This post is from the Apperian blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.
How Will You Distribute That Enterprise Mobile App You’re Developing?
Many companies are opting to develop their own custom enterprise mobile apps for employees, contractors, business partners, and even customers to use. Often, the primary driver for building custom apps is ensuring that target users are provided with the specific features, functionality, and access to data that’s required in their roles. For many organizations, the initial focus is singularly on mobile app creation, only to be later challenged trying to distribute the app once it is complete. Mobile app distribution can be further challenged by volume of apps being created. The backlog of apps being deployed by many companies is simply staggering. According to research conducted by OutSystems, 85% of U.S. and U.K. companies have a backlog of one to twenty mobile apps with half (50%) of companies facing a backlog of between 10 to 20 apps. Even if a company decides to build just one app, administrators need to decide how they’re going to deploy it and ensure that it’s budgeted for.
The use of a mobile application management (MAM®) solution can help ensure that all stages of the mobile app lifecycle–including deployment and distribution–are being secured and managed effectively and efficiently. A MAM solution that includes an enterprise app store can provide end users with a native app experience. Since users don’t need any training to use the enterprise app store and because the app store is so intuitive to use, this helps to drive high rates of app adoption. Once an app has been published, the MAM system can be used to send a push notification to end users asking them to install and use the app to assist with testing. Users can even be provided with a “bounty” for the first set of users that report that they’ve installed and begun using the app. Meanwhile, using MAM’s secure distribution techniques, apps that have been deployed can be updated over-the-air with badge alerts for users. Plus, role-assignable apps can be targeted to specific user groups (e.g. sales, field service). In addition, this can include an app ratings system where end users can share their feedback on a newly-deployed app. This feedback can be used to attract other target users and to identify app functionality that can be further improved to drive greater user satisfaction and mobile app adoption. In order to realize return on mobile app investments, it is imperative to have a solution for distribution. After all, apps only drive value if employees, contractors, partners, or customers are actually using them.