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Enterprise Apps: the in-house mobile solution

Enterprise Apps_Alessandro PradaIf you’re a worker in a fairly big company, you’ll probably find it sometimes challenging to get a sense of everything that is going on – company news, team events, product updates and so on.

On the flip side, if you are part of a management team your main interests will be to drive business growth via a solid team, guaranteeing that operations are optimized to the best of their potential.

In both cases, there might be a tool you aren’t using yet to help you achieve it all: an enterprise app!

An enterprise application is a normal mobile application that businesses use to assist the organization in solving enterprise problems, promoting internal initiatives, keeping employees up to date and giving workers insights that can help them do their daily jobs. The only difference with the apps you and I have on our phones is that it won’t be available to everyone; enterprise apps are limited to in-house distribution. This means that you can manage specific user access and benefit from strict privacy settings.

Enterprise applications are typically designed to interface or integrate with other enterprise applications used within the organization and are created to be used across a variety of networks (Internet, Intranet and corporate networks), while meeting strict security and administration management requirements (no need to explain why!). Moreover, thanks to cloud computing it’s possible to handle and process large amounts of data relevant to ongoing operations. And for the fancy ones, some enterprises may also choose a hybrid solution where cloud applications are integrated with on-premise systems.

Enterprise Apps_2

A 2014 Gartner survey found that the majority of the CIOs ranked mobile as a top three spending priority for 2014. Not far from that, VisionMobile (a UK based mobile analyst) expects the mobile enterprise app market to reach $58 Billion by 2016. With enterprise mobility really taking off, here are a few reasons why an in-house app may be a great solution for your business:

Enterprise apps increase productivity!

Why? Because it’s an aid, an extra tool, almost a jolly co-worker. Enterprise mobility is a must-have for any competitive business because it allows faster and sharper insights, live updates when they’re most needed and also the chance to save on inventory and operational expenses.  Ultimately, both worker and overall corporate productivity see the bar raised. According to a recent Gartner survey, 2015 will see 79% of surveyed organizations increase their mobile spending by 36%, and we’re not surprised.

Enterprise apps empower & connect field workers via smart devices!

Enterprises that implement the use of smart devices (especially tablets) give their workers real-time insights into the processes of which they are a part – by doing so, they are also able to feed back fresh data to the company so that it can be analyzed and then used as business intelligence. It’s a virtuous cycle that makes everybody’s work life easier and opens the door to more effective results.

Enterprise big data and analytics make for smarter enterprise mobile apps!

Analytics, big data… big words, I know. But they’re also a big resource to companies when it comes to developing a business strategy. The point is to gather relevant and sufficient information to get a sense of what marketing opportunities are out there or what problems can be addressed and how. With those insights at hand, the strategy development gets smoother while walking on more solid grounds.

That said, according to IDC, the number of enterprise apps optimized for mobility will quadruple by 2016. And usage in large part determines the value of an app, so it has to be optimized, versatile and rich in content. How do you accomplish all that? Mostly by planning, and getting your hands on the appropriate tools for the job.

Build your own in-house app

Even if your company doesn’t have a large CRM or enterprise software running, an intranet or an internal employee communication system (like a chat), you can still benefit from an in-house app. You can easily build an app with some of the following features, accessible to a limited group of users:

  • RSS feeds to create a collection of press clippings relevant to your industry
  • Custom content pages for private content or pull content from an existing web page (ie. intranet, or even a WordPress blog)
  • Internal Directories of employees with their contact details, bio and more
  • Social Media company pages to keep everyone updated & engaged on news
  • Forms for employee feedback
  • Plus: make use of mobile engagement tools like push notifications to alert on company events, updates or reminders

Publishing in-house apps

Once you’ve created your awesome app, it will be time to distribute it to your team members. Since we’re talking about a ‘private’ app, you’ll have to follow specific steps on Google Play and the Apple Store, and then it’s as easy as sharing the link with your employees.

For Google Play (Adroid Apps):
1. Create an account on the Google Developer Console for application publishing (use a company account)
2. Configure the settings in your Google Apps Control Panel
For a detailed guide on what to do and how to do it, see the  dedicated Google Play Help Page.

For Apple Store (iOS Apps):
1. Register on the iOS Developer Enterprise Program
2. Follow instructions under the deployment section
For a detailed guide on what to do and how to do it, see the  dedicated Apple Help Page.

So – ready to take on the challenge? Get creative and start your very own enterprise app right away!

Trial show me how


Top photo: Alessandro Prada

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