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How to make the case for a mobile business application

In the current enterprise environment, employees are leveraging their personal mobile devices for an increasing number of business processes every day. To help foster these efforts, many organizations have deployed bring-your-own-device initiatives, enabling workers to utilize their smartphones, tablets and laptops to access a rising amount of company-owned information and assets. However, as staff members rely more on their mobile hardware for these practices, decision makers must ensure that they have the proper tools to connect with and collaborate on group projects securely and effectively.

Without an official business application in which these activities can take place, some workers may opt for consumer-level programs. While these apps may carry out the necessary functions, many do not have the proper security measures in place to protect the business' intellectual property from cybercriminals. This is just one of a plethora of reasons that employees and managers need to make the case for mobile business applications.

But how does one go about convincing their company's C-level officers that the group needs to develop a business application? Here are some expert tips to achieve this:

Begin with end results in mind
QuickMobile content and social media strategist Karra Barron suggested that the first step to making the business case for an enterprise application is to explain the goals that the program will accomplish. This phase can include the explanation of a number of aspects, including the function that the app will fulfill within the organization and how it will help further employee efforts. However, before bringing these results to decision makers, Barron advised speaking to staff members in other departments as well to get a full consensus as to what the workforce needs and how a program can be developed to address these requirements.

Investigate the abilities of the IT team
Once C-level officers can see the benefits that a business application can bring, it is time to decide if the process will be carried out in-house or by a third party. One of the main deciding factors here is the current skill level of the organization's IT team. Biztech Magazine contributor Alan Joch noted that some IT teams have the necessary abilities to develop a business application, however, some are not up to the task.

"People often underestimate how difficult it is to build a mobile app," said Will Scott, Lextech Global Services president. "It's actually pretty easy to write an app and stick it on a smartphone or tablet. The hard part is making that app talk effectively to back-end IT systems."

Native vs. HTML5 language
However, some of this decision will rest on the type of application being developed. Although many program creators still opt for native coding language, a growing number are choosing HTML5, especially for its cross-platform functionality. Joch pointed out that native apps are known for being more customizable, but they also come with their share of trade-offs. Especially within a business that supports BYOD practices, the ability of employees to launch the app on a range of different operating systems is crucial to ensuring its usability. For many enterprise applications, HTML5 is a more appropriate choice.


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