Realizing the ROI of Mobilizing your Applications

In part III of this blog series, we will discuss how to realize your ROI by mobilizing the applications you have identified. Additionally, enterprises and organizations must understand the different scenarios that exist when approaching app development.

By this time you have hopefully identified which applications you need to mobilize and understand how much ROI will be realized. Additionally, you should understand how long it will take you to realize this ROI, whether it be for an enterprise or an app that is public facing.

The BYOD Challenge

The next step in realizing your Return on Investment is taking a look at what technology you are using today. You need to get a handle on what types of devices are being used by both your internal and external customers. The cost to go mobile is greatly decreased when everyone is using the same platform. However, with the global acceptance of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), this has become more of an issue with regards to creating applications. While BYOD has saved organizations huge amounts of money, developing applications for each device type for internal and external customers can be quite costly.

In this scenario, you need to identify if the application(s) you are creating can be fitted to the variety of devices using mobile web or a hybrid app and must always be connected to the Internet, or if they need offline capabilities as well.

Choosing the Right Solution

Furthermore, The type of solution you need is dependent on the data you need to communicate. For apps that are data heavy, you must be prepared to use multiple threading technology. Both hybrid and mobile web apps are not the ideal solution for this, as customers have grown to become very impatient when gaining access to data. In this scenario you will most probably need a native app that can be used both online and off.

Lets take a look at the qualities of each to provide you with a better understanding of the types of apps, so you can choose.

• Mobile Web – This type of app solution is the least expensive but is single threaded so not recommended for apps that are data heavy. They require an internet connection to run. They are extremely popular due to the widespread use of web browsers and support of the HTML5 programming language.
• Native – The most expensive to develop on, it has become the solution of choice for most enterprises. It boasts multi-threading which makes it great for apps that are data heavy and can be run offline without an Internet connection. Because they are built for specific devices they have the ability to utilize hardware and software that is specific to those devices. Creating a native app for the Android platform can increase the costs of app development since a different version would need to be coded for each specific device.

• Hybrid – It is single threaded so heavy data apps aren’t recommended to use such a solution. The way this type of app is structured consists of two parts, web and native. These two parts are completely separate and communicate with each other via sending messages between each other in order to complete tasks. This type of app can work offline.
In any case, you should be analyzing how the app’s users go about dealing with data and create a mobile user experience that is as close as possible to their way of doing things. In doing so, you will be making it as seamless and adoptive experience as possible. For instance, if they are using a pen and paper to communicate data, you might want to create an app utilizing a pen-like stylus and handwriting recognition.

By not arriving to a strategy for developing your app to match your customers’ way of doing things, you may need to invest more money in redesigning or refining the architecture of your app.

Utilizing an App Prototype Strategy

When you are ready to roll out your app, it doesn’t need to be in a full fledged way. If you want to test the app waters with a prototype, there are a plethora of tools that exist on the market that will convert existing applications. There are also a number of third party services that empower you to convert existing technology into web or hybrid apps. This will allow organizations to quickly deploy the app to their internal and external customers, analyze their experience, refine the app as needed and re-release.

For more information regarding Mobilizing Enterprize Applications, download our Whitepaper: MOBILIZING ENTERPRISE APPLICATIONS: OBSTACLES, BENEFITS, AND KEY CONSIDERATIONS

The Need to Go Mobile

The Need to Go Mobile

The Mobile boom is well upon us and is part of the reason companies, both large and small are accelerating their mobile application strategies. That being said, enterprises are deeply involved in mobilizing applications that are already existing and in many cases are going with the mobile-first concept in developing new applications for licensing or internal use. This mobile-first strategy is quickly establishing mobile as the platform of choice for enterprise applications.

Now is the time that both companies large and small must understand the importance and necessity for going mobile. Beyond just going mobile, organizations must understand the ROI they stand to gain by mobilizing their enterprise applications, whether they be cloud or software-based.

Check out this whitepaper: Developing Mobile Applications

Your Users

The most important step when developing apps out of enterprise applications is knowing your audience and identifying who are your users. Are they internal, external or both? The bottom line is that mobile devices are not just about convenience. They are also about productivity. You want to be able to get the most out of your workforce. There are a plethora of business models that are based around the knowledge of users. These users are much of the time, if not all the time mobile.

When you make them more productive, they can bring more value to the organization internally, as well as externally to partners and customers.

Externally, you want to create mobile engagement that is slick and turn-key. You partners and customers must be able to access the most current data, get information about such things as shipments, delivery dates and contact information. You want to be able to empower your external user base. This will increase engagement and make them more loyal.

Choosing What to Mobilize

Next, you need to decide which applications or parts of should be mobilized to best benefit your users.

There is no shortage of corporations that are developing such a diverse mix of applications, and in some cases, thousands of them. To mobilize them in a timely manner is simply impossible. That is why it is paramount that you choose the business processes you see as the most ripe for mobilization.

Much of the time users just need access to data, so you would want to conduct an analysis of what data they need to access and to provide a mobile experience that gives them what they want when they need it most.

Many times, users just need access to sections of the most robust applications that they will utilize on the go. Whether they need access to just data, parts or all of enterprise applications, what needs to be provided to the users is data and/or access to applications on demand, whether they are offline or online.

Organizations also must decide which devices they will develop applications for, that will most increase the productivity of the users and give them unfettered access on the device they want, when they want, be it an iPad, iPhone or Android.



Good UX Design Enhances the Mobile User Experience

Good UX Design Enhances the Mobile User Experience

“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” Joe Sparano – Graphic Designer

While 2013 was the year that mobile took off, 2014 will be the year that mobile seeps its way into the consciousness of all. App publishers the world over will seek new ways to enhance the mobile user experience in ways that will empower users to connect and engage with the masses.

As many until recently have utilized the desktop and laptop to get things done on the web for the past two decades, Mobile UX design will take center stage as designers will seek to turn Smartphone users into loyal app users. One of the challenges that exist is to dispel the notion many have, that, just because it’s a small screen, everyday tasks should not be considered a hassle.

Brands will continue to strive to make the mobile user experience so smooth, users will consider their mobile devices as a first screen, rather than their second. By building apps and incorporating solid Mobile UX design they can achieve this.

Below are just a few mobile UX design trends that will all but guarantee an amazing user experience in 2014 and beyond.

  • Flat Design – This concept has broken through into the mainstream with Apple’s use for its just released iOS7. The core of this philosophy is to communicate icons and any images in a simplified fashion, leaving anything else by the wayside. No styling, shadows are used. It is all about functionality.
  • Pull Down to Refresh – Apple, as the innovator the company has been for so many years, was the first to use this gesture. While almost all successful apps utilize this gesture in some shape or form, they all do in their own way. It is a design concept that increases engagement with devices.
  • Targeted Gestures – Shaking, tilting, pinching, swiping. These are all gestures that are used in some of the top apps. The thing with incorporating gestures into your mobile UX design is knowing your audience. It is best to see what gestures are used by the top apps serving your target market and design accordingly.

The most important part about Mobile UX Design is to keep it consistent!