Optimization of processes is one of the greatest objectives for every company. If you have well-organized and clearly understandable processes (they can include anything from a vacation request to onboarding), you will ensure the work is done quickly and efficiently. Plus, your employees will trust you more.
The bigger the company’s size, the more attention it should pay to how its processes are organized. The more transparent the workflow becomes, the more manageable it gets and less stress it brings. And enterprise mobile apps can contribute to it a lot. It’s a go-to option if you’re looking for a way to organize processes and follow their execution among a large group of people.
This article will tell you about enterprise mobile app development, its costs, benefits, and challenges.
Before we move on to enterprise app development itself, let’s take a closer look at the enterprise mobile apps market. Here are some interesting stats for you to pay attention to:
The global enterprise app market size is forecasted to reach $468.2 billion by 2027. (KBV research)
In 2020, the enterprise app market size was estimated to be $238.36 billion. (Allied Market Research)
The enterprise mobile apps market is projected to reach $527.40 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 8.2% from 2021 to 2030. (Allied Market Research)
Around 84% of companies say that their productivity increased when they integrated mobile apps into their business. (Motus)
By 2025, the total revenue of business-related mobile apps should reach $4.3 billion. (Statista)
Cloud enterprise apps are growing in popularity while the on-premise segment is slowly decreasing. (Allied Market Research)
Now that we know what to expect from the enterprise app market, let’s talk about enterprise mobile application development.
Enterprise app development is a process of creating and launching a mobile application that will serve a particular business goal in a company.
Since an app like this is going to be used mostly by your employees and will not be available to the general public, the development will have its own peculiarities. An enterprise app should provide the highest security level possible to protect personal and corporate data, especially if the company has an NDA. Also, its functions should efficiently solve all the pain points of the people who are going to work with it, like employees and clients.
You should also pay great attention to how you integrate an enterprise mobile app into your existing workflow. For example, you can start with a small test group, and if their feedback is positive, move on to the company level and scale enterprise mobile development.
In general, there are three enterprise mobile apps types. The main criterion for this list is the level at which it will be used. Let’s observe each of them.
These apps tend to be simple and have a small feature set that is just enough for internal usage only. For example, It can be an encrypted messenger for communication between team members or a project management tool for managers to stay updated on the progress.
It’s clear from the name that enterprise mobile app development of this type is managed to improve the performance of a particular department. It can be something like HR tools for Human Resources, CRM systems for Sales and Customer Support, automated billing systems for Finance, CMS for Marketing, or supply chain management for Logistics. Everything will depend on what processes you need to optimize.
Finally, we have mobile apps and services that are used by the whole company. They connect all departments into one private network where everyone has access to the necessary information. You can implement several user roles and access levels for custom organization. A great example of such an app is an enterprise resource planning system (ERP) where selected departments are connected and their performance data can be presented in comprehensive dashboards thus making the analytics and decision-making process simpler.
If your business is performing great with almost no issues, you may think that you don’t really need an enterprise mobile app. But if you want to keep up with current trends and have a competitive advantage in terms of speed of operations and the clarity of vision, you need to consider this option. An enterprise mobile apps can help your business in the following ways:
Since the main goal of enterprise mobile apps is to optimize processes, an increase in productivity is a natural result of integrating this type of a solution. It will help you automate routine tasks and decrease the number of steps required to complete them. The less time that is spent on monotonous tasks, the more time that is dedicated to what really matters.
Huge heavy folders with hundreds of sheets of paper are going obsolete. Most of the important data either already is, or soon will be, digitized. An enterprise app will help you make data management easy and get rid of tons of wasted paper.
A mobile app can significantly boost the work of the HR department. A new employee can watch the introduction, fill in the necessary forms, sign the documents, and train with the help of easy-to-use mobile apps.
Better customer support
You can allow your software to be installed by clients so they will receive high-quality customer support. Small and repetitive issues can be resolved by the mobile app itself, and more complex problems can be directed to staff members.
However, the benefits of mobile enterprise application development are only one part of the story. To make an informed decision about investing in such a project, you need to know the possible drawbacks and risks that you may face. Here are the most common of them:
Changing nature of business
It’s hard to name a business that never changes, so can be said about mobile apps. This variable should be taken into account when you embark on enterprise mobile app development. When new business needs appear, your team should be ready to change direction and focus on what matters for your company now.
A high level of security is a must for basically all mobile apps. Your digital product will be exposed to all kinds of threats, so you must ensure everything stays safe and secure. This point is especially relevant if you collect your employees’ personal data or work with projects under an NDA.
If your business is functioning for a while, you probably already built a certain infrastructure. Thus, you must make sure that your new app blends in well with what you already have. It will help your employees to not waste time moving from one solution to another. You can implement crucial third-party integrations to make the process easier.
You will definitely face this challenge if you want to promote your mobile app to other businesses. The enterprise mobile apps market is immense, so it’s very likely that a solution to your problem is already out there. In this case, you need to think of something unique and valuable to offer to potential users.
For your employees to have the best user experience possible, you’ll need to implement a certain set of features that will help them work better, faster, and more efficiently. However, there is no need to reinvent the wheel: These functions are already present in the most successful enterprise solutions.
We already mentioned that security must be your top priority. Ignoring it can result in data leaks and losing clients' and employees’ trust. One of the crucial security measures you should implement is proper authentication. Besides adding multiple ways to get into the app like password, PIN code, and Face ID, you need to think about two-factor authentication to make it even safer.
If you introduce any changes to the mobile app, whether it is a whole new feature or just a tiny button design update, it should be available immediately to everyone. Whatever device your employees have, the updates should be uploaded automatically and simultaneously.
Your enterprise application should provide quick access to the data employees need, especially if you work remotely or have offices in multiple cities or countries. It can be hard to perform with an on-premise database since not everyone can reach it. Cloud storage can save the day here. Round-the-clock availability and fast speed will improve the quality of work and actually save you money (because maintaining an on-premise database is expensive).
Speaking about data. It’s hard to say exactly how much data an enterprise can process in a day, even in an hour. When your team can share all the data with each other in real-time via mobile apps, the processes will go smoothly and without blockers. Also, your employees should be able to share any format of data like images, videos, slideshows, and others.
It’s another measure to speed up processes and keep everyone up to date. You can remind your employees about upcoming meetings and calls, changes in the schedule, and emergencies. Also, you can implement custom notifications into your mobile app so users can choose for which events and when they want to be notified.
Even though the Internet is available almost everywhere today, it’s possible to face conditions when you are not able to be online. That is why implementing an offline mode can be crucial. Your employees won’t fear Internet-less situations and will still be able to complete all their tasks.
Processing data in real-time is as important (or even more important) as its real-time input. The faster you get insights into the dynamic of your processes, the faster you can implement changes and earn a competitive advantage.
To save your employees from using bulky and tedious emails, you can implement instant messaging into your enterprise mobile app. It will help deformalize communication a bit, making it more trustworthy and, again, boost the processes’ speed.
To make a successful and functional enterprise mobile app, you need to follow a strategy. This is necessary if you want to stay on the same page with your team and have a clear vision for future results.
Whatever project you start, it always begins with proper research. Here, a CEO and their upper management team decide which major pain point they want to solve with this solution and which mobile app features will help them reach the goal.
Then, they ask future users directly what they think about such a solution. This can be done via a poll or a series of interviews. The feedback received should be taken into account while developing any mobile app, and especially enterprise applications.
Also, don’t forget about competitive analysis. Take a closer look at what our direct competitors already offer and find your own unique selling point (USP).
When all the previous steps are done, go to your software development team or hire a professional agency for assistance.
You and your development team will decide on the enterprise mobile app development cost at this stage. The team will provide you with a detailed estimate where they describe the hours needed to build each feature and how much money it will require. Please note that the initial estimates are not always 100 percent accurate and the final costs can change depending on circumstances.
The tech stack will completely depend on the approach and platform you and your team choose. Since we want to create an enterprise mobile app, you will need to decide between iOS and Android. For iOS, the programming languages will be Swift, and for Android—Kotlin.
If you don’t want to create two separate native apps, enterprise mobile app developers can opt for cross-platform development. It means both Android and iOS apps will have one common code base. In this case, your tech stack will include React Native and Flutter.
Here are some third-party integrations you will need to consider:
Chat: Twilio, PubNub
Payment gateway: Stripe, PayPal, Braintree
Database: MySQL, PostgreSQL
Cloud platform: AWS, Google Cloud
If you create a simple, employee-level mobile application, then a project manager, software engineer, UX/UI design, and QA engineer will be just fine. The more features you want to implement and the more sophisticated design you expect, the more team members you will need.
Even the simplest mobile apps in the world require an eye-pleasing and functional UX/UI design. It will enhance the user experience and help your employees navigate inside the application.
Prototyping is a good way to start building app design. A prototype is a rough implementation of your future solution that will show you its core functionality. This step is important since here, you can spot major mistakes and fix them without any additional costs.
In general, a mobile consists of three main parts: a frontend, backend, and an application programming interface (API). A frontend, or a client-side, is what your users see and what they interact with, A backend, or a server-side, is responsible for under-the-hood processes and can’t be accessed by users. These two parts are communicating with each other via APIs.
We recommend starting with a minimum viable product (MVP). It’s the very first version of the app that includes only core features. When you present it to your future users, they can take a look at what you want to create and offer their suggestions on how to make it better.
The next step in enterprise mobile application development is quality assurance. Your QA engineers will need to perform a bunch of manual and automated tests to make sure your solution works like clockwork. The tests include unit tests, user acceptance tests, security tests, and many more.
When your app is designed, developed, and tested, you can finally launch it! However, the work is not done yet: Now you have to closely monitor how your app performs and fix bugs that your employees and/or clients report to you.
We have already mentioned enterprise mobile app development cost, now let’s talk a little more about it. Your costs will be determined by a number of factors: the team’s hourly rate, their location, seniority level, the project’s scale, and expected deadlines. For example, here is what the hourly rate looks like in different regions:
In general, the price range for an enterprise mobile app will be around $100,000-$400,000. Feel free to contact us to get a detailed, tailored estimate of your project.
Building enterprise applications is not something you consider easy or meaningless. Mobile devices are becoming more and more popular and this process is not going to slow down any time soon. If you hop on the trend and create an enterprise mobile app for your business, you will have all the chances to drastically improve the quality of your work. But remember to gradually introduce the new solution to your team and measure the changes.
If you still have any questions about mobile enterprise app development or already have an idea that you want to implement, feel free to drop us a line. We will discuss your idea and provide you with an estimate.
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