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Enterprise App Development

We all know that standard mobile apps are used for a large variety of purposes, entertainment, news, quality of life, or combined with wearables such as Google Glass or heart rate monitors, they can even analyze your health and surroundings and provide valuable feedback in those areas as well. The common denominator for these apps are that they are targeted for the consumer, rather than the employee.

Enterprise apps however tell a different tale. These apps are designed to enhance productivity and efficiency, increase customer support response times and provide a set of databases and knowledge bases the employees can draw upon when faced with questions, tasks or customers.

The purpose of the app

Often there’ll be a rough idea of what the app’s purpose is, but fully developing this idea into a tangible concept can yield great results, and ultimately end up saving time and money on the development process on a whole.

Solving a common problem or issue in the organization can be hugely beneficial for obvious reasons, and is often the main target of enterprises new to the app industry. Adding value with a secondary, or auxiliary app often comes later, when the main applications are already deployed and functioning correctly.

The solution

A large organization providing customer support in multiple regions divided over multiple offices can leverage mobile enterprise apps to connect different departments together, and allow all service supporters to pull data from one local database, as well as add new and relevant info into that same data-set. This would be regarded as being a solution to connecting different offices and employees under one shared system.

The extra value

Once such a system had been successfully deployed, it would make sense to add secondary, but standalone, apps to support this main system, for instance, to provide project managers, supervisors and other managers access to analytical data about the service supporters, their success rates and other vital information. This would not be possible without the first app, but would not make sense to build into the first app either, since the purpose is vastly different between the two.

Costs and challenges

The most significant costs and challenges of developing enterprise apps is not about the programming and use of the app itself, but revolves around the integration into existing systems such as financial stats, sales management, CRM, inventory management systems, etc., in order for the app to supply and receive data from the existing enterprise systems.

Integrating can actually be the single most expensive part of an enterprise app, since it will require collaboration between the app developers, and all the various departments and IT managers in charge of the specific systems to be integrated. More often than not the individual systems will need modification to be able to handle the mobile app API calls, and this will sometimes have to be outsourced to a 3rd party developer. With the growing tendency of organizations also incorporating IoT into their business structures as well, integration has in some cases accounted for more than 75% of the total app development cost.

On the cost side of things are, among others, the fact that enterprise apps have a short depreciation time, and the addition of new management procedures and tools will have to be accounted for, and added into the existing systems and apps as well.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that enterprise apps have the potential to change workflows and decision processes the world over. As both the employees and managers have continuously more and more data and IT tools at their fingertips, it will in turn change the organization itself.

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