Large-scale enterprises are complicated systems that work in multiple directions. Sustaining an effective functioning of the entire system on a due level is a finance- and time-consuming task. Therefore, managers are constantly in search of innovative solutions and ways to enhance the efficiency of enterprise by cutting down expenses. One of the possible ways to do so is by implementing a mobile enterprise app.
An enterprise app helps monitor multiple projects on all levels simultaneously. It can turn useful for both the company’s customers and employees. However, one needs to realize that an enterprise-level app is different from popular applications for everyday use in many ways
When it comes to ERP software development, one needs to understand that this is a complicated process where you can come across many problems and challenges. In our guide, we are going to review the types of enterprise applications, their benefits, and stages of preparatory work you need to fulfill.
An Enterprise Application: What Is It and Why You Need It
In simple terms, an enterprise app is a mobile app that is aimed at business processes optimization. It is usually created for internal use only. In this case, it may contain everything that employees normally use at their workplaces: charts, tutorials, databases, business documentation, etc. Such apps boost workflow efficiency, as they let employees solve business tasks on-the-go or remotely. This results in overall efficiency improvement.
Regardless of its type, a well-thought-out app has numerous benefits. It helps optimize work processes inside the enterprise, which, in turn, results in a higher income.
Three Types of Enterprise Apps for Business
Commonly, three main types of enterprise-level applications are distinguished.
- Employee-level apps. They are intended for internal use by employees only. Such apps come cropped in features: they allow to perform a limited number of tasks. Their benefit is the possibility of keeping important information in one place in a mobile format.
- Department-level apps. They are used to optimize the workflow in a particular department. An example is a dedicated business app for a marketing team, which helps coordinate the business tasks of this department. Also, it may turn useful for clients, as it provides faster feedback and communication in an online mode.
- Enterprise-level apps. As the name implies, these applications integrate all the company’s departments and processes into an entire business network. They allow establishing different access levels for different users. These large-scale apps speed up the processes by providing fast and convenient communication channels for frontline employees and managers, managers and clients, etc.
Advantages of Mobile Enterprise Applications
The main goal of every enterprise is revenue increase. A mobile app helps reach this goal through the optimization of inner business processes. Here is a list of advantages you get by using a mobile app for your enterprise.
- Fast transactions and control over finances. Via a single mobile app, one can effectively manage finances, keep accounts, and conduct instant transactions.
- Effective data processing and managing. Data processing is one of the most time-consuming tasks. With a mobile app, you can quickly verify, correct, and update data.
- Setting goals and keeping them in focus. By reducing the volume of paperwork, one can focus on the primary tasks. Also, automation helps avoid human mistakes in all spheres of activity.
- Convenient mobile accounting. Collecting and processing employees’ reports is a chore. A mobile app allows to check the data right on a smartphone screen.
- Supply chain management. Depending on the company’s profile, you can integrate such features as planning, control over delivery and transportation.
All things considered, a mobile enterprise app helps reduce the share of manual data processing and reach primary business goals faster by automating a wide range of processes.
Things to Consider Before Creating a Mobile Enterprise App
Here are some essential points that need to be considered before you start developing an enterprise app. Don’t be lazy to study each of them.
- Employees’ expectations. Using mobile applications for business purposes is a common practice. Your task is to develop software that could outperform existing apps and fully meet people’s needs and expectations.
- Further perspectives. The sphere of mobile technology is among the most rapidly changing ones. A top-notch app can become outdated in a year. Find a reliable developer that keeps up with the time and releases timely and regular upgrades.
- A possibility of integration. Think of what business software your company works with and whether you can integrate it into your app. Popular examples are 1C, SAP, etc.
- Data protection and security. Needless to say, you want to minimize the risks of confidential data leakage. Keep in mind that employees will install the app on their smartphones, which can be lost or stolen. Think of multi-step identity checks, access levels, and other precaution measures.
- Administration issues. Like any enterprise software, a mobile app needs constant control and maintenance. Make sure you have IT specialists that can train the staff, fix bugs, perform administrative functions, and check compliance with the company’s IT policy.
- An Agile development approach. This approach supposes gradual, iterative development where you can return to the previous stage at any moment to fix possible issues. If necessary, you can roll back to the so-called minimum viable product and conduct testing.
- It stands for the Mobile Enterprise Application Platform, which is a universal platform for building enterprise-level apps. Its core benefit is a cross-platform approach. If you create an app on the MEAP, you can easily adapt it to any mobile OS with no extra costs.
Stages of Enterprise Mobile App Development
Developing a full-featured enterprise app takes much time and effort. This is a multi-stage process, and its final result depends on the result achieved on each stage.
- Outline the idea. Answer the questions “Why do I need an app?”, “What features must it have?”, “What tasks do I need to solve with it?”. Define the target audience and their requirements. Based on this information, make a list of specifications.
- Choose the platform(s). The most popular choices are, of course, iOS and Android. However, you may have other priorities – think of it.
- Make an app prototype. This is an extremely important stage, as it lets you see how your app will really look.
- Think of interface and user experience. User-friendliness is a crucial characteristic of a modern application. Don’t forget that a business app must not be packed with auxiliary features and decorative elements that slow it down. Simplicity is what you must strive for.
- No need to explain that this is the most responsible and technically challenging part of the entire process. It must be fulfilled by a team of experienced software developers.
- Testing and fixing. This task is usually assigned to a quality assurance team. However, when it comes to an enterprise app, you can also engage your employees in beta testing. After all, they are end-users, who need to estimate the app’s efficiency and convenience for resolving their tasks.
As you see, enterprise app development is a complicated and resource-consuming task. To achieve the best result order the service at an experienced and reputable development company.
Maria Diachenko is a tech writer at Cleveroad. It’s a web and mobile application development company in Ukraine. Maria enjoys making how-to tech guides, describing programming trends and IoT innovations.