Planning a Business App to Streamline Company Operations

This is the age of mobile communications, and businesses need to take advantage of the technology. In some of the most basic uses, companies and individuals will use their phones or tablets to communicate, stay organised or to store important information, but these functions really only scratch the surface of what can be done. Many corporations are now using their own internal mobile applications to facilitate a variety of different tasks. If you have already experienced difficulties in operating your company, feel the necessity of providing a more flexible tool for your staff to manage routine operations and need more power to control all the changes in real time - then you need a mobile application.

Perform internal research on your business

To build a successful app for internal use, the very first step has to be research. Take the time to identify your company’s needs and to make a list of potential goals for future application. Spending this time in the beginning to gain a clear picture of your demands, and the ways that you hope to meet them, will be the best way to ensure that the company gets an app that will serve the users and the business well.

Depending on the company, this research can be performed in a variety of different ways. These include running a survey on the potential app users, holding a focus group with key employees, or collecting ideas within departments via a special questionnaire fulfilment on a spreadsheet. Once you have the information, analyse the list of collected demands and prioritise them according to what is vital for your business and what can wait. Through this research, patterns may emerge to help determine the main direction of the app creation for you. As a result, you will clarify the project for the developer,and enable them to design the project and be aware of what steps should be planned for the future.

Identify Device Compatibility

If you are going to develop an app for internal business use, then you are going to want to make sure that it is compatible with the right mobile devices. Different devices operate on different software, so the app will need to be designed to work for the operating system that will provide the highest level of compatibility for the end-user. In a perfect world, having complete cross-platform compatibility is the best way to go, but this may not always be possible. Here are the main operating systems to consider:

  • Android: This is the mobile OS from Google and it is probably one of the most versatile and flexible options out there. A variety of devices and manufacturers use the Android OS and developers can create nice polished apps that integrate well for business purposes. From a financial standpoint using Android, you do have to be ready to cover separate expenditures required to allow the same functionality and UI for all the variety of different Android devices out there. You will also have to pay to support the new models, which appear nearly every month.
  • iOS: Apple’s operating system is slick, smooth and it offers what is arguably the simplest and most straightforward operation out there. The easy operation is great because almost any person can pick up an iOS device and learn their way around it quickly, but it does make for a sacrifice in some of the more practical uses that a business may require. Financially, developing for iOS is the same as for Android, but the support costs are cheaper because there are less models on the market. These devices are of a higher quality and thus work longer.
  • Microsoft: The Windows operating system for mobile devices is probably the most high powered when it comes to enterprise solutions. It can easily integrate with all of your Windows computers and the design is really much more focused on productivity. However, the OS is probably the most complicated and it will take some users’ time to learn.

Identify the Technology to Use

When you build an app, a vast array of different technologies can be integrated into the software depending on the needs of the business. You should set up the demands to have everything, what you need. For example:

  • Separate chat rooms for different project teams or groups of employees that may need to discuss a specific issue.
  • Documents sharing.

Employees can easily share and access the documents that they need through the app. The files could be sent to different groups of people, could be shared with everyone or it could be set to allow access only to those with the right clearance.

Mikhail Chuprynski
December 02, 2015
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