Tech

Enterprise app development: how to make a convenient app for employees

Companies are actively integrating digital technologies into their business processes, trying to maximize automation and reduce the time it takes employees to perform their tasks. 

A company’s success is always measured in numbers. Reducing costs and increasing revenues are the main tasks of any business. Behind these tasks are people. Corporate apps can increase the efficiency of employees, assess performance, and optimize tasks and business processes.

Corporate apps are needed to optimize the business. This is a basic task that is accomplished by implementing efficiency-enhancing tools. All it takes is a code scanner so that a company with a warehouse can automatically enter data and do it quickly. It’s enough to create a chat room for employees in departments to exchange information. And electronic documentation tools will allow many fields to be filled in automatically, allowing managers to speed up their work.

Enterprise app development allows you to create a tool that will become a full-fledged “employee” of the company. It does not get tired, does not need breaks or vacations, and works without interruptions. It is an assistant for all subdivisions of the company. And the introduction of additional tools increases efficiency, reduces costs, and motivates employees.

Most often, in the terms of reference for enterprise mobile app development there is a list of necessary functionality, wishes for design, and, as a rule, there is always a point where the customer asks for the app to be beautiful and convenient. 

But this is not enough. It is not enough for a solution to be tailored to specific business tasks — the terms of reference are not enough. There needs to be interaction between the customer and the app developer. Strange as it may sound, being an involved customer is half the battle.

The specifics of corporate apps

Corporate mobile apps can be used both internally and externally. Internally, it is designed specifically for employees. As a rule, this is a set of tools to optimize and simplify work. The external part is designed for clients. It is necessary for clients, visitors and partners to interact with the company.

The corporate app for clients can act as the catalog of the goods, services, the tool of communication with managers, and an information resource. But mainly the specifics of such apps for corporations and companies is to increase the efficiency of employees.

The app can be very beautiful and contain a huge number of functions. It can work in offline mode and track the location of the user — the possibilities of the solution are limited only by the imagination of the customer and the skill of the architect and developers. But despite all this, the app may not solve the tasks assigned to it, simply because the employees can’t understand it.

Benefits of enterprise app development for business

Enterprise app development brings tremendous benefits to businesses, such as:

  • interaction and easy communication between employees;
  • automation of work processes and acceleration of work due to template solutions;
  • detailed statistics, allowing to control the efficiency of employees and evaluate the profitability of the company;
  • automatic calculations, accounting integration, and complete financial control;
  • optimization of working time by setting tasks and distribution of responsibilities between employees, as well as by controlling achieving set goals;
  • solving more tasks in less time, thanks to automation tools, clear task distribution.

Corporate apps are a powerful tool that helps control, analyze, and optimize everything.

Enterprise app development: corporate app functionality

Different functions can be implemented in apps, all depending on the needs and scope of the company. Some of them are universal and are implemented, as a rule, in any app for companies. These include:

  • chat or internal social networking for communication between employees;
  • chat for interaction with customers;
  • tools for setting tasks and distributing them;
  • a personal employee account with an employee card;
  • analysis tools;
  • reporting tools;
  • template documents with the possibility of automatic or semi-automatic filling;
  • code scanner or product recognition tools;
  • Catalog of goods or services with the possibility to create an invoice;
  • Integration with third-party services.

Any tools a company needs for effective work can be implemented. Therefore, a detailed analysis is needed, the goals and objectives are determined, and an optimal set of tools is selected to make the corporate app as effective as possible.

Stages of enterprise app development

Corporate apps are created in stages. The stages are as follows:

  • Analytics. Idea discussion, task forming, concept development, and gathering all the necessary data. During the analysis, main tasks are formed.
  • Prototyping. A prototype is created, making it possible to understand what the app will ultimately look like. Elements are arranged, a set of functions are defined, and how they will be implemented.
  • Development and design. Programmers start writing code and creating elements of the app, while the designer draws all the parts. In the end, a full-fledged working app is gradually created.
  • Testing and launching. After the completion of enterprise app development, there are several stages of testing, checking the load on the app, the ability to protect the system from hacking, and damage.

Enterprise business apps: How to make mobility and security work together

Dedicated corporate apps are safer and often have everything for company tasks. More often than not, company employees use their personal mobile devices for both personal and work purposes. This model is called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). It’s easier and more convenient for employees and the company, but it requires additional technical means to protect data.

The architecture of enterprise mobile security platforms

There is such a concept as Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) — a set of technologies, processes and documents for managing company’s smartphones and tablets and making sure their safe use for work purposes.

EMM includes three areas in which functionality can overlap, during enterprise app development; they are used in various combinations to meet business needs:

  • Mobile Device Management (MDM) — security and management of access to information at the device level. 
  • Mobile Application Management (MAM) — security and data management system at the individual application level. 
  • Mobile Content Management (MCM, or Mobile Information Management, MIM) — sensitive data is stored, transferred and processed only by authorized apps, while information is encrypted. 

MDM (Mobile Device Management) methods

They allow making a mobile device as part of enterprise app development as a secure platform for using apps. A smartphone or a tablet is installed with special software for protection against threats. With MDM methods, the administrator controls mobile devices in the same way as working computers. These can include:

  • User authentication, including two-factor authentication, that is, with a password and an SMS message.
  • Password customization: you can define how many access attempts are allowed before the device is locked, password quality requirements, etc.
  • Remotely wipe the device of information.
  • Deny installation of certain apps or block-dangerous interfaces.
  • Transmit information over an encrypted communication channel and other options.

App Containerization

App containerization in the framework of enterprise app development provides isolation from the device environment. The technology allows to run the app and the necessary minimum of system libraries in a standardized container. A secure area is created on the mobile device, where sensitive information is placed. There, users work with those apps that the IT department has made available to work with company data.

App Packaging

App-packaging (or app wrapping) is the protection for mobile apps that is imposed by a security library. The security library defines how the app and its data should be used, stored, processed, and transferred. The user’s usual mechanism for handling the device is preserved.

Virtualizing Devices and Apps

There are two methods of virtualization: device virtualization and app virtualization. Virtualization of a mobile device is a management method where two virtual platforms are installed on the same device; they are equal and run in parallel. Information is processed centrally; the risk of losing it is lower. 

How much does an enterprise app development cost?

Corporate apps differ significantly in price from each other. The thing is that the price is influenced by many factors, including: the number of employees who will use the app (load); the number of technologies and tools to be implemented; integration with other services, security and data transfer features, and other factors.

Conclusion

A corporate app is not a polished interface that’s nice to show off to partners. It is a healthy and sustainable ecosystem that helps solve specific tasks. The design should be justified precisely from a business perspective — instead of spending a week figuring out the complicated logic of transitions from screen to screen, an employee can spend that time on solving a work task.

Huynh Nguyen

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