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Summary

New employee demands are driving needs relating to the types of apps being used in the enterprise. Employees are increasingly demanding intuitive and connected mobile app experiences that leverage data referenced in real time, enabling them to work faster and with more relevant insights. As a result, organizations are placing more importance on modernizing legacy systems and applications, and mobility is central to this shift. However, developing engaging mobile apps is challenging, because new approaches, development tools, and skills are required to support organizations on this journey.

Getting started with mobile apps

Organizations are beginning to approach enterprise mobility in a more strategic fashion. As the BYOD trend gathered momentum, approaches to enterprise mobility were very much focused on the device. Now, however, organizations are looking at mobility in a more mature fashion, with apps especially being viewed as an important element in helping to optimize business processes and service experiences. Solutions that support organizations in modernizing and mobilizing legacy systems will be important tools for businesses looking to realize value form digital initiatives.

How to evolve an approach to enterprise mobility by embracing more app management and development capabilities can be challenging. Organizations are often unsure of where to start in mobilizing existing business systems and applications. While it may be tempting to think in a grandiose fashion in terms of mobile app development, a big-bang approach is not desirable. Organizations should identify an opportunity to develop a non-business-critical new employee app or existing system that impacts a select number of users. Establishing collaboration mechanisms between project managers, developers, IT operations, and those set to utilize the app is imperative.

Defining the purpose and objective of the app is another important first step, and one that will require insight into not only what technology is required but also the user needs that will shape how the app is utilized. One of the first decisions organizations must make once requirements are understood is whether to deploy an off-the-shelf app or to create a bespoke custom app. Lessons and insights around costs, development considerations (UX design, development practices, etc.), skills required, technology utilized, and the feedback gathered should also be noted and used as part of continual improvement efforts. Above all, adopt a people-centric approach to app development that leverages mobile to truly transform and optimize how people work. Encourage new ways of working, as opposed to simply layering mobility on top of archaic business processes and workflows.

Appendix

Author

Adam Holtby, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Mobility and Productivity

adam.holtby@ovum.com

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