Deciding on an Enterprise Mobility Program
Mike Miranda writes about enterprise software and covers products offered by software companies like Rocket software about topics such as Terminal emulation, Enterprise Mobility and more.
Does your company have everything it needs to succeed in the 21st century? Hopefully, the answer is yes, but it’s worth it to think through all this will entail. One element many companies are missing, despite their confidence that they’re destined to succeed, is an app. If you’d like to join the thousands of companies that have built their own, all it takes is an enterprise mobility platform. Below, we’ll cover what this important tool does and how to pick the best one for your company.
Why Your Company Won’t Make It Long without an App
An app is one of those things you may have been putting off for some time. Although just about everyone owns a smartphone that’s packed with apps these days, it’s still easy to think about them as the type of technological feature reserved for other companies in other fields.
However, this is the way a lot of people used to think about websites and the types of companies they ran. Then, it was blogs and then it was social media pages. It usually only took a few years for people to learn they were wrong about all of these and needed to act quickly if they were to take advantage of these options.
Apps are now in the same boat, insofar as most companies are realizing they need to develop some of their own. There are a number of reasons for this though. One is simply that apps offer one more way for you to engage with your market.
An app won’t just help you engage with your market though; it will allow you to do so in a way that will make it easier to track your customer’s relevant actions in relation to your company. Your customers will appreciate this because they now have a direct line to you and know that you’ll be using this app to improve how you service them.
Perhaps the app you’re planning on building won’t be for your customers though. Instead, maybe you’re looking for another way to connect with your employees. An app will not only allow you to do this, but as in the prior example with customers, it will let your company learn much more about your employees during business hours.
If you’ve been putting off acquiring an app with your company because you’re afraid of the costs involved, you’re not alone. However, thanks to enterprise mobility software, this is no longer much of a valid concern. This type of program can allow you to develop your own custom app from scratch.
Let’s now move onto the important features you want to look for in any app development program you invest in.
The whole point of buying an enterprise mobility platform is that this type of software makes building an app something the laymen like you and I can do. If you find that it’s difficult to work your software, then it defeats its own purpose.
This shouldn’t even be an issue, though, when you consider how far along the software has come. You should literally be able to create the majority of your app by doing little more than clicking and dragging. Find a platform that works like this and it will be worth every penny you spend.
Another cool feature to look for is a window in the interface that shows you what your app looks like in real-time while you build it. This is the type of feature you find with a lot of coding software, so it makes sense you’d find it when creating an app. Basically, every time you make an addition or adjustment, the window shows you the effect it will have. The point of this feature is that it saves you from finishing your build and then being surprised by what you’ve been making this entire time.
One really easy way to ensure you get exactly what you want from your software is to request a demo. Most manufacturers will include one no matter what, but if you don’t see the option on their website, simply contact them and ask. They will most likely understand the importance of this request. While a demo won’t give you the full effect of what you’re paying for, it should still give you an adequate idea.
Enterprise mobility programs make it possible to create just about any type of app you may have in mind. There are a few basic models you may be interested in creating for your company or you might have something truly ambitious in mind.
Whatever the case, it’s important to think about how your app will be working with your company’s internal logic. At the moment, your company runs on a collection of systems, right? It’s vital that your app is able to play nicely with this digital infrastructure or you’ll most likely have created an asset for your company that falls very far short of the mark. In fact, it may even cause more harm than good.
Let’s say you’re creating a customer-facing app, for example, that allows them to place an order whenever they please. If you want this kind of thing to run smoothly and actually serve as a convenience for your customers, you need the app to connect with your company’s internal inventory system as well as the one for shipping, if your company handles it in-house.
If you skip this important feature, you’ll have to create a third-party connection or otherwise have the orders taken manually once they arrive at the firewall. Neither of these eventualities is very attractive. In fact, as we mentioned, they could become problems.
Create an app for your employees that involve a cumbersome workaround and they’ll most likely ignore your efforts and come up with their own. Aside from the fact that you then wasted your money, this kind of thing could leave your security compromised.
Reliable Security Measures
It probably goes without saying that you want to make sure you purchase an enterprise mobility program that makes security a priority. Without solid security measures, it will only be a matter of time before a hacker or some other malicious party comes around looking for a handout.
Keep in mind, too, that creating an app, while advantageous for a number of reasons, means that there will be more instances of access to your company’s internal system. It might not mean that your company gets more people trying to access it, but there will definitely be more instances of employees trying. This alone will make for an attractive offer to any hacker paying attention.
However, if you’re making your app for employees, then you will definitely increase the number of people trying to access your system, which represents an ever bigger risk.
Fortunately, encryption negates much of this. If the communications being sent from your app to your company’s internal logic are protected with encryption, then you have little to fear.
Still, it’s worth thinking about role-based access for your users. Find a program that makes this possible and you can keep access a bit more organized and worry less about who is using the app and how.
Whether we’re talking about a time card program or the blog on your site, it’s important that you’re properly managing it. This is especially true with enterprise mobility software though.
For one thing, you want a log book of sorts that gets a digital imprint whenever someone accesses the app. Then you want a way of monitoring what they did once they were using that app. This might sound like a security measure, but it’s just as much about improving performance and getting a firm understanding of what your users may like to see in the second version you put out.
Speaking of which, this is also an important reason to find an enterprise mobility program that gives you plenty of management features. Here’s something a lot of people learn the hard way: the first attempt at making an app won’t be your last, even if you’re using an enterprise mobility program.
You’ll create one and it will look good and perform the way you want. You’ll even have a number of people test it out and then refine it a bit before finally releasing it. That’s when the feeding frenzy starts. Your app is going to get pushed to the limit and it’s then that you’ll know what you could’ve done better.
As long as you have management features with your platform, though, this doesn’t have to become a major concern. Just update the app based on what you found and send out an update to all the apps on devices that already downloaded it. That’s really all there is to it.
Don’t become one of those companies that get beat out by competitors simply because they shied away from leveraging technology. While a lot of digital assets out there aren’t worth your time, mobile apps are. By using software to create your own, you can get a high-performing one that’s unique to your business.