Apps and the Enterprise

Today there are thousands of app developers and counting. New app developers seem to pop out of the wood work every day. How can one app developer stand out when there are over 500,000+ consumer apps across various mobile platforms? The creators of today’s most prevalent smartphone operating systems (i.e. iOS and Android) has made app development so easy and straightforward that almost anyone with some programming knowledge can produce apps. To stand out among the sea of app developers we not only focus on cross-platform app development, but apps for the Enterprise.

Why does the Enterprise need apps; the same reason why companies need the web for intranets, online collaboration services, and data processing. Mobile apps can provide efficiencies across the enterprise and allow access to real-time information that previously required access to a computer or printed reports that become outdated the moment the ink touches paper. Every company and organization has specific business needs that if transformed into a mobile app can be accessible at anytime and any location. As the mobile app ecosystem comes out of its infancy and becomes a standard in the way we consume information, companies will tread towards making mobile work for them.

Finding the right developer to build an app for your enterprise requires some due diligence. The current mobile development community is filled with young mobile developers lacking the experience in large software development projects. Building scalable apps for the enterprise requires the following:

  • Project Management and Requirements Gathering
  • Information Architecture
  • Technical Architecture and Systems Design
  • Larger Software Development Teams
  • Integrating apps with existing systems (i.e. CRM, CMS, business intelligence, and data reporting)
  • Thorough documentation (i.e. Functional Requirements, Use Cases, Technical Specifications)

The number one fundamental problem with most app developers is the lack of backend systems knowledge and experience needed to build effective and efficient mobile apps. All businesses today have some form of electronic system that tracks company data such as Quickbooks, Salesforce, and custom database driven web ERP and CRM tools. A good app developer should be able to build a mobile solution that integrates with all of these systems and provide the information at your finger tips (literally).