Business or enterprise software applications are a strategic investment for companies. From automated billing to CRM, to messaging, these proprietary software apps can result in significant performance-related efficiencies and productivity gains.
As these applications require a tremendous amount of both financial and human resources, it is critical that they are on par with companies’ expectations. Here is a 7-itemized checklist to ensure a business or enterprise app will maximize ROI in the long run.
1. Defining the Best IT Environment & App Connectivity Protocols
It all starts with the basics. Business software or enterprise software applications should align with an organization’s IT environment – whether on-premise, cloud-based or hybrid. Upon developing their proprietary software applications, IT managers should clearly define:
- Connectivity policies (adaptive, hybrid, low connectivity, WiFi exclusive, 3G, etc.);
- Power and battery management policies;
- Background processes.
In this process, IT decision-makers should also weigh in the possibility of integration if their native softwares rely on third-party applications.
2. Determining Server Exchange Protocols
Server exchange protocols are another key pillar of the business app optimization strategy. Best practice is to go for the commonly used REST structure, as it will allow for easier data flow using HTTP(S) protocols.
JSON encoding is another best practice that should be added to the mix upon developing a business or enterprise software app because it works well in heterogeneous environments, thus facilitates the design, development, and deployment of a full suite of native applications within organizations.
This dual setting goes a long way in ensuring business software apps are scalable overtime and adapted to the organization’s fleet of mobile devices.
3. Tightening Security Settings
In order to provide a stellar user experience within a secure environment overtime, IT managers should ensure that business software apps only store the data they gather or generate in their environment. In that regard, best practice is to use dedicated devices to contain risks of hacks.
4. Implementing Mobile Device Management Programs
Then comes the question of keeping the app environment secure and manageable within the organization itself. As most organizations lean on BYOD policies, this question becomes trickier: How can companies ensure their business apps will run smoothly on personal devices? The short answer is: security patch deployment. In reality, processes are far more complex because of the existing fragmentation within an organization’s fleet of devices (iOS, Android, etc.).
In that regard, MDM (mobile device management) solutions come in handy as they enable organizations to deploy security patches for their native apps, regardless of the type of device or OS version.
5. Thinking User First
Prior to deploying their business or enterprise software apps, companies should loop their users in the process. The best approach is to try, test, and iterate until users are completely familiar with these softwares. The area of iteration should encompass:
- User experience and related considerations that can help with enterprise mobility (NFC cards, larger screens, specific keyboards, etc.);
- Operating systems’ best practices for design (material design for Android for instance).
All the above will alleviate any frictions that can stem from user adoption.
6. Determining Data Management & Usage Policy
Data management and usage policy are two effective but often overlooked ways to optimize a business app. This step should answer the following questions:
- What kind of data (text, videos, images, rich-format) will be passed through the company’s OTA or on-premise servers?
- What type of connectivity should business-issued applications allow? Wi-Fi based, hybrid, adaptive?
Down the line, companies that clearly set data management rules upon developing their native software applications will have a better grasp and control of their mobile data consumption and their employees’ mobile plan needs.
7. Tracking Performance with Data
Last but not least, diagnostic tools can help maximize ROI once business software applications have been deployed. Diagnostic tools should be comprised of:
- Crash and bug trackers;
- Mobile device trackers spanning the terminal make, OS version, IMEI number that can speed up diagnosis whenever issues arise;
- B2B behavior tracking tools, such as Google Analytics. These can help identify and alleviate any usage frictions overtime.
Looking for Further Agile Solutions?
If your organization does not have the bandwidth to develop and test out proprietary software, there are agile mobile devices that can act just like a suite of native business apps with enterprise-level features:
- Embedded MDM;
FAMOCO’s ruggedized, transactional Android devices can contribute to creating efficiencies for your organization while constraining spending. Learn more here.