Mobile has rocketed past many other initiatives in the enterprise. And looking at the data, that’s no surprise.
- Pew Research reports that 68% of Americans have smartphones, with the percentage for ages 30-49 being closer to 83%
- According to a recent KPCB Internet Trends report, mobile search (at 51%) has superseded web searches from the desktop
- One-third of respondents on a Vanson Bourne survey indicated they would completely abandon a brand after a single poor mobile experience
- A recent report by Computerworld cited mobile in the top 5 initiatives that CIOs would give more dollars to in their budgets in 2016
And the stakes are too high for an enterprise to fall short in this critical area. In fact, in a recent Forrester post, Mobile was identified as a key success imperative for CIOs. They go so far as to identify not just company revenue, but even a CIO’s job security, as potential risks to ignoring the enterprise’s mobile needs.
Challenges for Mobile in the Enterprise
The needs of mobile audiences have evolved as quickly as the number of devices. Making your site responsive or replicating an entire application are not options in a mobile first world.
The smart company recognizes that not only do their customers demand a solid mobile solution, but that their workforce needs the flexibility of mobile access. An enterprise’s internal mobile solutions increase productivity and create consistency in the information accessed and shared. Moreover, younger and tech savvy employees will judge the company on the quality of its mobile access and applications. Your internal apps can make or break your place as an employer of choice.
The challenge, of course, is the multiple demands on both your teams and your budget. Building apps for customers, porting internal tools for mobile use, and addressing the inevitable concerns regarding management, support and security can be a drain on your available resources. But with planning and some strategic choices, you can execute a successful mobile strategy.
Planning for the Differences
It’s true that the needs of your customer will be different than the needs of the organization’s internal teams. Even your different business units will have needs that may drive you to the creation of multiple internal apps. But where there is divergence, there is also commonality.
All of your apps will have some functionality that can be shared across your mobile landscape. Identity management, access control and even similarity of look and feel can be common elements that can be developed once and extended to each application.
Understanding the common elements and the differences aren’t enough, though. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your development dollars, you need to make sure you understand what the end user needs. It’s important to take the time to understand the user experience for your apps before you build to prevent missteps and costly directional changes down the line.
Options for Balance
Once you understand the user’s needs, it’s time to balance the development work. The traditional path of iterative releases with added functionality, though, is only one tool in your cost savings tool chest.
Your customers are looking for a great mobile experience. Bringing in a partner to create a custom mobile experience can create the app your customers demand without derailing your development projects or taxing your development resources.
But what about internal users? They are looking for apps that are quick and easy to use, that let them get their jobs done efficiently. Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) tools, like those in the Salesforce Lightning App Builder, can quickly get your internal resources up and running, saving you time and money.
Doing it All
The importance of your mobile strategy cannot be understated. The demand for mobile apps will only increase from within your organization and from without, and each quarter without mobile solutions can put your organization further behind in profits and in the competitive landscape. But you can get it all done once you understand your user’s needs and marry the build outs to the right tools for the job.
Think about your mobile strategy as it stands today. What really needs to be custom? Do you have tools that can be built quickly using an RMAD? And how much value can the right partner bring to your mobile strategy?