprietary platforms like Kony or should you play safe by choosing acclaimed platforms like PhoneGap, Appcelerator etc?
  • Would a big-bang approach inflict an overnight transition or would a phased approach ensure the complete transformation of your processes?

Ensure your enterprise mobile strategy is solid and don’t hesitate to seek expert help from experienced consultants if required.

Don’t overlook the lack of skilled resources

You may have a team of in-house mobile app developers. Do they cover the entire range of technology spectrum to successfully implement enterprise mobility? Are they experienced to handle the integration of mobile apps with backend systems?

Let me warn you, talented mobile app developers are the scarcest bunch of people. Finding the right resources with a blend of superior mobile app development capabilities and a good understanding of your backend technology will be a jackpot. Of course, they will come at a premium. Here is your choice – develop a team of your own or hire a mobile app development partner.

Don’t underestimate the importance of time-to-market

Mobility has the potential to tap your target market and offer the best brand experience to your customers. But reaching out to the market at the right time with the right mobile solution is the key. So you end up facing competition even in releasing your mobile app and not just with your products and services in the market.

Time to market could be affected by anything from project delays to lack of technical expertise. So a sound enterprise mobile strategy is not enough, there should be an effective mobile project management mechanism too – experts to spearhead mobile strategy and an efficient team of designers, developers and testers to translate strategy into apps!

Is your organization equipped to embrace enterprise mobility? Would you rather have an in-house team to handle the mobility transition or hire an app development partner?

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