A Helpful Guide to Enterprise Mobile App Development   by@irinakravchenko

A Helpful Guide to Enterprise Mobile App Development  

With the rapid growth of mobile users, each industry can benefit from enterprise mobile app development. The tailor-built applications can significantly improve customer experience, attract more consumers, and improve the entire business workflow. In this article, you will learn about the signs proving your organization needs a corporate mobile app. You will also read about the key development stages and challenges addressed both by clients and developers within this process. Ultimately, find below a list of many advantages you can get with a business mobile application.
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With the rapid growth of mobile users, each industry can benefit from enterprise mobile app development. The latter is a special service focused on delivering highly valuable software products for enterprises. The tailor-built applications can significantly improve customer experience, attract more consumers, and improve the entire business workflow.  

In this article, you will learn about the signs proving your organization needs a corporate mobile app. You will also read about the key development stages and challenges addressed both by clients and developers within this process.  

Top Reasons for Developing an Enterprise Mobile App 

So, let’s start with the use cases of mobile apps at enterprises. Whether your business is an SME or a large enterprise, you will eventually benefit from getting a unique app.

Firstly, providing your customers or internal users with a brand-new app means your company stands out from the crowd. You are different from dozens of firms providing the same set of digital capabilities to their clients. Secondly, you get solely those features that you use and that can help you hit your company’s goals. Ultimately, find below a list of many advantages you can get with a business mobile application.  

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  • Track work time and progress: Wherever your employees or teammates are, you can easily communicate with them, get timely reports, and share documents. Remote operations allow businesses to be more flexible as they don’t depend on being at physical office facilities. 
  • Go green: Keeping almost all data in a digital format means you don’t use much paper. It is a huge trend in protecting our planet. Besides, you don’t need to spend your time searching for the required document in the piles of paper. Everything is at your fingertips.
  • Manage data efficiently: Using typical digital formats for data management, you can structure information from disparate sources into a unified system. Besides, digital data quality is better as human errors are eliminated.  
  • Provide excellent customer support: Consumers are more loyal to those businesses that quickly respond to their requests and can be easily reached. Superb support facilitates lead generation and higher revenue. 
  • Control various operations: With an enterprise mobile app, you can monitor multiple internal and external operations, including payments, orders, supply chains, inventory, etc. You can do that from anywhere, anytime.  
  • Streamline HR processes: Every single HR process, from onboarding to employee training, can be performed with the help of a mobile ap. Send offers, organize webinars, provide certificate training or whatever you need to improve employee retention.  

Your reasons may differ from those we mentioned above. Anyway, you should tell your software vendor about the challenges you’d like to address with a brand-new app.  

Steps to Build an App 

Before starting any project, you should find out all subtleties of it, which means you should clearly understand how it works. Thus, we recommend getting familiar with the major steps of software development below.  

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1st step — Discovery 

A discovery phase, which is also frequently called a business analysis or research, is instrumental in identifying your goals and requirements. In terms of enterprise mobile app development, you should organize a few meetings with your potential development team to discuss all questions.

What should be discussed? First off, you must provide a clear vision of your future application. Why do you need it? What are the challenges you’d like to overcome with the future app? Once you are done with challenges, business analysts will be able to offer you the most efficient features, technologies, and tools to complete the project. 

Besides, a BA phase allows analysts to estimate the approximate duration of the project as well as some costs. As deliverables of this stage, you will get specifications, recommended stack and team composition.  

During this research, you and your stakeholders will be able to communicate with tech guys and experts in your specific niche if required. The discovery stage is often considered a separate IT project as it is quite complex but rather effective. With no discovery, there are chances of risks, errors, frequent change requests, and extra costs, respectively.  

2nd step — Design 

According to specification, designers and architects compose an app’s architecture, its wireframe, and prototype. Once you’ve got all these things, you will see how the application will look and function. At this stage, you will be able to give your feedback and propose changes if any.  

User experience and interface are very important aspects of an enterprise application. These are the things that make your enterprise differ from the others. So, you can ask for a corporate color scheme to be used and enrich your system with a certain identity. Testing user experience is also critical before the next stage. You must be sure that all necessary features are available for users, and that they will feel comfortable using your application.  

3rd step – Development  

Development, also known as coding or engineering, takes up the largest part of the project duration. This stage requires a lot of attention from software and test engineers. They create the app features according to the specification. Testers perform various tests like functional testing or usability testing. More complicated enterprise applications can require automated tests.  

During this phase, developers work on integrations, as well. If the application must become a part of a bigger system or IT infrastructure, it should be appropriately integrated and connected with existing software.  

4th step — Testing and QA 

The testing strategy is set up at the beginning of the project. To ensure the high quality of the future application, QA engineers define the test types to be done, tools, team, etc. Testing is done not only after the development but also throughout the entire project execution.  

User acceptance testing is also performed before the deployment. It is a kind of testing done by potential users. The latter can be clients' employees who will use the app in real-life. If needed, the vendor can gather a special group of people who will test the app without involving people from the client’s side.  

5th step – Deployment 

Once the app is built, it should be installed, configured, and enabled on a server. The software vendor is usually responsible for checking your infrastructure before the deployment. They will recommend fixing any issues you might have. 

6th step — Maintenance 

Any mobile app needs continuous improvements after the release. While you are using an enterprise app, you can see what can be enhanced, which features can be added, and what bugs must be fixed. So, you can stay in touch with your development or technical support team for any further projects. 

The Challenges of Enterprise Mobile App Development 

IT projects feature many challenges related to changes, costs, deadlines, staff, etc. Here are a few major problems you may face while developing an enterprise mobile app: 

  • Ever-changing requirements: Complex IT infrastructure, unclear business objectives, and the desire to follow unexpected technology trends can cause misunderstandings in project execution. As a result, you may ask a team for changes that could cause the so-called feature creep. Thus, to avoid unnecessary changes, a discovery phase should be conducted.  
  • Hiring professionals: Finding mobile developers that are experienced in developing applications for enterprises may be challenging. The matter is that experience in software development for a specific niche like banking or insurance is valuable. If a developer is skilled in a particular niche, he/she understands the enterprise’s business logic. Ultimately, it takes them less time to understand the requirements.  
  • Engaging project stakeholders: Creating an app with people in mind requires engaging all project stakeholders in the project execution. Involving employees from the enterprise’s side may be problematic as some people have no time for meetings, the others — just have no desire. So, you should take care of that in advance. Assign responsible people, free up some time for them, and discuss their vision of the project.  

Factors Affecting the Cost of Enterprise App Development 

The cost is probably one of the first things customers are interested in. At the same time, the software development cost is something that is hard to calculate accurately beforehand. So, let’s figure out what factors influence the estimation.  

  • Engagement model: The payment model doesn’t actually affect the final price but it impacts the frequency of your payments. To choose the right approach, consult with your technology partner.
  • Scope: The scope is the number of features to be developed. The more functionalities you need, the more time it will take to build those and the higher will be the cost.  
  • Team: The cost depends on the seniority level of your team members. For example, Junior software developers have lower hourly rates than Senior ones.  
  • Deadlines: If you want to get your product done in the shortest period, consider hiring more people with a higher seniority level and expertise.  
  • Vendor’s rates: Costs vary depending on the IT company's location and experience. The largest rates are in Western Europe and North America whereas lower rates can be found in Eastern Europe or Asia.  

On average, the cost of a primitive enterprise app is $30,000-$50,000 whereas more complicated systems may cost up to $500,000 and more.  

To summarize, for successful project implementation, you should know the essentials of software engineering, at least from its business-wise side. Firstly, think of your goals. Secondly, find a vendor and ask them about the process of development. Thirdly, compare the prices you get from different providers.  

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