There's no doubt that BYOD and mobility initiatives have considerably changed the way corporate workers operate these days. In fact, according to recent Bluebox statistics, the typical employee now utilizes as many as 21 applications on a regular basis - seven times the amount their employers think they are using. As a result, developers are being tasked with more mobile app creation projects than ever. However, programs specifically geared for the office professional are a different breed of application, and thus require additional considerations in connection with a number of areas including functionality and security, among others.
On top of these development challenges are issues associated with employees actually utilizing the program dev/ops have created. If an enterprise app doesn't have the features or operability that staffers are looking for, chances are good that it won't be used. In order to avoid this, and other obstacles involved in enterprise app development, here are a few tips from industry experts:
Begin with specific goals in mind
When it comes to corporate application projects, developers must begin the process with a specific framework in mind. This means outlining the pinpointed purpose for the program ahead of time, as well as strategies to address user needs and overall business demands. Tech Page One contributor Jamie Swedberg advised hosting a brainstorming session that includes not only the development team, but IT employees and other stakeholders as well.
"Nail down your requirements before writing a single line of code," recommended Inc. contributor Jeff Haden.
Keep the actual users involved throughout
A project that doesn't involve those that will actually use the product can go off the rails quicker than many would think. Without the end-user perspective, developers may end up creating an app that doesn't suit their needs at all. For this reason, Haden also advised ensuring that the employees that will leverage the application are continually involved in the process, from the initial goals, to the first prototypes and beyond. This way, if at any point in development the team loses sight of the specific needs of users, they can be brought to the foreground once again.
Different users mean different devices
Growth Business noted that another main element to keep in mind with enterprise app development is the range of different devices staffers use as part of BYOD. Chances are good that not everyone in the company will use the same operating system across all of their handheld endpoints.
According to Areppim statistics, the mobile market as of March 2014 shows considerable fragmentation. Overall, Android accounts for just over 32 percent of the market, with iOS close behind at almost 24 percent. SymbianOS is also more popular than others, with almost 15 percent of the market.
Developers must keep this aspect in mind as they create program for corporate environments. However, as Haden pointed out, time is also a factor. Experts advise that dev/ops teams remain focused and complete an application within one to three months.
Leveraging HTML5 form can considerably help developers, not only to create a program that operates efficiently across different operating systems, but do so in a shorter time frame as well.