It’s a challenge to truly grasp how much business has changed even in the last 10 years — let alone the last two decades. Thanks to the digital age, you have more tools than ever before to boost revenues, extend your reach, and make customers sing your praises.
However, it would be a mistake to just view these tools as opportunities. If you want to keep ahead of your competition, they’re necessary assets. Drop the ball, and your competitors will happily pass you by. One example of where this can happen is in enterprise mobility development software, or software used to develop mobile enterprise applications for various mobile operating systems.
Look for the following four qualities in the platform you choose to get the best possible results.
Guest article by Mike Miranda, Rocket Software
The whole reason you’re looking for this type of platform in the first place is because you don’t have the background it takes to create an app completely from scratch. Chances are, you don’t want to go out and get a degree, either. You’ve also most likely done your homework and realized that paying someone to create an app for you just isn’t realistic (especially when you consider the ongoing cost of updates).
This is why you need to find an enterprise mobility platform that will be easy to use — one you can basically pick up and start creating with immediately. Obviously, there will always be a learning curve, but most of the software you currently take for granted began with a period of learning how to use it, right?
No matter how easy an enterprise mobility platform is to use, you’re going to run into problems at some point if it won’t play nicely with your company’s internal logic. Right now, your organization most likely relies on a few systems to keep operational everyday. Although you could make all kinds of apps with your program, chances are, you’ll want to create one that will actually function well with your company’s current setup.
This will make it easier for customers to make purchases (you don’t want to build a workaround that could potentially screw up your inventory) or for your employees to communicate with one another (if you can’t accommodate this, expect that they’ll go back to something more convenient — like email).
Even if you do have an app in mind that wouldn’t require this kind of integration, there’s a good chance you may change your mind down the line. At some point in the near future, it will probably make sense to connect your app to your company’s internal systems. At this point? You’ll be glad you picked software that made this possible.
No matter what kind of investment you’re making within the digital world, you need to make sure security is a part of it. Everyday, people get hacked or otherwise attacked by malicious parties. The damage they cause can range from mild embarrassment and frustration to serious financial losses.
You don’t want to be at risk for either. However, it needs to be said that using an enterprise mobility platform is going to increase your exposure. By creating an app, you’re automatically creating more digital real estate, which makes you a bigger target. While the benefits definitely outweigh the risks, that doesn’t mean you should be reckless. If you can’t insulate your app with proper security, you may as well not have one. That’s just how big the risk is.
To be fair, a lot of this risk has to do with how you create your app. You don’t want to put too much trust in the user, who will oftentimes be the one that lets in a virus. Still, if you want to take every measure possible to keep your company safe, be sure your app creation platform makes encryption possible. Every message that goes between your app and company has to be encrypted. If not, you may as well be writing them in the sky — hackers will have no problem seeing those communications. They can also hijack commands and manipulate one side or the other for their own purposes. Obviously, none of this is ideal.
Once you create your app, you may think that’s it. At the very least, the hard part has to be over, right?
But you need to go into creating your app with the understanding that it will be an ongoing process. This is not to say that you shouldn’t always try putting out your best possible finished product. But, by all means, put it through the ringer to give testers the best possible chance of finding somewhere where you went wrong.
Even with all of this, though, you’ll never have enough testers to create an absolutely perfect app. Not even Google can do this! Instead, choose app development software that will make it possible to update your software on the fly. That way, if someone does find a flaw in your app, you can address it quickly, and roll out an update to every device that has downloaded it.
What you want to avoid is a situation where someone finding a problem means you have to go back to the drawing board and get the app reinstalled on everyone’s device — all over again. This is inconvenient, frustrating, and a huge waste of time.
You also need sound management elements because of security. While we all know the many threats you face from hackers, it’s oftentimes those within your company that cause the most problems. And the attack may not come from an unwitting staff member, but rather that former employee with a grudge. As a cautionary measure, have a policy of deleting all access from employees the moment they depart your company.
Get working with enterprise mobility development software as soon as possible, so you can debut an app sometime in the near future within your organization — without a hitch.
For more information on topics from mobile to security and networking, check out the Aberdeen Group’s Information Technology research, available 100% free of charge to registered community members.
Mike Miranda writes about enterprise software, covering products offered by software companies including Rocket Software. His topics include Terminal Emulation, Legacy Modernization, Enterprise Search, Big Data, and Enterprise Mobility.