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4 Common Reasons Enterprise Mobile Apps Fail And How to Avoid It

Even with the best intentions and ideas, mobile apps can still fail

16May

Your organization has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and several months developing a mobile app using traditional development solutions that promise to improve efficiency, among other benefits. While prospective users seemed eager to use the mobile app while it was under development and when it first deployed, they have slowly begun to abandon it, returning to their existing desktop processes or using their own non-IT sanctioned platforms. In fact, 78% of employees will abandon an app after only one use because it did not give them the data they need or it did not operate smoothly.

With this and other enterprise apps not living up to employee expectations, your IT department is left at a loss for what went wrong and how to improve the problem after such a lofty investment in time and resources. Here are four common reasons why your enterprise mobile app may not have been successful and how your organization can avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.

IT Didn't Deliver the App Quickly Enough

According to Gartner, by the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations' capacity to deliver them. It has also been forecasted that mobile phone sales will reach 2.1 billion units by 2019, which will further fuel demand for enterprise apps to meet the high performance and usability of consumer apps. With employees using an average of three mobile devices in their daily routine, there is increasing pressure for IT to deliver business apps quickly. But with a limited budget, time and development resources, IT can take several months to deliver just one enterprise app. Unfortunately, by the time the app deploys, employees have often moved on to using their own solutions.

To mitigate the slow app development processes, organizations can turn to rapid mobile app development (RMAD) platforms to deploy business apps. These modern low-code solutions are designed to give IT and business analysts the ability to collaborate on developing apps quickly and simply while connecting to existing legacy ERP and CRM systems. With visual design studios that eliminate the need for advanced coding skills, non-technical users can create fully-functional apps in a timeframe that is conducive to meeting employee demands.

The App's User Experience Was Poor

According to a new report, only 12% of office employees use enterprise mobile apps, and when they do, they are dissatisfied with their experience. No matter the projected benefits, if apps are proving too difficult or frustrating to utilize and navigate, or they just don't work well, then employees will not use them long-term.

While testing an app before deploying it may seem obvious, it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should. In fact, nearly half of all defects are found by users, not development or QA teams. By properly testing apps before they are released, the IT team can ensure that there are no major issues that will impact the user experience. If the app launches and buttons do not work or the app crashes frequently, then users will abandon it and be extremely hesitant to give it a second chance.

The App Did Not Address Critical Business Needs

After months of developing a business app(s) with a traditional virtualization or MBaaS solution, your IT department and management team quickly learns that the app doesn’t meet user needs, nor does it make their job more efficient. This disconnect occurs primarily due to a common misconception by organizations that they must modernize their most extensive and complex problem first, even if the problem isn't the most critical to their business or employee needs.

Instead of starting with an app that is rarely used, it is important for your organization to first mobilize processes that are critical to your employees and critical to business excellence. To determine what those apps are, it is wise to include users from each department in the development process and take their daily challenges into consideration. By doing so, your team can develop and deploy apps that alleviate complex challenges and problems, while giving employees unprecedented access to the data and information required for maximum productivity and efficiency.

Your Organization Does Not Have Access to App Analytics

Without analytics into overall app usage, understanding where users are having difficulties and determining why the app isn’t performing sufficiently is all but impossible. App analytics, however, provide the real-time data needed to improve current processes and gather business intelligence.

Thankfully, according to Gartner, more than 50 percent of all enterprise mobile apps will use analytics tools by 2022. In doing so, organizations will finally have access to real-time and historical insights into app adoption, usage, and performance. This diversity of information can give organizations both the proactive and reactive intelligence needed to keep users engaged long-term. It also provides important information that can be used to ensure that future apps deliver the ultimate value from day one.

The proliferation of enterprise mobile apps is in its infancy. By investing in RMAD platforms that modernize existing applications, prioritizing user experience, building apps that address critical business needs first and measuring app analytics, organizations can be confident that users will respond favorably to the important mobilization initiatives meant to make their jobs easier. 

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