Enterprise Mobile Applications Development
by Svitla Team
What is an enterprise application?
Enterprise Application is a large-scale software system that is designed to operate in a corporate environment to solve or support the issues of an organization, business, enterprise or government institution. Enterprise applications are oftentimes complex, robust, scalable, and intended for a specific purpose. These solution applications encompass programs that are developed using an enterprise architecture to cover a majority of tasks or inherent problems in the enterprise.
These mission-critical solutions range from payroll, patient records, payment processing, human resource management, automation activities, and much more. More details on the different types of enterprise mobile application software will be presented in the following section of this article.
Mobile and web-based applications for enterprises are gaining popularity in a world where it is vital to stay ahead of the technological curve.
Whether they’re for internal or external use, enterprise mobile applications alleviate the increasing need to be interconnected. With mobile applications, the enterprise system can move with you everywhere you go. To put it in simple terms, it facilitates processes by making them available in all mobile devices. Next, we are going to give a much more detailed answer to what is enterprise application, how enterprise mobile application development works and clarify what its challenges, tools, and best practices involve.
What is Enterprise Applications Development?
As defined by Wikipedia, enterprise application software is “computer software used to satisfy the needs of an organization rather than individual users.”
Enterprise applications development involves a significant amount of complex data, rigorous security, and maintenance requirements to comply with, and on top of everything, they must be user-friendly. Enterprise mobile apps are usually deployed on numerous platforms across corporate networks, intranets, or the internet.
As the collective understanding of an Enterprise Application grows, we are going to focus on its mobile development process.
The IT industry is growing into a more agile and collaborative space. Thus, the development process of an enterprise mobile app must be agile and collaborative to move ahead. The design and development of enterprise mobile apps focus on satisfying specific business requirements that usually affect other needs in the organization.
So, what is enterprise mobile application development? In essence, it’s the systematic process of designing, developing, implementing, and deploying a mobile application that serves as an instrument to manage and operate specific aspects of an enterprise.
Much like its end result, enterprise applications development can be complex and challenging. Throughout this article, we will talk about the main challenges and best practices of the enterprise application development process.
To deliver enterprise mobile apps, organizations must deal with the challenges and structure set out by the system or software development life cycle (SDLC). To mirror the consumer experience of commercial apps in enterprise mobile apps, companies must carefully select which development architecture is the best fit. The three main choices for a mobile application development architecture are native, web and hybrid. Each option brings its benefits and drawbacks, but the most important aspect of your decision-making process must be how each option aligns with your enterprise mobile app strategy.
Another crucial element to consider in enterprise mobile app development is the introduction of cloud platforms. Traditionally, app development processes could be tedious or high-investment projects, but with cloud infrastructure and tools more readily available than ever before, there is a dramatic change in the app development landscape.
With cloud platforms, developers can work with programs and services seamlessly, with better communication and real-time collaboration between all teams involved. Modern app development platforms include built-in tools, APIs, security protocols, user management, and reusable UI components and templates that development teams can leverage to alleviate the heavy lifting of building an enterprise mobile app from scratch. While cloud platforms are the most popular trend, there are still on-prem app development processes that remain a valid option for development teams.
Types of Enterprise Application Software
Increasing mobile access for enterprise software represents a digital transformation opportunity. A global study performed by Kony states that over 97% of global line-of-business executives report that employees or divisions within an organization demand new mobile apps or app features. This figure only comes to show that more and more businesses are acknowledging the benefits of going mobile in an enterprise environment.
With further transformation in the horizon, the different types of enterprise application software have grown exponentially.
Some of the most common types of enterprise application software include:
- Automated billing systems.
- Payment processing.
- Record tracking systems.
- Supply Chain Management (SCM).
- E-commerce suite.
- Model product catalog.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
- Business Intelligence (BI).
- Business Continuity Planning.
- Enterprise Application Integration.
- Enterprise Content Management.
- Messaging systems.
- Call center operations.
- Customer service support.
- Human Resources management.
- Email marketing systems.
Enterprise Applications Examples
Some industry-specific examples of enterprise applications include:
- Healthcare industry
- Patient records tracking system.
- Patient care app.
- Mobile CRM.
- Electronic signature contract system.
- Tariff plan calculators.
- 3D or AR product catalog.
- Forms and questionnaires to collect inputs.
- Product configuration tools.
- Analytics tools.
- Data encryption tools.
- Equipment supervised training programs.
- Process automation.
- Time trackers.
Enterprise mobile applications challenges
Expertise and resources. As the world of enterprise mobile app development is relatively new, the expertise and resources surrounding it are fairly limited. Oftentimes, companies want to move a desktop app to a mobile app and it is not that simple without the help of a skilled team of professionals
Wrong apps: It happens. Sometimes companies deploy apps that don’t provide the right solution for a business problem. If the requirements of the enterprise mobile app are not clearly defined, it’s very likely to deploy an application that users won’t find benefit in using. Thus, it’s of the utmost importance to involve end users in the design process to ensure the enterprise mobile app helps alleviate their pain points.
Bad user experience. User experience is key to the enterprise mobile app development, which is why development teams must take great care in considering mobile-specific limitations such as screen size, touch inputs, processing power, battery life, and more to develop an app that can withstand and even take advantage of these constraints.
Security. The word security is frequently thrown around in the mobile development environment and with good reason. With threats and cyber attacks happening almost every day, enterprises need to be constantly vigilant and secure their systems, protect sensitive data and prevent breaches by implementing a robust security layer in their mobile applications.
Slow deployment. Corporate technology can be tedious. While most companies are used to long development cycles, this does not work well with mobile apps. The world of mobile application development deals in terms of days or weeks. Apps need to be deployed quickly in order to gain momentum and satisfy immediate needs.
No marketing. Oftentimes, enterprises forget about the importance of evangelizing their enterprise mobile app. Users must be made aware of the benefits provided by using a mobile app that will streamline processes and ease their lives. Instead of just telling employees to use the enterprise mobile app, they should actually enjoy using the app.
Changing business requirements or environments. In dynamic environments, it’s relatively common to have frequent changes in business requirements or complete environments. Development teams must face these changes head on and adapt to deliver an enterprise mobile solution in a lively environment.
Big Data: Enterprises are wealthy in data. This is why it can be challenging to manage Big Data effectively in a mobile application that may be limited in size. Enterprises must leverage tools, technologies, and techniques to ensure data is effective.
Best tools for Enterprise Mobile Application Development
This list, in no particular order, includes some of the major enterprise mobile app development tools available:
Xamarin: a popular tool used by developers to build native apps with a C# code foundation. It provides an interface development tool, native API access, code shareability, ability to add components directly from an interface, and integration with backends such as Microsoft Azure and SAP. This tool stands out for its speed and cost-effectiveness.
SAP: Tool platform that offers capabilities to develop an app from a single HTML5 codebase.
Sencha: Tool popular for its high-end HTML5 framework. It is powerful enough to develop apps with the look and feel of a native app.
Alpha: Tool with a comprehensive business application development and deployment environment that enables users to build apps in significantly less time than traditional coding.
Best practices for Enterprise Mobile Application Development
Developing comprehensive training: As with every organization, there are different levels of knowledge in terms of specific technical skills. It’s important to accept that not all employees are equally equipped, thus it is necessary to develop a comprehensive training program to onboard employees and accelerate their progress. A company is only as good as the talents they hire and nurture.
Determining the application’s size: Defining the size and scale of an application is fundamental to properly plan the resources and efforts that will be invested to fulfill the project. For enterprise mobile applications, it’s important to reduce, in an appropriate capacity, the size of the application to deliver a streamlined and lightweight solution that focuses on core functions without distractions or redundant features.
Embedding relevant branding: Enterprise mobile applications must embody the brand of the corporate image. Branding a mobile application goes a long way to show users the consistency and professionalism of the solution to maintain a standard across all platforms.
Providing powerful content: The app must be solely designed to tackle and satisfy the unique requirements that prompted the development of the app. Enterprise mobile applications should be straightforward in solving a specific problem or providing team benefits without the distraction of non-necessary additional features. A clean and crisp mobile app will provide a focused environment where users can concentrate on the content and core capabilities, rather than being sidetracked with too many features.
Developing the app with an iterative design: It’s no surprise that developers are leaning towards a more agile development process. One of the greatest benefits this brings to enterprise mobile apps is the ability to continuously update the app based on user feedback in short periods of time. Instead of rolling out bulky updates in one huge deployment, developers can fine-tune the app to suit the needs of users without compromising speed and performance.
Focusing on user experience: The customer is always right, right? This is true for mobile apps. Developers must listen to their audience to make sure the enterprise mobile app covers all the necessities and requirements the app is intended to solve. The ultimate goal of an app is to improve and make the lives of the users a lot easier. A friendly and easy to use enterprise mobile app will enable users to work efficiently and achieve a positive impact on the business.
Securing the application: An enterprise mobile app will more than likely include sensitive corporate information that must be secured at all times. Within the app, users should be able to take advantage of security features such as encryption, authentication, and management of sensitive information to protect data even as it is being used throughout numerous remote locations.
Using smart sensors: With technology moving at a trailblazer pace, it’s important for companies to incorporate relevant technologies into the app design. For example, enterprise mobile apps can leverage a device’s GPS, sound activation, remote access features, and camera capabilities, to name a few.
Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to imagine an enterprise without applications that facilitate process management. Mobile apps are becoming an integral part of the modern enterprise. infrastructures as they help simplify workloads, automate processes and coalesce communication in a seamless way.
Up until a few years ago, enterprise mobile apps were still low-priority projects for organizations, receiving minimal resources and investment. With the latest shift in the industry and the economy, enterprise mobile apps should no longer stay in the back burner of a company’s strategy. Instead, they have proved to be an accessible medium for users and customers to access enterprise systems seamlessly and with success.
Enterprises have their eye on the future and the future is mobile.
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