While the sheer number of mobile devices in the marketplace is growing in a staggering way, what’s truly important to understand isn’t how many people have phones. It’s what the devices can do that’s really game changing.
With computational power greater than NASA used to put a human on the moon, developers and app builders have found new and amazing ways to help people connect — and act — on data, updates, and real-time information from almost anywhere, at anytime.
The unprecedented technological power to connect to nearly everything has created a hyper-connected world – a world of opportunity for businesses to build apps that link employees, partners, data, and even products, in entirely new ways. As an enterprise, the way to harness that power is to provide apps that solve real problems for your users.
Here are three best practices for building exactly that:
It might sound obvious, but if you are looking to build an enterprise mobile app, start by ﬁnding a problem in your workplace, and solve it in a mobile-ﬁrst way. That’s the fundamental diﬀerence between a good app (that solves a problem) and great app (that solves the problem in a mobile-ﬁrst way). Too often, enterprise apps are focused simply on making data available, rather than making it available on a mobile device. The result all too often is a data-centric app, not a user-centric app.
A user-centric approach to solving the problem in a mobile-ﬁrst way may require a number of diﬀerent integrations. For instance, you might integrate Google Indoor Maps and geolocation to present a list of the closest available office meeting rooms with capacity, and booking times ﬁltered by availability, so a user could quickly cycle through times/rooms and book. Or they could book a room immediately by simply clicking directly on the map.
Too often, development practices in enterprise environments are stuck in the 1990s. Software had to be perfect — or at least complete — according to a detailed speciﬁcation document, because there were signiﬁcant logistics involved. The problem with this model is that the ﬁrst version of an app almost always misses the mark. Why? Because eliciting user input and putting it in a document doesn’t work.
Great enterprise mobile apps ship a minimal viable product (MVP), meaning a product that meets the minimum requirements of the customer. Users can then oﬀer immediate feedback to the developer team to iterate on. This feedback should be reviewed and, if appropriate, included into the next build of the product.
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