Corporations seem to have an advantage when it comes to mobile app development. Firstly, they have the resources and workforce. Secondly, they have a selection of app developers trying to “breach” into the inner circle of trusted partners and have a field day with a corporate development budget. Thirdly, businesses are willing to fork out tremendous amounts of money to get what they want.
So, are there really any problems regarding mobile development for corporations? Are there any hidden issues or obstacles that businesses don’t always know how to tackle? Let’s find out how a company can botch the execution of their corporate mobile strategy and what can be done to prevent the lousy execution of a corporate mobile app project.
Some companies go overboard when it comes to implementing a unified corporate mobile strategy. We’re talking about the “valedictorian, quarterback, and school president all rolled into one” level of overachievement.
Many companies develop an impractical number of apps, and some even go as far as to have over a hundred apps within the corporate structure. In fact, quality over quantity should be the rule of thumb. That’s why companies with 1 or 2 business apps usually see the biggest ROI. However, many companies don’t see the reality of their predicament and simply pour their resources into the latest buzzword, like they’ve done in the past. Based on the experience of software developers, right now the word on everyone’s lips is “mobile-friendly.”
This rapid expansion of mobile initiatives contributes to the growing demand that will outpace availability in a 5:1 ratio pretty soon. And this, in turn, means growing costs and slower development cycles, as fewer developers will become available and willing to work for low compensations.
App Development Budget Is Limited
Yes, many businesses do have the necessary resources to create a usable corporate app, but the devil is in the detail. While corporate development spending grows, mobile app budgets don’t keep up with this growth, accounting for only 11% of the overall software budget.
This means that a variety of different businesses still can’t comprehend the value of a proper mobile environment for their employees and clients. This might pose a problem, especially as younger generations accustomed to the mobile ecosystem are becoming the most lucrative and sought after demographic, and are entering their mid 20s and early 30s. Companies will lose not only the clients who prioritize the mobile experience but also revenue opportunities by not being able to provide younger employees with an intuitive mobile interface for work.
Backend Is Being Ignored
Corporate apps are viewed as augmentations of the main product/CRM/website. It’s pretty straightforward, as corporations usually don’t have the mobile-first approach, which is reserved for companies that have sprung out of the mobile ecosystem (Tinder, Snapchat, etc.).
That’s why businesses just “slap” their app on top of their currently existing system without giving it a second thought. This greatly decreases the quality of the mobile implementation, as without an augmented backend it’s really hard to execute a great mobile project. This, in turn, means lower productivity and potential loss of revenue for the company.
So, if your company is considering a corporate app development project, a complete backend “makeover” might also be appropriate.
Deadlines and Money Are an Issue
Delays in app development are costly if you look at it from a business perspective. All of the accumulated time could have been used more effectively with the app, thus the time spent working without it is less effective and leads to unrealized ROI.
In this scenario, it’s pretty natural that companies turn to multi-platform solutions as a way of saving time and money. However, what they don’t realize is that the consequences of this decision can be disastrous. Take it from Mark Zuckerberg: “The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native.”
And, although this was more than 6 years ago, the point still stands. As a business, you can’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Unfortunately, there are too many factors that play a role in the final choice between cross-platform and native.
It’s important to strike the perfect balance between cost and quality. A good sign in favor of native apps is the fact that flexible solutions for native development, such as React Native, are popping up and growing.
While companies choose to invest in corporate mobile apps as a way of increasing efficiency and growing ROI, some of them don’t seem to have a very concise mobile development strategy and a proper budget for it. This results in various compatibility issues, loss of revenue, and performance inconsistencies. Fortunately, by understanding where corporate app development is going and what can be a potential bottleneck, it’s easy to navigate such a complex domain and create an actionable app development plan for your company. All you have to do is to focus on the app functionality and its robustness, making sure that the backend of your system is fully compatible with the application and that you are prepared to delay the app release to deliver a native experience to the users.
Jan Guardian is a Head of Digital Marketing at Itransition, a custom software development company headquartered in Denver, Colorado. He is responsible for developing and leading a digital marketing strategy. Jan is passionate about marketing and emerging technologies.