Mobile applications management vendor Apperian sought to analyse the trends in the Enterprise applications space through a global study conducted at the end of last year. The company hosts nearly two million mobile app installations around the world and decided to examine those apps to distill what makes for a thriving enterprise app program within an organisation.
White collar workers using mobile devices image from Shutterstock
Along with some interesting statistics on which operating systems organisations are developing apps for (spoiler alert: iOS dominates), the Apperian report honed in on best practices that are used for a successful enterprise app program:
- Establish ownership to drive apps that matter
- Prioritise ideas for apps that matter by business impact
- Develop apps that matter by working closely with app customers
- Deliver apps that matter effectively and drive adoption
- Use analytics to identify and nurture apps that matter
We have already discussed some of these best practices before so let's focus on three of important ones on the list: Establishing ownership, developing apps that matter and making the most of analytics.
App projects require a central figure to ensure they don't go awry and losing direction. These project leaders will have to juggle a range of responsibilities to see the app through from start to finish. According to Apperian:
"Some of the most successful app projects have sponsors that act like general managers for the app. Regardless of their business function, these leaders are concerned about all aspects of the app, including functionality, internal promotions, support processes and helpdesk, user feedback, and the financials around the apps."
This person should also actively engage with business unit leaders to sell the value of the mobile app they are in charge of, effectively becoming the face of the project.
Creating apps that matter
Most workers are familiar with apps in one form or another, interacting with them mainly in their personal lives through consumer devices. These experiences shape their expectations on how an enterprise app should work, which is why it's important to include user input during the app creation process.
Development teams can create mock-ups or proof-of-concepts to show workers in the organisation how the app would look and feel.
"Your development team should narrow 'slices' of functionality and incremental app features based on feedback from users," Apperian said in the report.
Take advantage of analytics
Data is king in this day and age and getting to know who is using your enterprise apps and how they're being used will help you continuously improve your organisation's app environment. Metrics you should keep an eye out on are the number of active users, the number of versions and the number of downloads.
But bear in mind that you can't just take these metrics on face value. For example, an app may have a relatively small user base but it dramatically improves the way they work.
"We find that there's nearly no correlation between the impact of an app and the overall number of users," Apperian said in the report. "The key is high levels of adoption within the user group the app is intended for."
It is therefore imperative that while you collect information for analytics purposes that you do delve deeper in the findings to understand the motivations of your users and how to improve your enterprise apps in a meaningful way.