3 Tips for Enterprise Mobile Apps and Satisfied Employees
When it comes to the corporate world mobile apps are lagging behind. In a survey conducted by ResearchNow and Mobiquity, it became abundantly clear that enterprise apps are being replaced by higher quality apps available in the app stores. The report stated that over 50% of employees abandon enterprise apps and over 60% download apps from public app stores jeopardizing the security of their company. Only about a quarter of employees continue to use enterprise apps, even though this commonly means a loss of productivity as a result.
What do enterprise mobile apps lack compared to their publicly available counterparts?
For enterprise mobile applications there isn’t any competition. The drive to improve, innovate, and consistently iterate just doesn’t exist. An app that can get the job done is seen as more than adequate, even though it may lack many capabilities that can make it better. For publicly available mobile apps, competition is fierce. The need to be trend savvy and innovative can be the difference between success and failure in Google Play and the Apple App Store.
With competition lacking in the corporate space, many applications are stuck in out-dated designs, have non-intuitive user interfaces, and worst of all, are slow. Without having to compete with other mobile apps, enterprise apps become stagnant and that leads to employees looking for alternative apps that often raises serious security concerns.
Scott Snyder, the Chief Strategy Office of Mobiquity, summed of the solution in a simple sentence.
To ensure greater app engagement—and reduce the privacy and security risks associated with rogue app usage—enterprises must adopt the same best practices as they do for customer-facing apps
As products and services are more customer oriented than ever before, it is important for companies to take the same approach in developing apps that their employees will want to use. There is a long laundry list of best practices for mobile applications, but for enterprise apps the list is smaller as they rarely need to worry about monetization, acquisition, or discoverability. Instead, usability and app functionality are what you need to focus on in order to increase engagement for your apps.
Here are some guidelines that companies should follow to build an app that employees are happy to use:
Every second counts. When it comes to productivity instead of entertainment, every second counts twice. In a report from Compuware, 47% of people will delete an app that was slow to launch and 62% delete apps that crash, freeze, or have an error. How slow is too slow? According to Compuware’s survey, the expected load time of an app is 2 seconds.
The last thing employees want to use is a slow, bug infested application. Equip your employees with a powerful, fast application and they will use it. Whoever is developing the app needs to speed at the forefront of their mind.
2. App design
Just because it is an enterprise application doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. More importantly, it shouldn’t be complicated or confusing to use. Mobile apps are built these days across every platform with an emphasis on simplicity and ease. Enterprise mobile apps do not need to be creative or trend setting, just thoughtful and aware of the current ecosystem.
Save time and money by leveraging familiar design functions that are found in the apps that we all use. Don’t deviate and come up with new patterns, controls, and ways to navigate the app that differ from what your employees are already familiar with in the market. Making your app feel familiar can go a long way to producing a tool that your employees are willing to use.
3. Consistent updates
The people who create enterprise apps rarely use them and may not be aware of changes, large and small, that would vastly improve the app. As with any app, getting feedback from whoever is using it is crucial for making smart, fast iterations and learning about problems. For enterprise apps specifically, there are often no reviews or ratings that gauge the quality and usefulness of the app. In most cases, this means that whoever is in charge of the app never gets any kind of feedback and bugs can take an exceptionally long time to be reported to the right place.
As the app ecosystem changes, so must your app. It is a constant process and it changes faster than any software we have ever used before. Don’t look at an enterprise mobile application as a single project that is complete when it’s pushed out to an employee’s phone. No app is perfect the first time, second, or even third. Solicit feedback from employees and be sure to include a way for employees to leave feedback about the app from inside the app and you will learn how to make the app into a tool employees want to use.
Invest in mobile for your company.
Your company already invests in many places to improve happiness and efficiency of employees. New computers, phones, health benefits, 401ks, software, and more. As mobile tech progress, the mobile channel is demanding more attention. Workforces are becoming mobile, and more tasks are completed via a mobile device. Companies that can provide enterprise mobile apps that their employees want to use will reap the benefits including minimized security risks.
Whether we are talking about providing great customer service or increasing productivity, it is happy employees that do a better job. Being tied down to an under preforming application leaves all of us frustrated. Listen to your employees and build an app that doesn’t leave them unsatisfied.