Moving into the mobile industry can be kind of intense. Here at mobileforming, we come from various backgrounds to provide clients with our mobile expertise.
TLDR; If you’re jumping into the mobile ecosystem, here’s seven steps to help you mobileform your enterprise:
- Come up with a goal. What is it that you want to achieve from a mobile strategy?
- Focus on what kind of mobile experience: a responsive website or a native app?
- Develop a long-term plan that will help you and your team to remain on top of things like updates and bug fixes. Our recommendation: agile methodology.
- Use external APIs!
- Use the data to create a worthwhile experience for your consumers, staff, and stakeholders.
- Always think about security and how to maintain it.
- Build your team, and don’t be afraid to assign roles that would best suit your strategy.
Start with the goal in mind
All great adventures start with a clear destination. Taking your organization mobile is no different. In fact, it could be the most rewarding thing your company ever does—if it’s done right. If it’s done without careful consideration, you’ll end up with a half-baked mobility strategy that’s doomed to fail before a single line of code is written.
Ask yourself: what is our business outcome? How do our customers, staff, and other stakeholders consume our goods/services?
A mobile initiative can offer significant opportunities to improve your business process or even expand your current consumer base. It all starts with establishing what it is you want to gain from moving into the mobile ecosystem.
Focus on the mobile experience
Mobile app development is a different ballgame compared to traditional software, but if you’re a business looking to expand the functionality of an existing desktop software application, it’s the way to go.
When planning your mobile initiative, there are two routes you can take: either develop a mobile responsive website or a mobile app. There are pros and cons associated with each, so your decision should tie back to the goals you made in the previous step.
A mobile responsive website is a website that responds to mobile devices of different shapes and sizes:
- Great option for a first step into the world of mobile
- Easier and faster to develop
- Renders well across all kinds of web-enabled smartphones and tablets
- Less expensive
- Not known for its slick or seamless experience
- Does not continuously engage new and returning users
A native mobile app is a piece of software for a specific set of devices (if you’re experienced in mobile, this might sound a bit obvious):
- Utilizes relevant app stores
- Keeps your users engaged over a long period of time
- Becomes the central point of engagement for consumers, staff, and stakeholders
- More control over quality of experience
- Equipped to support local data processing, storage, and data distribution
- More expensive
- Requires development for multiple platforms
- Requires constant updates to stay competitive
“ It all starts with establishing what it is you want to gain from moving into the mobile ecosystem.”
Develop a plan to continuously optimise your app
Great apps aren’t just born in an instant. They’re developed, launched, and optimized over long periods of time by utilizing short development cycles. This allows you to focus on continuous innovation and delivering frequent revisions of your mobile product (note that many apps are updated on a weekly or daily basis). Updates are also a great way to patch up bugs and flaws within the software without your users noticing.
In order to embrace mobile effectively, your company would benefit from agile methodology when it comes to software development (as opposed to traditional waterfall based models). You can read more about this here: https://www.qasymphony.com/blog/agile-methodology-guide-agile-testing/
Agile practices enhance your mobile product over time based on user data and feedback. It’s a great way to plan, and it has a positive influence on your wider business environment.
Enable a great user experience by using external APIs
Mobility is about empowerment—putting power in the hands of people that need it most: your customers, staff, and stakeholders. However, that power is completely dependent upon access to backend systems as sources of information. If the mobile frontend is the Ferrari chassis, the API is the engine that allows it to perform. APIs are an intrinsic aspect of the overall mobile experience because they are the backend information systems that can be used by an application’s frontend to provide existing data sets in way you never imagined.
When executed correctly, APIs can be a phenomenal way for your company to access new markets and acquire new customers. However, if your APIs are not managed correctly, they can be an easy target for hackers. Security is a critical consideration when developing a cohesive mobility initiative, so it’s essential that you understand the risks and benefits of API integration and management.
“MOBILITY IS ABOUT EMPOWERMENT—PUTTING POWER IN THE HANDS OF PEOPLE THAT NEED IT MOST: YOUR CUSTOMERS, STAFF, AND STAKEHOLDERS.”
Focus on the data
Data will represent the cornerstone of your entire mobile strategy. Figure out what data your customers, staff, and stakeholders require; how they will use it; whether they need the ability to interact with it; and how you can provide access to it from various locations. Weigh any security vulnerabilities and work out how to ensure that your data is protected when moving across your company network.
Think about how to manage the data effectively—not just with managing devices and apps. The reason you enable mobile device management (MDM) and mobile app management (MAM) is to provide access to data. Data sits at the heart of everything you do when it comes to enterprise mobility management. This is a balancing act to ensure that key stakeholders have access to what they require while protecting the company’s information. Determining the balance of user access with security is one of the highest priorities when defining your mobile strategy.
Mobility is about ensuring that the right people have access to the right data whenever and wherever. In order to do that, we need the correct security protocols implemented to verify each user. We must think beyond device management. Failure to create a comprehensive security strategy will expose your company to a multitude of security threats.
So what’s the best way to secure our apps and devices? Building your own security protocols can be expensive and time consuming, so it’s worth taking a look at third party vendors who can provide a solution unique to your needs. Security vulnerabilities are often a result of poor software development processes. Consider your processes and establish how to minimize potential threats to your security. Creating a standardized approach to security is a critical aspect of any effective mobility strategy.
Get the right people involved
Finally, you need to consider who is responsible for managing your company’s overall mobile strategy. You need to identify who has the final say and who’s involved in the process. It is important that there aren’t too many voices to crowd the plan. This is a matter of formulating a cohesive plan because it affects your entire company—sales, production, HR, etc. It’s crucial to avoid a situation in which individual departments can govern mobility based on their needs.
Managing mobility is complex, and it’s only going to get more complex as the Internet of Things and connected devices are on the rise. It’s estimated that by 2020 there will be 20 billion connected, web-enabled devices. As the usage of mobile increases, establish how you’ll take advantage of all of the opportunities that mobility has to offer. You won’t regret starting with these seven steps, so you’re ready for the mobility revolution.