A COMPLETE GUIDE TO ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT IN 2021
Mar 16 2021
An enterprise mobile application helps employees perform their direct work responsibilities and have an easy way to access company data. More companies today choose to develop technical solutions for internal systems - especially for remote and flexible employees as they need to perform their routine tasks and keep mobility.
Such software is designed to help employees and executives track the company's performance, set new aims, communicate with customers, vendors, and partners, and, eventually, increase revenue. In a broader sense, enterprise mobile apps increase sales, develop customer loyalty, and promote brands.
Table of contents
INTRODUCING THE TYPES OF ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPLICATIONS
What is an enterprise application?
The term refers to specialized software for the company's employees. The main task of such applications is the company's workflow optimization. Usually, it involves a simplified communication process for employees and executives, faster internal information exchange, and shared access to corporate data.
Enterprise mobile apps address business' needs on the employee, department, and company levels. The tasks range from the ones related to particular positions to overall company matters concerning all-levels employees and higher management.
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The employee-level apps are usually task- and position-oriented and have a feature list helping employees solve a particular problem. Usually, these are the apps specifically designed for offsite employees. They enable workers (mobile salespersons, tech and delivery employees, etc.) to get actual information and state of affairs and report their performance.
Employee-level apps aims include but are not limited to:
- Easy access for employees to the actual information from the head office without connecting to the operator and making official inquiries;
- An effortless way for managers to track performance and workflow;
- Fast company feedback to the employees through in-app notifications.
For example, sales process management software is linked to CRM and provides the employees quick access to customer-related data. Sales managers use field sales mobile apps to replace catalogs and brochures they use in product advertising.
Customer service enterprise apps enable easy and instant communication with customers as they often have messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) functions. It's the best option for customer service managers who are frequently on business trips. Supply-chain and logistics specialists also benefit from internal enterprise mobile applications. This software type helps employees track orders and shipments and manage stored products remotely.
Department-level apps are designed to facilitate and optimize the internal workflows of specific departments. These apps incorporate department-wide features like a shared workspace, a general ticket system for tech support, and a set of managing tools - it allows executives to monitor employee productivity and manage departments as company units. Here, department leaders can send group messages to all the department employees and set goals and objectives. These can also be analytics or business intelligence (BI) tools for managers to get KPIs reports.
Here are some examples of department-level apps across departments:
- Marketing management enterprise apps help maintain large campaigns, analyze markets and customer experience, and manage marketing resources. Trade marketing apps are an easy way to control special offers and trade promotions.
- Large companies' finance departments use internal financial apps to maintain accounts and balances and make remote transactions.
- There are different types of apps designed for HR departments. HR managers use general solutions to gather employee feedback and manage employee data. Recruiters have specialized apps to access CVs and applicants' data to be prepared for interviews and recruiting process.
The company-level apps enable easy and stable communication across departments, creating a single network where employees directly contact their executives. The software can provide access to databases and corporate documents where the access level depends on the employee's position.
Phone number directories or messaging apps ensure internal corporate communication. Corporate training apps may be a beneficial asset in the learning process inside the company. If you plan for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software development for your company, a mobile application can serve as an extension of its functions.
CORE BENEFITS OF ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPLICATIONS
Corporate mobile app systems may positively impact your company in terms of better and more structured data use. Any business generates large volumes of data that needs to be stored, managed, and accessed. The term 'data at rest' refers to all data in computer storage, excluding any data that is in transit. Data at rest includes databases, file hosting services, archives, mobile devices, cloud storage, data warehouses, spreadsheets, offsite or cloud backup, and more.
Often, the data generated by overall company activity is not structured and confusing. It makes it difficult for employees to access the necessary information and for managers to control it. Mobile apps help non-management employees easily and rapidly access databases and archives required for performing routine tasks. Data access through such software involves a certain level of standardization of data storage.
Besides, the role-based access model improves transparency and prevents unauthorized access to data and the possibility of successful cyberattacks. Password protection, data encryption, or a combination of both are the most wide-spread security measures to prevent unauthorized data access, alteration, or theft. The internal system security functionality also includes revoking somebody's access to the enterprise app.
DEVELOPING REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPLICATION
With a structured and thought-through approach, your company can rapidly benefit from the internal system implementation, even within a limited budget. Here are major points we suggest to consider while planning your internal mobile app system. Focusing on these key factors may predict some roadblocks in the process of implementation and use.
What Employees Need from an App
If your company has many offsite and remote employees, you need to think through the app's functionality introduced to them carefully. Often, it makes sense to conduct a survey to see what features would be the most beneficial to optimize their working process. This technology will also benefit your onsite employees, as it ensures flawless and instant internal communication.
Access to Company Data
Your future app should become an access point for all the company data for all employees and executives. It's crucial to deliberate how it will be connected to other company software and integrate with existing storage facilities.
Perspectives of App Development
When considering mobile app implementation, you should keep in mind such essential factors as who will develop and maintain the final product and how to manage the feedback loop for functionality improvements.
Administration and Monitoring
Smooth performance requires constant administration. It would help if you also thought through which metrics your app should gather as it directly affects all future performance analytics.
You need to make sure that you can prevent misuse and leaks of company information. The company app should provide clear and secure data access and action policies. Otherwise, your corporate data becomes vulnerable in cybersecurity terms.
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HOW TO ESTIMATE THE COST OF ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT?
It's a challenging task to estimate the budget for enterprise mobile app development. It depends on the scope of work and the functions that the final product should have. The project cost calculation is based on estimating the total time required to develop or integrate each function, including backend development, interface design, quality control, and project management. For a more exact estimation, you should understand the product's purpose and functionality.
App backend structure complexity may significantly affect the development time and final costs. Here are the main factors to consider.
Customization and Access Policies
It may appear that the easiest way is to grant all employees the same level of access. However, it usually leads to major security threats and user experience deterioration. The better way is to create a system where each employee gets only the functions necessary for their routine tasks and can access only the required data.
This way, however, an app designed for one department may significantly differ from software required for another department. The workload, in some cases, means two separate applications development.
This factor is directly linked to the previous point. Apart from a range of functions for performing specific tasks, a good application should also provide the way to change and administer these functions promptly and conveniently. Developing these functions for particular features can double time and the budget.
One of the benefits of introducing your company's mobile apps is monitoring employees' performance and overall business productivity. However, it would help if you kept in mind that incorporating specific analytics tools also increases development time and, as a result, the project budget.
Since many factors are involved in estimating the final cost, we suggest doing basic research of the enterprise mobile developers to compare their offers and ratings. At the same time, direct contact with a development company is the best way to decide if it's the right fit for your business and the purposes of your project.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DEVELOP AN ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPLICATION?
Enterprise mobile app development is an intricate and time-consuming process. The project's complexity, the software's functionality and productivity, and the developer's experience/skills - every factor may affect the final cost and the time required to finish the project. There are five main stages in the enterprise mobile apps development process you should keep in mind when estimating the approximate project time.
Stage One: Idea and Specification
Every successful project starts with a promising idea. It's crucial to outline the purposes and the target audience of the future product. All the necessary information should be presented in the specification. This way, it makes the goal clear for the enterprise application developer.
Stage Two: Choosing the Platform
Usually, the planning phase begins with the decision on which operating system the application will run. Several mobile app frameworks allow you to build an iOS and Android application from a single codebase. This is a very important case of enterprise mobile apps development, as it enables you to quickly target all the platforms used by your company's employees.
Stage Three: Functionality and Prototyping
At this stage, you should think of the core functionality your final product must provide. Based on the desired functionality, the developers create a prototype of your future app that can be tested and changed if necessary. Prototyping saves time and resources for the actual development of the enterprise app process and reduces the time spent on secondary features.
Stage Four: Design and Development
This stage implies the actual enterprise app development process, the most difficult and time-consuming part of the project. It includes a collaboration of UI and UX designers, as well as frontend and backend developers.
After UX designers have taken care of the functional application part, UI designers work on its visual part and create an interface design that should be intuitive, attractive, and user-friendly. The backend programmers turn what's done by the UI and UX designers into a full-fledged working application.
Stage Five: Testing and Support
Even if your app looks good and finalized, there are always bugs to fix and improvements to introduce. Thorough testing is an essential part of the development stage which notably affects the project's success.
The developer's quality assurance (QA) departments are responsible for finding and fixing all the bugs. After the application is launched and all the initial problems are fixed, you will need a feedback loop from users to understand which features require polishing and improvement.
5 ADVANTAGES OF ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPS
Developing enterprise applications optimizes and automates business processes. Many companies choose to develop inner corporate systems to reduce task processing time, monitor work, and evaluate performance. It positively affects many factors of business development - sales, partner communication, productivity, and, eventually, revenue growth.
WHY CHOOSE EXCEED TEAM FOR ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT?
Experience and expertise: Our experienced team of professionals helps you plan your project and set goals and objectives.
Case-by-case approach: Each project is unique, as are its stages, time frames, and budget.
Transparency and flexibility: We are flexible in making changes throughout the work process and providing transparent performance reports at all stages.
Time efficiency: We create your project's prototype promptly and help implement early versions.
Long-term support: We support your project after its delivery. It includes resolving issues, fixing bugs, and developing new features.
Security: we operate the latest data security practices, regulations, and compliance. Protecting your data is our priority.
Enterprise app development opened up new horizons and created new opportunities for employees' mobility. More companies choose to provide their employees with software that optimizes the workflow, reduces time and cost of task-performance, as well as simplifies the company's communication process.
Many enterprise app developers offer companies to develop customized tech solutions designed to meet business-specific needs. That is why it may be difficult to estimate the cost of your final product. However, a good understanding of the project's purposes and desired functionality will always assist successful communication between the client and the developer company.
ENTERPRISE MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT FAQ
What Is Enterprise Mobile App Development?
Enterprise mobile application development is the process of developing and deploying specific software designed to meet a particular company's needs. Enterprise apps help businesses reduce production costs, optimize and speed up workflows, simplify work tasks, and ensure corporate data security. It's an essential part of extension employees' mobility and remote work.
An enterprise software development company offers technical solutions for your company's overall mobile development process - from planning functionality of the end product to software deployment and support.
What Types of Mobile Apps Are Popular for Enterprise Business?
From the corporate level perspective, apps for enterprise are divided into three main types.
- Employee-level apps have a limited set of features and serve the company's internal purposes.
- Department-level apps meet the needs of separate departments. Depending on the department, they have various features and serve different purposes (for example, marketing, HR, financial, sales departments, etc.).
- Company-level apps ensure successful employee-executive and across-department communication. Employees also can access corporate documents using company-level apps.
How Much Does an Enterprise Mobile App Cost?
It isn't easy to estimate the project's final cost in enterprise application development services. When planning your budget, you should keep in mind some key factors affecting expenses: the app's functionality, the complexity of the interface design, and customization level. It's important to understand what your final product should look like and do some research before you contact potential enterprise mobile developers.
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