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With more focus on enterprise apps, companies need a solid approach to ensure that their apps deliver user experiences that encourage employee adoption.
Since the iPhone burst onto the scene in 2007, companies have spent a lot of time, money and attention developing apps that enable them to engage and connect with their customers. However, increasingly, organizations are beginning to uncover the potential for apps to improve employee efficiency and productivity as well.
For instance, one company Accenture works with supports more than 300 such “enterprise apps.” While that’s exceptionally high, it does illustrate the technology’s potential and the growing attention enterprise apps are commanding from companies around the world.
A company’s initial foray into enterprise apps typically begins by focusing on simple apps that target a very specific function or transaction—such as employee lookup, time and expenses, reports or approving an employee’s request. They then move on to more complex apps that need to access some kind of enterprise data remotely to function properly, such as creating sales orders.
More experienced companies are developing apps that actually transform key business processes.
A great example is field service. Traditionally, field service technicians arrive at the office in the morning, collect their service assignments for the day and head out to their scheduled calls. Now, a mobile app mounted in service vans allows technicians to bypass the morning stop at the office and go directly to their first customer’s site, with all of the necessary information they need in the mobile app.
The app also enables dispatchers to coordinate field technicians more effectively by sending out assignments in real time based on technician availability and proximity or urgency of customer requests.
A structure that addresses six crucial elements can help companies build and maintain a more cost-effective, rationalized portfolio of apps that helps achieve established internal branding and quality standards, address employees’ expectations for user experience and provides the functionality that can make employees more efficient and productive.
The six elements are:
Governance—Establishes the guidelines, standards, policies and procedures for an application from its inception to its retirement.
Development and testing—Establishes the tools and approaches to build an app.
Security—Protects specific apps and data, rather than the entire device.
Enterprise app catalog—Enables employees to locate and download apps, as well as ongoing updates, to help them do their jobs.
User support—Communications that describe the app, explain the app’s value to employees and provide a link to the app in the enterprise app catalog.
December 20, 2013
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