Introduction to Enterprise Mobile App Development

Large companies have the challenge to manage and optimize all of their internal and external processes while at the same time reducing operational expenses. Today we would like to focus on the advantages of mobile app development for modern enterprises, this can be especially important if your company is on the path of Legacy Systems Modernization — a custom mobile app can be the technological solution you are looking for.

What is an Enterprise Mobile Application?

This is a sophisticated software system that’s created to help with the particular needs of the organization. This app must be built according to a company’s global strategy and make certain functions available on mobile devices. Enterprise mobile app development process aimed to develop user-friendly software that uses multiple types of complex data and complies with the latest security standards.

According to Fliplet, 66% of organizations are expected to increase their investments into enterprise application development services in the next three years. The enterprise mobile solutions market is expected to reach $430 billion in revenue by 2021.

What Enteprise Feel About The Need of Enterprise Mobile Apps

The Types of Mobile Enterprise Applications

There are essentially three main types of enterprise mobile applications.

For exclusively internal usage, there are employee-level apps: they are quite simple because of the small list of features required. For example, it could be a messaging tool to improve the communication process between a team leader and developers, to get quick updates about the smallest aspects of a project.

Department-level apps can boost the productivity of particular departments. For example, with the advanced Human Resource management app, you will not only improve the efficiency of HR but also will able to solve employees’ issues faster.

Company-level apps make every department work together as they engage the entire organization in a private network. Employees can contact the CEO or download documents, making a lot of steps in the workflow disappear.

Top 7 Reasons to Have an Enterprise Mobile Application

Your organization is doing great without a custom mobile app, so why you should start now? Here are some reasons to partner with an enterprise development company and create custom software for your organization.

Transaction control and additional payment features

This one is especially valuable for retailers and other enterprises involved with E-Commerce Payment Systems. Having a mobile app focused on transactions can help you improve money management, become fully aware of payment deadlines, and set notifications on the parameters you need to know.

Improved data management

A mobile app can help you improve operations related to data processing, analysis, verification, or adjustment. In the big picture, it can make a huge difference in the overall efficiency of the business.

Eliminating paperwork and the human factor

The above-mentioned benefits lead to reducing the amount of paperwork and automating some tasks to let the experts focus on strategic goals and more sophisticated challenges.

Mobile monitoring of employee statuses

A company that provides enterprise mobile app development services can help you build software that essentially moves the office away from office buildings. You can have the ability to monitor the progress of your employees, while your employees can report on their progress via a mobile app.

Employee onboarding and certification automation

For big corporations, apps can do wonders in terms of simplifying the onboarding process. In the big picture, automating just a few simple steps can save a lot of time and effort for the HR experts. Having an app that handles the information about the certification of employees can also optimize the work for the HR department.

Better supply chain control

Another way to enhance enterprise optimization is to leverage an app for supply chain purposes. An app can definitely improve the planning, delivery, and management of transportation in your organization. With better control and monitoring here, you will find an additional way to save money.

The best client support

As modern banks can prove, apps can be the ultimate solution for the best client support possible. The apps can easily take over 24/7 support of basic client inquiries, letting human experts take over complex tasks. If you add innovations like Fraud Detection with Machine Learning, apps will not only solve the occurring problems but also prevent some security issues.

Why Companies Are Using Enterprise Mobile Apps?

Things to Consider When Choosing an Enterprise Mobile App Development Platform

According to Wikipedia, a mobile enterprise application platform or MEAP is a suite of products and services that enable the development of mobile apps. Choosing an enterprise mobile application platform is a great place to start the creation of software that is perfectly suited for your business needs. Here are some tips and suggestions of what to look for when choosing a platform.

Intuitive development

MEAP should put you in charge of the development process as quickly as possible. Of course, you will require some time and technical expertise to get a clue as to what is going on — but it shouldn’t be too hard. The best thing to do here is to define your goals and find a solution that will help you achieve those goals quickly. Having some proven use cases in your industry will also be a plus.

Real-time updates

One feature that is definitely a must is the ability for the solution to provide you status updates on the development process. You don’t need any unwanted surprises and you don’t want to waste your time and money without knowing in what direction the development is going.

Easy integration

Your enterprise probably already has a computer system that is vital for your day-to-day activities. Your new mobile app must fit your organization’s infrastructure easily without causing major disruption. It is crucial to have a flexible API that will enable simple mobile app integration with your current business processes.

Mobile Enterprise Security

This is a priority for any business in the current times, especially considering the fact that a mobile app can make your internal information vulnerable. The software vendors you choose must adhere to the latest security standards, and it’s hard to emphasize this enough. Any form of communication in your app must be encrypted.

App management

This is another point you should keep in mind from the very beginning. You must understand the complete scope of available options to manage your app. It is important to track the performance of an app as well as have the ability to quickly adjust access for users. Performance tracking can always give you a quick idea of areas that should be improved in the future.

There is no such thing as the single best mobile application development tool; however, there are some tools you will definitely hear about during the development process.

SAPThis is a tool for platforms that allows the building of an app from a single HTML5 codebase.
KonyAllows the creation of JavaScript tools for all platforms. It supports a number of features including customer reporting, pre-built apps, and API management.
XamarinA tool that allows the building of apps on C#. It includes an interface development tool as well as the ability to share code and add components directly from the interface.
AlphaHas a development and deployment environment that helps save the time that would be spent on regular coding.
SenchaA powerful and diverse high-end HTML5 framework that enables the creation of apps with a native feel.

A Custom Enterprise Mobile App Development Process

At first glance, the process of the creation of a mobile application might seem complex — but with the right strategy and a proven enterprise app development company as a partner, the results of a custom approach can exceed the loftiest expectations and provide the software solution your business needs to blossom. Let’s break it down into simple steps.

  • Determining business objectives

It’s good to start with a problem this software needs to solve. You need to get a clear understanding of the purpose of this solution. Whether it is an employee-level messenger or a large-scale supply chain management app, – understanding the main features is required to move forward.

  • Calculating budget

We will talk about this later in the article in detail, but at the very least you need to find a few enterprise app development companies with proven expertise in your field and ask for some estimates to make your decision.

  • Creating technical specifications

The company that provides software development services must offer you a detailed technical specification with the inclusion of the tech stack, platforms, wireframes, and roadmap as well as other technical requirements.

  • Considering platforms

In this case, you need to pick at least two platforms: Android and IOS. You may also require a separate team for each platform.

  • Wireframe design

The wireframe is basically a prototype of your future app. You need to have one to make sure you are moving in the right direction and to avoid wasting your time and money.

  • UI/UX design

When you have the wireframe, it’s time to move on to UI/UX design. This is a very important step — the success of the app in your working environment heavily depends on what it looks and feels like. It’s hard enough for people to accept new things, so make it easy for them!

  • Product development

This is the most interesting and challenging part of the process, and where the business app development company you have partnered with really shows its worth. It’s hard to even start to list all the small aspects and nuances of this stage; however, we will share our own product development expertise from SPD Group later in this article.

  • Testing

While most testing happens during the development process, when the product is ready it’s time for the Quality Assurance team to take over. Keep in mind that if you can include your employees in the testing process somehow, this will be the perfect scenario — end-users know what they need from the app!

  • Maintenance and support

When the app is released, that doesn’t mean it’s over — you need to make it perfect! Get as much feedback as you can to properly fix any bugs that might occur. Also, be sure to provide timely updates.

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How Much Does it Cost to Build an Enterprise Mobile Application?

So, you are ready to build your app but you still need to decide upon the prices and the development team? The following information will help you with that!

Price range

While articles on Clutch mention that the average market price for the custom app is below $200,000, the reality is that the price is usually much higher. A custom app with multiple functions for your business can cost up to $350,000, according to online app cost calculators. Enterprise app development costs can be as high as $500,000 for a high-end enterprise application. Fortunately, you don’t need to have that amount of money to get into this — as a simple app for your business with some basic features could be built for $20,000-$30,000. The price is heavily dependent on your needs, but keep in mind that the price also affects the functionality of your app. If you thoroughly research what you actually need from an app before hiring a development team, you can save tons of money and prevent yourself from ending up with high-priced functions that you don’t require at all.

Hourly rates in different regions

If you need an app, you don’t have to start a brand-new in-house IT department — there are plenty of top-level enterprise mobile application development companies available. Outsourcing and outstaffing are the best ways to do this job. True expertise costs money, but prices are very different across the globe:

  • The United States of America and Canada area can offer developers from $20 to $250 per hour. Is North America the place with the best developers on the planet? That could be disputed, but what is undisputed is the high price!
  • The United Kingdom and Australia share quite similar average market rates from $35 to $175 per hour.
  • The top price in South America is lower and peaks at $120 per hour, with a $25 starting point.
  • Eastern Europe has a strong reputation in this field and has plenty of enterprise software development companies that can help you for approximately $20 to $110 per hour.
  • If you are hunting for the lowest prices, India and Indonesia are the places to look at. The services of a solid developer could cost $30 per hour.

Do prices determine quality? Of course not! You should still consider the resume and use cases of the particular enterprise software development company to make the right decision.

What team do you need?

You need at least four experts: a project manager, a software developer, an UI/UX designer, and a Quality Assurance (QA) engineer. You may think that hiring fewer people will save money, but in the big picture it can slow down the path to the final product — and that can cost way more.

Factors that can influence the final cost

The first factor is the size, location, and expertise of your development team. The second one is the choice between a cross-platform and a native app. The final one is the type and functionality of an app. You must also consider the support phase because fixing bugs and maintaining an app can add to the final price.

Mobile Enterprise Security: Ways to Secure Your App

We cannot stress the importance of this enough. Here are some tips about mobile enterprise security for apps.

Consider security aspects in advance

A security checklist must be created in the planning stage of app development. You must do everything possible to foresee any potential security threats during development or after launch.

Scrutinize development framework

Explore the latest software and platforms, because legacy software can be a vulnerable place for potential hacker attacks. If you really care about data protection, and you undoubtedly do, do everything you can to avoid using legacy systems.

Adhere to encryption methods and standards

For example, it is an essential move to create a gateway for a preliminary security audit. This will make it way harder to break into the system of your organization and steal enterprise information.

Strong user authentication

This is a basic but vital security component of mobile enterprise application development. Two-factor authentication and multi-factor authentication are the musts here if you want to leverage technologies such as OpenID Connect protocol and OAuth 2.0 authorization framework.

“In my opinion, the future of mobile is the future of everything.”
– Matt Galligan, Co-founder of Circa

Our Expertise in Enterprise Mobile Development

For over a decade, SPD Group had been a development partner for a company that became a leading financial data provider in the global venture capital, private equity, and public markets. Here are some technical highlights of this project to give you an idea of how the mobile app evolved and benefited the company.

Six years ago it was decided to build an enterprise mobile application for the clients of this financial platform. The first move was to create a cross-platform app for both iOS and Android. In the beginning, we had only one expert working on this mobile project using JavaScript and Sencha. However, Sencha was limited in terms of its ability to customize an app for a particular operating system. iOS, for example, has unique features like Force Touch.

The application quickly became popular among C-Level clients of the platform, as they found it very convenient to learn information about companies using mobile devices. Due to this early success, it was decided to form two teams that would natively develop two versions of the app for iOS and Android. The extended team consisted of two iOS developers, one Android developer, and three Back-End developers. The iOS version was developed on Swift and our team used Java 7 for Android development.

Both versions of the app have obstructed code to prevent reverse engineering. Also, speaking of security, internal databases are encrypted. At some point, our team moved the app from monolith to microservice architecture with seamless deployment.

Currently, the app is being actively supported, with new features developed and added. One of the most popular features is the connection of the app to a calendar and sending push notifications to the user on the details of a particular meeting. Speaking of push notifications, our team managed to introduce smart and personalized notifications to the app that provide users with financial updates they might be interested in.

There is a constant challenge with users who don’t update their versions of an app, so our team puts in additional effort to support old versions for two to three years. The product team continuously gets feedback from thousands of users, so our development team can make the app better by introducing the most desired features as quickly as possible.

Businesses that Have Already Benefited from Enterprise Mobile Applications

Mobile enterprise application development has already impacted the biggest companies on the planet. This is a quick overview of some enterprise application examples that impacted their respective industries.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s has been an active user of custom mobile apps for years, but they don’t use only their app. They made a prominent case when they partnered with Instagram for the “Share Your Biggest Instagram Moments” campaign, where users could share their favorite food and it was used in ads. User-generated content is much more effective; McDonald’s once again proved that!

Volkswagen

This company introduced the SmileDrive app for cars of any brand, which is another great enterprise application example. SmileDrive allows the sharing of travel details, including distance, time, statuses, weather conditions, and photos. It is not only very useful and convenient for any driver but also shows potential customers that Volkswagen cares about them.

Ikea

Augmented Reality Home Planner is a great app by Ikea. It was downloaded millions of times for a good reason — the app allows users to virtually “put” furniture into a picture of the customer’s room. This app became a success with a lot of updates and plenty of happy customers.

Starbucks

This company began with the myStarbucks app that allowed customers to locate coffee shops, learn about products, and suggest their drinks. Later, they added a customer loyalty program that allowed paying in-store via smartphones — which was great for 2012. As early as 2014, Starbucks had already made $146 million of mobile apps.

Nivea

Nivea introduced a great idea — putting bracelets into a magazine that would work with the app to keep track of kids. The Nivea Sun Kids project helped parents to know where their children are in public places; also, it brought sales increases and awards for Nivea!

Enterprise Mobile App Development Trends For 2021

2021 will be a very special year for mobile app developers. The world already gained some experience in adjusting to the new “normal”, so the development teams will be more productive and organized. The switch to remote work is no longer an overnight necessity but a predictable condition. That’s why the market of mobile apps will not only survive but thrive during these challenging times. This is a chart of forecasted revenues for the next two years by Statista:

Mobile App Revenue

It is safe to say that we should expect similar tendencies in a revenue increase for enterprise apps too, as the market will only grow larger. Among the technologies that will be on the rise, you should definitely keep an eye on:

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

The proven trend for multiple industries in 2020, AI/ML is able to provide powerful and predictive, and analytical capabilities in the application that helps to deliver a more personalized user experience. For the companies that use chatbots, for example, Artificial Intelligence can offer 24/7 real-time communication with customers. Based on the analysis of customer data, Machine Learning algorithms can offer a fitting solution fast. Additionally, in combination with face and voice recognition, AI can become an important part of the security aspect by checking the identity of the customer in a process. The global AI market is expected to reach $30.61 billion in the next three years, which is one of the reasons why this technology will be so influential in enterprise mobile app development.

Moving to the Cloud

There is a major challenge for any mobile app developer, and it lies in creating a fully functional software solution that will take as little power of the device as possible. When the user downloads an app it takes up space, but a cloud-based approach can solve this. In 2021, cloud applications are considered to be reliable and cost-effective. Leveraging the cloud is one of the best ways to go for building cross-platform apps. ReportLinker forecasts that in the next two years the cloud computing market will exceed the $600 billion mark.

Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)

Another great technology for cross-platform apps is Blockchain. It showed a lot of potential in recent years and the trend will continue in the future. Enterprises should pay close attention to Blockchain if they want to improve security and transparency by creating distributed databases. The whole concept of Blockchain is to store data in separate blocks that are linked together by secure cryptographic methods. No changes could be applied to the database without being detected by the system.

Why is it so suited for cross-platform apps? Because Blockchain offers a high level of trust, and it doesn’t have one main hub for data, but multiple sources. It allows building decentralized apps that work on the basis of smart contracts. This principle allows developers to build apps much faster by applying ready-made properties to the project, and not recreating the app structure. The Blockchain transaction volume in 2020 increased by over 80% compared to 2019, so this trend will likely be an important one in 2021.

Beacons

While Beacon technology is not an innovation by any stretch of the imagination, it still has a lot to offer in 2021. In the next five or six years, the global market for Beacon technology is expected to hit $60 billion, and there is a good reason for that. Enterprises can leverage the mobile apps and Beacon technology to improve communication with the customers. This is a great way to obtain more knowledge on user behavior and draw conclusions on providing a more personalized user experience. Beacons are very popular among businesses in the Retail industry. Retailers use them to enable apps to welcome the visitors while entering outlets and guide them through the shop, increasing customer engagement as a result. The combination of Beacon technology and mobile app is a proven way to increase sales for businesses.

IoT-powered apps

With so many smart devices across modern organizations, it is quite clear that mobile applications allowing to control a network of interconnected devices are a must. That’s why IoT-powered apps can be considered a trend going forward in 2021. According to Statista, the Internet of Things market will hit 1.6 trillion during the next four years.

5G

Wider adoption of 5G should also be considered an important factor in the world of enterprise mobile app development. We have already witnessed the inception of this technology and its capabilities, but when it becomes a global standard the mobile apps will be more powerful than ever. Just as the speed of the Internet and the traffic volume will increase, the developers will have an opportunity to realize the ideas that couldn’t be possible previously in the mobile app. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Cloud computing, and the Internet of Things projects will be elevated to an entirely new level with the capabilities of 5G.

Talking about the direction the enterprise mobile app development will take, we can highlight the following trends:

Software personalizationTailor-made experiences are already a standard in external applications. Be prepared to face the fact that your employees are also expecting personalized experiences that your enterprise software must deliver.
Apps that are easy to use
Spending too much time teaching your employees how to use corporate software is a thing of the past. Your CTO and Office Manager might use the same application, it must be easy for both of them to understand.
On-demand appsCovid-19 limitation elevated this trend to the top. Some businesses couldn’t survive without the ability to deliver goods directly to customers and accepting remote payments. Building an on-demand app is a great solution for crisis management.
Using smartphones to the maxToday we have a trend for organizations to use the maximum capabilities of smartphones. That is why modern apps must be able to provide effective data collection from smartphones, optimize the battery life and ensure confidentiality.
Corporate data protectionThe modern enterprise mobile app must provide a unified level of security for all devices and ensure that the personal data of employees and corporate information remains safe. The new threats are continuing to appear, and security is as important as ever.

Summary

What is mobile app development for enterprise?

This is the process of building a custom mobile app for large-scale businesses and organizations.

What are the types and examples of enterprise software?

There are three types of enterprise software — employee-level, department-level, and company-level apps. An employee-level app, for example, could be a quite simple planning and messaging tool for a specific project. Onboarding software for HR could be considered a department-level app, while an app your customers can download could be called the company-level.

What can an enterprise app do for my business?

It can optimize internal processes, eliminate paperwork and the human factor, improve engagement with your clients, add to brand image, and ultimately increase revenue.

How can I improve security for an enterprise mobile app?

You should plan all security measures before the start of the development process, adhere to the latest security standards, use strong user authentication, and avoid legacy software as much as possible.

How much does it cost to build an enterprise mobile app?

According to the average pricing provided by enterprise mobile application development companies, the price range is $200,000-$500,000.

What are the trends for enterprise mobile app development?

In 2021 the rise of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Cloud computing, Beacons, The Internet of Things, and 5G is expected to change mobile app development for enterprises. Organizations are expecting apps to be more personalized, easier to use, secure, and leverage the full potential of smartphones.

Conclusion

The right app at the right time can change your business dramatically. As mobile devices get even more popular, it makes sense to pay close attention to enterprise mobile app development trends. You can’t miss an opportunity to leverage mobile functionality in your organization, so we suggest you partner up with experienced software developers to optimize your processes to the max with an advanced mobile app!

Further Reading

  1. 5 Steps to Creating an Enterprise Mobile Application Development Strategy – https://www.snappii.com/docs/5_steps.pdf
  2. Enterprise mobile application development – https://woxapp.com/industries/manufactures-apps-development/
  3. What Makes an Enterprise Mobile App Great – http://www.microstrategy.cn/getmedia/b815c884-c6fd-4c5a-9478-cc771ab9e98f/What-Makes-an-Enterprise-Mobile-App-Great.pdf
  4. Smart Tips for Enterprise Mobile App Development – https://www.wired.com/insights/2013/07/smart-tips-for-enterprise-mobile-app-development/
  5. ENTERPRISE APPROACH TO MOBILE APPLICATIONS DEVELOPMENT – https://www.infopulse.com/blog/enterprise-approach-to-mobile-applications-development-part-1-studying-requirements/
  6. 7 Businesses that Have Notched up Their Success with Mobile Apps – https://perfectial.com/blog/businesses-that-made-success-with-mobile-apps/

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