In our previous post (Part One: Reasons 1-5), we introduced five very common reasons that enterprise mobile apps fail. By failure, we mean more than just failure to launch. That’s because success is not simply delivering an app on time. Success is when your app is driving customer engagement, achieving business objectives, and delivering ROI. Now, let’s look at reasons 6-10. Together, all 10 reasons make a useful pre-flight checklist for your next mobile app.
Business apps are not like Angry Birds. These enterprise apps require significant back-end integration – making demands on your back office systems that those systems were never designed to support. You need to put the people, processes, and technologies in place to address issues such as data accessibility, availability, and security. Until your back office is ready, your mobile initiative isn’t ready either.
Mobile QA testing can be a nightmare – especially if you try to do it manually. Unlike web apps that only need to be tested for a few top browsers, mobile apps must work across multiple devices using multiple versions of multiple operating systems. How do you get it all done? Automated testing. Few organizations currently use automation, yet it’s your most effective and cost-effective option. But, it has to be done right.
Even if you’re leading with English, you should consider international requirements from day one. Are you planning for multiple languages? What about cultures with their different usage patterns and communication styles? Are you making room for languages that require more words/characters to express the same thought? What servers will you connect to on different continents? Is any text (such as the English word “login”) getting hard coded into your app when it should be based on language settings instead? Until you’re thinking on a global scale, your app isn’t ready for prime time.
People hate apps that suck the life out of their batteries. They’re frustrating, and they quickly get removed. Developers who’ve spent most of their time in a web environment often forget to think about the impact their code has on battery life. They should constantly be asking questions like, “Are we pushing data out too frequently? Are we pulling GPS coordinates more than we need to? How can we make the code as efficient as possible so the app runs leaner?”
We mentioned the data pull/push issue in Reason #9. But it’s impact on battery life is only one problem. Excessive data pulls will drain more than battery life – they also drain your user’s data plan. Think about the user experience, too, Too many push notifications become annoying. Keep this in mind, and also give users the freedom to control their setting for push alerts.
That’s it. Altogether, our 10 Reasons Mobile Apps Fail probably account for 90% of mobile app failures. This is why you need to get more strategic about your enterprise mobile initiatives. The first step is to build a roadmap using these 10 Reasons like a pre-flight checklist. Once you’ve addressed all 10, your app is ready to fly safely.
(If you haven’t yet read Reasons #1-#5, you can see them here.)
Want to learn more? Download our ebook: The 2014 Bottleneck Report on Enterprise Mobile