#MobileBiz Chat Concludes: Successful Mobile App Development Requires Including LOB
Each Thursday at 1pm Eastern Time, mobile tech experts Brian Katz of Sanofi and Benjamin Robbins of Palador co-host a weekly twitter chat about mobility trends. Entitled #MobileBiz, the weekly chat covers topics involving the adoption of mobile technology in business. On December 4th, the topic focused on “Mobile Mistakes” businesses are making as they rush to adopt mobile devices and mobile apps to better serve employees, partners and customers. (For a related article about mobile mistakes by Benjamin Robbins, click here.)
Demand for mobile business apps is on the rise. Businesses are scrambling to develop the apps they need to get ahead of the competition. In the race to mobilize enterprise employees, corners may be cut and compromises made in custom apps that lead to the downfall rather than success of mobile business applications. Not understanding the full set of requirements an enterprise-quality mobile app demands can lead to more problems than solutions for businesses as well.
Mobile App Mistakes
On the December 4th #MobileBiz chat, Katz and Robbins asked a range of questions, from “What counts a mistake in enterprise mobile?” to “Do you think adoption is a key metric to determine if mistakes have been made?” Tweeters following the hashtag chimed in with what they viewed as top mobile mistakes, including:
- Bad UX, apps with too many features, or apps that hinder versus improve productivity
- Poor security, IP data loss or failure to enforce BYOD policy
- Low user adoption
- Trying to quickly spin desktop apps into effective mobile apps
- Focusing on the device versus listening to the needs or wants of the users
- Forgetting back-end integration before building an app
- Not having a measurement mechanism to measure if you’ve succeeded
But aside from technical, UX and security issues, chat participants landed on a key theme that undermines the success of mobile apps: not engaging the right line of business (LOB) groups or users to ensure the value and productivity of an app. Participants called out problems including:
- “The biggest mistake I’ve seen is when IT shops ignore what their users are doing and what they want.” – @bbelding
- “IT deciding what’s needed without consulting the users” – @jckgld
- “Common mistakes in enterprise mobile—not involving the right users/groups when building/executing the mobility strategy” – @skpodila
- “#ITPRO not listening to the end users needs. Only deploying solutions to lock out not enable” – @wirelesslife
- “not working with end users, also once and done viewpoint, both recipes for disaster in mobile universe” – @efeatherston
- “When a company does not [include] end-user input in a pilot and then, poor adoption.” – @MobileHelix
What makes a Successful Mobile Application?
As the chat continued and more agreed with these sentiments, participants drew on this theme:
- “#ITPRO cannot do it alone. The org must appoint a team to develop a strategy. Collaboration is vital to success” – @wirelesslife
- “common theme already stated, IT assuming they know what business wants/needs. Always an issue, more visible in mobile” – @efeatherston
- “common theme again – lack of focus on business-driven success criteria” – @dbrinkmann
- “Many here in #mobilebiz have stated many times, mobility is about the user; which is why a heavy-handed device-centric approach won’t work.” – @skpodila
It’s clear that end-user involvement and iterative feedback is critical to developing a successful mobile app that is productive and widely adopted. In addition, ongoing feedback from LOB users must be sought so developers can continually improve, evolve and update the app to keep pace with the business and users’ needs.
As co-host Palador summarized: “Old thinking is IT knows best. Not true in “mobile” times.”
To view the full #MobileBiz chat history and twitter feed, click here.
To read about a related Guaridan article that Robbins recently penned on this topic, click here.