Mobile app development has come a long way since Apple first unleashed the app store on the world. From basic games and simple apps that may actually give fairly little to the consumer, we now have complex, multi-layered apps that are used for everything from website access to smoothing out business processes.
The latter apps are usually referred to as enterprise mobile apps and they are becoming increasingly critical to business success. However, as with all types of apps, there are a number of challenges that developers need to confront to ensure their enterprise apps meet the demand of their clients.
Selecting Operating Systems
As the app market has expanded, so too has the range and number of devices that apps can be used on. In addition to Apple’s iOS, we now have Google’s Android and Windows operating systems to consider. Questions need to be asked early on in the development process about which operating systems the app is going to need to cater for. iOS and Android are the two big ones that most companies are interested in, but going solely for them excludes Windows phone users from accessing the app entirely. For enterprise mobile app development you need to consider this question carefully if the app is going to be made available to all in the business who need it.
The User Experience
This is a challenge that is common to all mobile app development, but it is particularly crucial in enterprise development as the apps your business launch need to be workable from day one and present as few problems as possible to employees and customers. The user experience encompasses everything from how well the app actually works through to the navigational systems and ease of use of the app. If anything is off balance and prevents the user from accessing or using the app, you will often find they gravitate away from it. Simplicity is key with even the most complex of enterprise mobile apps.
As the mobile app market has evolved, so too have the threats that come from hackers and other malicious entities. More and more data is being sent over apps every day, and in the case of enterprise apps, this data is likely to be extremely sensitive. As such, security must be a primary concern at all times. Proper encryption and validation techniques need to be used at every stage of the app that concerns the transfer of data or information and regular maintenance must occur so the app is updated as and when needed against whatever threats are emerging in the modern marketplace.
The desire to get a quality product to the market can often lead to developers failing to consider the drain the app has on the battery life of the devices that host it. An enterprise app is going to end up being useless to users if they have to put their phones on charge every few hours, as this limits flexibility and prevents them from making full use of the portability and access the app is supposed to provide. Power consumption should be considered at all stages and steps must be taken to ensure the app is as efficient as possible.