Enterprise application development is an effective means of increasing your company’s overall operational efficiency. When employees are free to access the company infrastructure via mobile devices while on the go, time is saved and productivity is boosted. The key to achieving this heightened efficiency, however, is making sure that employees will actually use the new apps.
Employees are accustomed to the ease of use and attractive look of consumer apps on their personal devices. In order to maximize employee adoption of enterprise apps, they must be equally user-friendly, and just as visually appealing. Simply transferring a desktop application to mobile, without making substantial changes, will create an app so unwieldy and unattractive that employees will abandon it after just a few attempts at use, thus squelching any hopes for ROI.
Enterprise application development is not just a science — it’s also an art. As such, it’s a complex process that requires numerous technically-demanding and creatively-nuanced steps to complete. For the purposes of overview, however, the process can be broken down into three major areas of focus: functionality, aesthetics, and access. Each of these areas is a vital factor in maximizing employee adoption.
Trying to fit all the capabilities of an enterprise desktop application into a mobile app will just weigh it down, making it all but unusable for employees. Instead of attempting to make the mobile device simply a mini-desktop, app design should focus on the user experience, always keeping the limitations of the mobile device’s screen size in mind.
The first step in the enterprise application development process should be to define the functionality of the app. Which tasks need to get done while out of the office, and which are usually done in the office anyway? Which aspects of your current desktop applications should be incorporated into a mobile app, and which would make it too unwieldy? Filling out long, detailed forms, for example, is frustrating on a mobile device, so apps need to keep it simple.
By focusing on the necessary workflow, app design can be geared towards accomplishing vital tasks in the simplest possible way, thus delivering a positive user experience which will lead to rapid employee adoption.
Once the functionality of the enterprise mobile app has been decided, the next step in the process is to design the aesthetics. In this part of the process, there is a simple mantra: Think consumer. The simple fact of the matter is that even if your app is user-friendly, you will still encounter resistance to its adoption if it is ugly. Your app should look professional, well-designed, and attractive, just like the consumer apps your employees use on a daily basis.
The final piece of the puzzle in maximizing employee adoption of your new enterprise-level mobile app is providing easy access via an app store. Just as they are familiar with consumer app aesthetics, your employees are accustomed to quickly finding and downloading the consumer apps they need in Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Creating your own company app store will allow employees to have that same level of quick and easy access to any apps they need, thus eliminating one more obstacle to enthusiastic employee adoption of your new enterprise apps.
By addressing these three areas during enterprise application development, you can be sure of maximizing employee adoption, while at the same time, creating a truly useful enterprise app that will increase operational efficiency and provide true ROI.
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When Kishore isn’t cultivating his teams of passionate thought leaders within the IT scene, as a licensed private pilot he enjoys playing in the clouds, community service, and being active in Dallas based Health Wildcatters. Furthermore, he is a devoted family man who places great value in spending time with his wife and two children.
Mr. Khandavalli earned a Master's degree from the University of Akron in Ohio.
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