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Understanding Custom Enterprise Mobile App Development

Sometimes, mobile apps not only don’t distract employees but manage to help them with their duties. They are called “enterprise apps”, or sometimes “business” or “corporate” apps.

Enterprise mobile app development - illustration by Hurca

The thing is, the more a company grows, the more challenging it becomes to solve problems connected with business processes and employee management. The majority of companies use software like Jira or Google Workspace but this article’s point is mobile applications that companies develop exclusively for their employees. Integrating a specialized mobile app in the internal workflow may be a solution to several problems at once, for a firm of any size. Today we’ll talk about enterprise mobile app development: its features, challenges, and what benefits it has for all stakeholders. 

What enterprise mobile apps are and how they are different

An enterprise mobile application is any app that makes the work within an organization smoother, more productive, and improves business processes when off-the-shelf solutions don’t deliver. Sometimes, you can also find in this list apps like IKEA Place that are customer-oriented. But for the purposes of this write-up, let’s cover more internal and employee-related examples of enterprise mobile development.

It follows that enterprise apps are built according to a company’s general strategy and usually focus on functions inherent to mobile devices. By their nature, enterprise mobile apps are often closed to the general public and can be accessed by employees only. What specifically they do depends on a company’s objectives and what problems its managers want to solve with its implementation. The main idea of enterprise apps is always optimizing the workflow like simplifying employee communication, speeding up the exchange of information, and creating shared access to the organization’s data. Plus, finance and accounting, human resources, production and manufacturing, sales and marketing, and more. 

Mobile app development for enterprises

Enterprise Mobile Application by Maria Borysova

So in reality, an enterprise mobile app development company can build you anything. From an application developed to keep the team members informed about the company’s life and help them with their professional education to a more complex solution for a logistics company, for example, with a goal to help workers in the field efficiently deal with problems no matter where they are.

Sometimes, mobile app development for enterprises duplicates the functionality of desktop applications used in a company. Other times such apps exist as separate entities with a different set of goals and features. Either way, introducing an enterprise app into a company’s workflow can be an important part of its strategy.

Enterprise apps also differ in terms of the number of people they serve. You can develop an app for the whole company, a single department, or even for a narrower audience.

Enterprise app development company

Contract Management Tool – 🌚 Mobile Darkmode by Stefan Quernhorst

Advantages of enterprise app development services for business

Creating great products is awesome but what happens behind the scenes is equally important for a company’s well-being and its ability to function like a well-oiled machine. Enterprise mobile apps streamline the business processes, provide new types of insights, and, as a consequence, boost the growth of the company’s profits whether directly or not. A survey by Harvard Business Review shows that 60% of the 427 organizations that participated credit their use of enterprise apps to transforming how they operate across the entire enterprise.
Depending on a company, the internal corporate app has the power to:

Improve the quality of communication between departments

Timely notification of employees about any news or changes is a necessity. An enterprise application helps simplify this process so that instead of sending important information by email, it can be published in the app — something that many people find more convenient. 

Strengthening the connection between different departments and individual team members plays a very important role that may seem intangible at first sight. The modern approach to making a business profit involves not only improving the immediate process of product creation but also humanizing the business. The use of corporate social portals, aimed at improving the quality of interaction between all employees, helps to address both of these issues. As a result, labor productivity is improved.

Help to get feedback from employees and clients

Due to the lack of proper communication between employees and their managers, there’s a possibility for the former to accumulate questions and problems that are later get put on the back-burner. An enterprise application can solve this problem. For example, you can create special chats for various complaints, questions, and discussions. Or regularly send polls to employees — for instance, to solve problems that need a majority opinion or ask their thoughts on working conditions.

Business app development

Enterprise Project Management APP by JiangYing

Help employees perform more tasks while spending less time and effort 

Modern corporate information and task management systems are not limited to desktops. An increasing number of companies are deploying the mobile segment in the corporate information system, reducing time and money for solving company problems.

Empower employees working outside the offices

We are speaking about mobile devices’ portability here. There are many companies that have field workers like delivery services, for example. And a field worker working remotely needs to be connected to the relevant office employee. An enterprise app gives such workers real-time insight into the processes they are a part of.

Give the ability to analyze the performance of individual employees and departments

Any enterprise app developed with a function to collect data about employee performance is a great help to HR professionals and a way to ensure a healthy working environment both for employees and their managers, timely preventing the workers’ burn-outs, dissatisfaction with their jobs, and helping managers to make sure employees meet the needed requirements and have enough opportunities for professional development.

To better understand the benefits of business apps, let’s take a couple of examples from our experience as a mobile app development company. Namely, enterprise apps for OMD UAE (called OMGene) and TBWA
Enterprise app development company OMGene case
Both companies came to us with the problem of having distributed agencies and a huge number of employees but failing to manage them to the desired level. So they decided to motivate them and improve corporate ethics and company spirit by having us design and create internal mobile applications. We integrated them with the corresponding HR departments to streamline interactions between employees, create a new communication channel and a more effective and rewarding working experience.
So an employee can:

  • Stay updated with company news and announcements.
  • Get informed about corporate events.
  • Participate in charity events and initiatives.
  • Evaluate the peers to improve colleagues’ experience and skills.
  • Professional development opportunities.
  • Be part of communities of interest.

So, it looks like enterprise app development companies can create for you a product that is in essence a miniature social network that contains practically the same functionality as an ordinary social network like Facebook. Unlike the usual social network apps though, you cannot find them in the app stores, and the content there is generated by the employees themselves.

What’s more, if in small companies a corporate social network simply speeds up work and unites the team, then large companies with branches in different cities and even countries such applications help to reduce internal costs and control of remote employees.

So the list of benefits that enterprise app development can give includes reduced operational cost, increased efficiency, a chance of getting the jump on market competitors, and greater control over the business.

The state of the enterprise app development market seems to confirm it. According to the research by ReportLinker, the global mobile enterprise application market is likely to grow at a CAGR of around 15.2% by 2028.

Enterprise app development podcasts

Employee podcasts app by Guga Meshvildishvili

Features of enterprise mobile apps

What features an enterprise app contains, depends on a particular company and its goals. For example, based on the examples above, a corporate app may feature:

  • Log-in.
  • Integration with other tools used in the company.
  • A reminder calendar integrated with employees’ mobile phones.
  • Push notifications.
  • Centrally moderated data infrastructure.
  • User profile.
  • Newsfeed.
  • Social network elements like likes and comments.
  • Peer review.
  • The ability to give and receive feedback.
  • Messages and communities.

Enterprise mobile app design

When designing a mobile app for internal use within a company, UI/UX designers generally follow the same procedures and rules and have the same main objectives as with an app of any other kind. However, there are some points that make the process of business app design different.

For example, in case a project involves creating a double of software used on desktop, it’s not enough to just make it look OK in the new environment. Trying to move a desktop app to mobile can be a disaster because the user interface, navigation, and flow of operations don’t translate.

Another problem is that often company managers want to pack enterprise apps with as many features and functionalities as possible, turning them into a sort of Swiss Army knives. There’s nothing wrong with this utensil in particular. The thing is that in the case of business apps, it’s more important than ever to make an app easy to use and understand and aim at the generally preferred simplicity and intuitiveness. 

Enterprise iPhone app development

Employee Onboarding App by Christina Chen

Enterprise mobile app development challenges

Enterprise apps are different from the usual apps. Some of their characteristics make the process of mobile app development more intricate, others, on the contrary, provide a helping hand. 

  • Failing to address the audience’s expectations 

End-users know best. Enterprise app development gives you an excellent opportunity to conduct productive research of the target audience (even the whole lot in some cases), to communicate with exact people who would actually use the app.

  • Not everybody wants to use it 

People get accustomed to certain tools while working and like with any other innovation, not every person is excited to learn something new. You have to motivate them. This problem is partially solved by gamification — a system of rewards for user activity inside the app like bonuses, or user ratings. There can be other modes of incentives, adopted in your particular organization. The idea is that you want to delight users, whether they’re internal or external, so good marketing is a must.

  • Heightened demand for security

Even companies like Atlassian suffer personal data leakage. It’s no secret that most companies use various external services for the operational interaction of their employees. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) seems to be a win-win situation both for employer and employees, but you have to remember that in this case, both personal and corporate data gets stored on people’s phones.

  • Administration and control

An enterprise app is going to improve the overall company’s workflow but it’s important to remember that someone has to manage it using the internal dashboard and spend their time doing it. An app needs constant attention and maintenance. As new tasks arise and challenges present themselves, enterprise mobile app development services are usually needed during the whole life-cycle of an application.

Corporate app development

Ztos- HR Management System B2B by Dibbendo Pranto 🚀

  • Third-party integrations

By the nature of enterprise apps, there’s the need for compatibility with other apps and devices so it’s important to think about API integration strategy in advance. 

  • The choice of platforms

You mainly have to choose between iOS, Android, or a web app technology but if you want to create an enterprise mobile app that would actually be used, you are probably going to need both platforms. Or make use of alternative web approaches like Progressive Web Apps

Things to consider before building an enterprise mobile application

In other words, if you want to know more about how to create an enterprise app and make it count, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s the idea of the app and what business problems it’s going to solve? What do stakeholders (whoever they are) need?
  • What features an app is going to have and is there an option to limit this list so that an app remains functional, easy to use, and not too resource-demanding?
  • How to make sure the end-users would actually use the app? What needs to be done to promote its usage? How can you make them excited?
  • What are the special features of the software that you already use?
  • How can you ensure that the experience is going to be secure for everyone?

If you can make something better, go for it

Enterprise apps let you bring the relationship with your staff to a new level, while employees got the opportunity to work more efficiently and be constantly aware of the processes taking place in the company. All parties enjoy it: the employees’ productivity, loyalty to the company, and motivation increase, and at the same time, it becomes easier for the management to follow the work process and guide the team.

For that, you need an app that would be able to withstand the future and scale. It’s not enough to implement a new application. You need to carefully think over its functionality, plan for future opportunities and create a supporting infrastructure. The solution to these issues is best passed on to an experienced mobile app development company.

Thinking about a business application for your establishment? We can provide custom enterprise app development services tailored to your business to perfectly fit your goals and working procedure and calculate the price free of charge. Contact us.

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Written by Kate Shokurova

April 04, 2021

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