Are you thinking about adding an enterprise mobile application to your company’s tools? The addition of a mobile app can benefit your business in various ways.
Enterprise mobile apps can increase transaction speed, improve HR functions, make it easier to cut through red tape, and improve communication. They can improve your bottom line. The functionality of your custom mobile app is completely up to you. Here’s some basic information to get you started.
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What is Enterprise Application Development?
Enterprise Application Development is a term that means the creation of custom software applications for large companies or organizations. In other words, the development of a software application specifically customized for a particular enterprise-level business.
The goal of creating enterprise-level software is to build software that will grow and scale with the business without sacrificing speed or efficiency. Enterprises want to be able to establish new operations quickly, keep the same high level of software support, and have the ability to update apps often to accommodate growth.
One of the biggest challenges of running an enterprise is efficient management and optimization of internal operations with a focus on reducing costs. Leveraging enterprise-class applications to improve the customer experience (UX) is an effective way to manage costs while achieving accuracy and speed.
Techopedia goes further in defining an enterprise application.
An enterprise application (EA) is a large software system platform designed to operate in a corporate environment such as business or government.
EAs are complex, scalable, component-based, distributed and mission critical. EA software consists of a group of programs with shared business applications and organizational modeling utilities designed for unparalleled functionalities.
EAs are developed using enterprise architecture. EA software is a critical component of any computer-based information system. EA software ultimately enhances efficiency and productivity through business level support functionality.
For an even more in-depth discussion defining an enterprise-level company, go here.
One of the steps towards Legacy Systems Modernization is developing custom mobile apps for the enterprise.
What is an Enterprise Mobile Application?
An Enterprise Mobile Application is a custom mobile app developed for a particular enterprise-level company (corporation, organization, or government) to help connect employees to your system for a specific task or process. The function of the app is chosen to supply user-friendly software and interface while the app processes complex data while complying with government regulations and the latest security standards.
The app enhances the enterprise’s global strategy and makes specific functions available on mobile devices.
Types of Enterprise Mobile Applications
Enterprise mobile apps break down into three main categories:
- Employee-level apps – For internal use only. Simple functions like messaging for updates.
- Department-level apps – Help boost the productivity of a specific department.
- Company-level apps – Help the entire organization work together in a private network to improve workflow
How is Enterprise Mobile App Development Different?
Enterprise mobile apps are different because they are built for the enterprise to improve its operational workflow and efficiency, to streamline its operations. Users are people who work for the organization instead of consumers. Since their needs are different, these mobile apps are developed differently from consumer mobile apps.
Enterprise apps deal with corporate databases and data transfers. They need to be easily accessed and consistent on any platform, but secure enough to meet cybersecurity and privacy standards.
Enterprise apps need to be easy to scale and adaptable to the enterprise’s structure. These apps are built, tested, and integrated into a company’s infrastructure. Integration can expose system quirks that need to be accommodated.
Enterprise apps need to be legal and meet app distribution requirements.
Top 7 Reasons to Have an Enterprise Mobile Application
Custom mobile apps can offer several benefits for your corporation. Here are the top seven:
1. Transaction Control
Having control and improving transactions can save your company both time and money receiving payments from customers. This is true whether your enterprise is a B2C retailer or B2B SaaS business. The more customers pay on time, the better cash flow you have. A custom mobile app for your ecommerce payment systems can help with money management, increase awareness of customer payments, and send notifications to your business for your chosen parameters.
2. Data Management Improvements
Your mobile app can help improve your operations including data processing, verification, analysis, and adjustment. Improved efficiency can reduce costs and provide metrics that you can act on more quickly.
3. Digital is Better (Than Paper)
As digital technology becomes more sophisticated it opens up benefits for your business. With more efficient operations, you can reduce paperwork, automate processing tasks, and concentrate on strategic planning and other business challenges.
4. Mobile Monitoring of Employees and Customers
Today’s business world has generated new ways for remote work. While this has reduced the need for traveling, it also means that remote workers are difficult to monitor. An enterprise mobile app can help you monitor employees’ work progress and at the same time give your employees a way to report progress to you.
This can also be used for customers, especially if you’re in a B2B business selling complex solutions.
5. Automation of Processes
You can use automation to speed up many of the processes that you do by hand, especially when it comes to data entry and analysis. One example is using a mobile app for customer onboarding taking a new client through their initial registration and setup. This app could save your customer service department hours for each customer.
You can do something similar for the training and certification of employees, saving time that HR staff can use elsewhere.
6. Enhanced Supply Chain Control
Supply chains have always been a crucial element of business operations. The pandemic has shown us clearly where supply chains have weaknesses and can be disrupted. Using an enterprise mobile app can help you better monitor and control your supply chain so you can fix problems as they occur in real-time.
7. The Best Possible Client Support
Modern banking has shown that enterprise apps can transform customer support issues. Your mobile app can answer the basic inquiries from clients 24/7, so your employees can work on more complex issues. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can also detect fraudulent inquiries with machine learning, preventing security issues from becoming major problems.
Consideration When Choosing a Development Platform
Deciding to invest in a custom app has a huge impact on your business that will ripple through many departments in your organization. Before you get started, here are some factors to keep in mind:
Business Objectives and Goals
While you may think this is a no-brainer, it pays to take your time analyzing what your organization truly needs, and prioritizing those needs due to budgetary constraints and business objectives.
Before you get started, work with your leadership team to determine what issues your new mobile app will be designed to resolve, who will use it, and how it will be used.
Integration with Other Business Applications
Your enterprise already uses a complex computer system for all of your day-to-day routines. A new mobile app needs to integrate smoothly with your current operations in order to help. Having a flexible API makes integration much easier for developers when integrating the software.
Choosing the Platform
Part of the process of developing your enterprise mobile app is selecting the platform your app will run on – iOS, Android, or web app. A lot depends on what devices your employees will use when they use the app.
A Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) will listen to your business needs putting you in the driver’s seat on app development. Seeing existing solutions through models and case studies can help you determine how you want your app to be built.
One best practice is to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to test initially in order to better hone a final product.
The app development team should provide you with real-time status updates to ensure that your investment remains sound, and you are aware of the app’s development progress.
While app technology has become more sophisticated, so have the talents of hackers. It’s crucial to ensure that your enterprise mobile app is secure throughout both development and company use. Developers must use the most up-to-date security and privacy standards, and communication within the app should be encrypted. You don’t want to become the latest ransomware news story or expose internal company workings.
App management should be a priority from the get-go. You should stay on top of all of the options to manage your app, and track the app performance. Another priority is the ability to make adjustments to the app for customers. And don’t forget about the need for ongoing support from your developer.
A Custom Enterprise Mobile App Development Process
What do you need to consider when deciding on a budget?
1. Price Range
There is a vast price range for mobile apps depending on function and platforms. The range is anywhere between $100,000 and $500,000 for a high-end enterprise mobile application. But, you can get a basic app with simple functionality on one platform for between $25,000 and $50,000.
2. Hourly Rates in Regional Areas
If you don’t have an IT department that can develop your app for you, then you can outsource the job to one of several excellent enterprise mobile application development companies. Hourly rates fluctuate around the globe, and so does the quality of service. Hiring a company in the US to develop your app ranges from $20 to $250 per hour. Pricing ranges by the level of expertise and reputation.
You can outsource to companies overseas, but communication can be difficult due to language barriers and time zone issues. Managing a team overseas may result in sacrificing quality as a byproduct.
No matter where you decide to hire, examine their resumes and seek industry clients for comparison.
3. Who Do You Need on Your Team?
Your expert team should include:
- Project manager
- Software developer
- UI/UX designer
- Quality assurance engineer
Fewer people on your team may cost you less upfront, but it will slow your progress to the final product which will cost you more.
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4. Factors that Influence the Final Cost
These factors can influence the cost:
- Size, location, and expertise of your development team
- Hourly rate to build and test
- Choice between a cross-platform and native app
- Type and functionality
- Support phase to fix bugs, maintain app
Enterprise Mobile App Development Trends for 2022
Mobile apps continue to be popular ways of streamlining business operations in 2022.
AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence is fast being adopted to make routine repetitive functions machine operated. Other uses are introductory interactions with clients or employees, answering frequently asked basic questions. Enterprises use AI-powered apps to provide a more effective, smarter user experience while saving money on resources, which results in cost-effective and increased productivity.
Moving to the Cloud
Enterprises have already been moving app and data storage to the cloud. Now more businesses are moving the functionality and performance of their software to the cloud as well. It allows users to move from one device to another and keep saved work. It’s more secure and helps with app access in general.
Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technology
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), another name for blockchain, is described more in-depth by Investopedia:
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is a protocol that enables the secure functioning of a decentralized digital database. Distributed networks eliminate the need for a central authority to keep a check against manipulation.
DLT allows for storage of all information in a secure and accurate manner using cryptography. The same can be accessed using “keys” and cryptographic signatures. Once the information is stored, it becomes an immutable database and is governed by the rules of the network.
The idea of a distributed ledger is not totally new, and many organizations do maintain data at different locations. However, each location is typically on a connected central system, which updates each one of them periodically. This makes the central database vulnerable to cyber-crime and prone to delays since a central body has to update each distantly located note.
With security needs critical for many businesses, you can expect more growth and development in blockchain.
Beacons in mobile apps behave much the same as a physical beacon like a lighthouse. The lighthouse warns ships when they get too close to shore. In mobile apps, beacons can be added for specific notifications.
Internet of Things (IoT) Powering Mobile Apps
The IoT is growing rapidly taking over the control of simple functions and communication from one electronic-controlled device to another. By integrating IoT data with mobile apps, users have access to real-time data, increasing process efficiency.
Enterprises are already beginning to use IoT to create a seamless experience for their own employees and clients.
Increased Implementation of 5G
The mobile phone industry buzzword for the last couple of years has been “5G.”
5G is only available in a limited number of locations right now, but the lightning-fast operational speeds can revolutionize mobile usage. 51% of mobile connections in North America are projected to be 5G by 2025.
The smartphone market will continue to grow in 2022 with 47.5% of new phones having a 5G connection.
Mobile Enterprise Security: Ways to Secure Your App
Securing enterprise mobile applications is of the utmost priority for every business or organization. Doing so will protect your corporation from hackers and other bad actors. It will also protect your customers’ private information.
How should you proceed to ensure security?
Consider Security Aspects in Advance
Security is not something to do at the last minute. Securing your mobile app and communications should start at the beginning of development and continue as a high priority as it continues.
Scrutinize Development Framework
When your mobile app’s framework is being discussed before development, security should be included in that discussion. Stringent security standards should be followed throughout framework development and then updated if new standards become standard.
Adhere to Encryption Methods and Standards
Code encryption should be used from the beginning of your app development and continued throughout the development process. Even with encryption, it’s important to use penetration tests to look for any weaknesses that you’ve missed. You also need file-level and database encryption using the latest cryptography techniques.
Strong User Authentication
Enterprise Mobile Application Development Challenges
Most technology has some quirks that you need to compensate for, and developing enterprise mobile applications can run into some snags.
1. API Strategy
APIs are how the mobile app interacts with the servers, so getting the API strategy right is a must. It’s difficult to balance the need for security with UX, but if you want your app to be successful you need to find a way to do just that.
2. Slow Application Development
Developing a mobile app from scratch takes a lot of time. There are some ways your team can speed up their development process with:
- Reusable components in low-code development
- Using MEAP
- Having a dedicated development team
3. Integration with Back-End Resources
Integrating a new enterprise mobile app into your existing systems can be problematic. The problem usually occurs because the existing systems are outdated and cumbersome.
4. App Distribution
Because mobile apps have a unique system of distribution, through specialized app markets, there are extra legal hoops to jump through before you can start distributing your app.
Security is a high priority for enterprise mobile apps. The challenge is that you need to include security practices at each step to reduce data storage and OS vulnerability as much as you can.
Our Expertise in Enterprise Mobile Development
If you are interested in working with an enterprise mobile application development company that is experienced, flexible, and knowledgeable, and will take you through the development process step-by-step, providing you with information, expertise, and security, then we are ready to help. We can discuss the type of mobile app you want to develop and integrate with your existing computer system.
This discussion of enterprise mobile applications and how they may be used by your corporation is just the tip of the iceberg. Since developing enterprise mobile apps is custom-made for your individual business, the capabilities and uses for your app can vary widely. We welcome the opportunity to discuss mobile app ideas with you.