The 8 Core Elements of Your App Strategy
Originally featured on Appindex
Many companies are starting to adopt mobile apps with varying degrees of success. While enterprise mobility is definitely the way forward, poorly designed apps may be leading some companies to lose revenue.
One thing is clear: apps aren’t cheap, so developing them is taking a risk. If companies wish to mitigate this risk they will have to develop an appropriate enterprise mobility strategy in advance.
In this infographic we put together a little while ago, we explained the steps that companies should follow to ensure they develop an effective enterprise mobility strategy.
Here we shall look at the core elements that every mobile app strategy needs in order to succeed.
The 8 core elements of an enterprise mobility strategy
1. Business goals
One of the common mistakes companies make when starting an app project is not working out how this app will achieve strategic business goals.
Whether complementing existing business processes or creating new opportunities for the business, each company needs to work out how exactly the app will meet these goals.
Keeping business goals in mind has the added benefit of helping companies stay on the right track particularly when making key decisions about the app.
Having clearly defined goals is also important when judging the success of the app and working out the return on investment.
2. Audience needs
The next most important element will be ensuring that the app actually responds to user needs.
Apps are designed to be used, so companies will need to think about who the app is aimed to and what this audience will be using the app for.
By determining the sort of information the audience will need, companies can ensure that the app delivers the right content.
Alternatively, if the app is designed to solve issues rather than deliver information, companies will need to establish what issues their audience is facing and how the app can solve them.
Only once they know this will they be able to think of the best ways to meet audience needs.
It will also be essential to look at how the intended audience is currently interacting with the company’s product or service. This will be particularly important for apps that change how the product or service is actually delivered.
3. User experience
The user experience will determine if users will actually use the app and keep it on their devices. A positive user experience depends highly on how users interact with the app, so the app’s design should be of very high importance.
Making content easy to navigate, not asking too much information of users at sign-up and allowing users to arrive at the required information in as few taps as possible are some of the ways in which design could aid user experience.
Another thing to think about is that apps are viewed in devices that are very different computers, so it will not be enough to present content in the same way as you would online. Not only are mobile devices smaller than computers, but they are also normally accessed in very different situations, such as on the go.
Even mobile devices themselves vary in size and functionality, and users tend to access smartphones or tablets in different situations, so it will be important to think about what sort of information or features will need to be accessed from each device.
A vital concern at most companies is the effect that mobile apps could have on security; for instance, common concerns are that sensitive data contained in mobile apps could be hacked into and stolen.
In order to make data secure, apps can integrate with existing device and app security systems and they can be wrapped in a security wrapper, which companies such as Good provide.
While security is definitely an important aspect to consider, try to refrain from going too far in the opposite direction as strict security measures can infringe on the user experience. For instance, asking too much information at sign in for security reasons can make users impatient and unwilling to use the app.
Another important aspect about app design is to ensure that the app’s infrastructure is sufficiently flexible to accommodate not only planned operating systems and devices, but also future OS updates and new mobile devices.
In this way, the right infrastructure could allow for future business cases and support change and growth.
This applies to security too; companies should ensure that whatever security solutions are implemented are flexible enough to account for potential future mobile devices or apps, as these will rely on the same infrastructure.
Many companies don’t realise that apps are long-term investments, and as such, long-term commitments. Companies who decide to build mobile apps will therefore need to be prepared to deliver updates with the necessarily agility to ensure that the app continues to meet business goals and audience needs.
Many mobile apps get deleted because they stop being relevant as they are not being updated with new information. Companies should aim to ensure that app users always have the right information at hand at the right time.
At the same time, app development itself will need to be agile too in order to deliver technical and content updates promptly. This will mean that front-end, back-end, testing and deployment tasks will need to be carried out simultaneously and horizontally rather than as part of a top-down system.
Finally, an agile app experience will require that technical support can be delivered quickly, as soon as users report issues.
7. Feedback loops
Feedback loops will be essential to any enterprise mobility strategy.
App usage data can be tracked using software such as Google Analytics, and gives companies insight into how their users are using the app. Looking at metrics such as number of users, frequency of app use and what content is most or least used, companies can determine how the app’s user experience could be improved.
Another way to receive feedback is to ask users, whether in the form of a survey or otherwise.
Once this data is collected, companies can analyze it and determine whether the app is meeting short and long-term goals and how it could be optimized.
By creating these feedback loops, companies can ensure that the app continues to benefit users while meeting business goals.
8. The Internet of Things
Finally, it is important for all companies to be aware of what the Internet of Things (IoT) is and how it could affect their app.
In this article we explain what The Internet of Things is and the new opportunities and challenges that it will bring to mobile app development.
The main opportunities lie in the new forms of data combinations that will be possible thanks to the networks enabled by the IoT. One of the things that these networks will do is allow services and products to be delivered and supported in new, faster and more convenient ways.
This will allow companies to continue innovating and to create new revenue streams and business opportunities.
Those companies who are aware and prepared for the IoT will be best positioned to reap its benefits, so keeping it in mind when building apps could be potentially very beneficial.
Enterprise mobility has become a must have for most companies but many are failing to develop apps that truly deliver value.
However by developing mobile app strategies that take into consideration all the elements outlined above, companies can ensure that their apps are on the road to success.