Common Pitfalls for Any Enterprise Developing a Mobile App

IT security solutions

Enhanced enterprise mobility (a super fancy way of saying ‘employees can work from anywhere!’) is all the rage nowadays. The first wave was BYOD policy, which allowed employees to work from their own mobile devices (so you never have to be separated from your emails again).

But simply working from your smartphone isn’t enough anymore.

Enterprises are looking to boost productivity even more with mobile apps, customized for their business needs. This demand from large companies means big bucks for mobile app developers, many of whom are now focusing on creating apps specifically with the end goal of optimizing business processes.

All of this to say that the global enterprise mobile app development services market is growing—a lot. The market is expected to reach a value of $75 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 13.40% from 2014-2019.

But developing apps for large enterprises also comes with a whole new set of issues. Technavio analysts have taken a look at some of the key challenges facing both organizations, as well as app developers, in their pursuit of bigger, better, more optimized business.

Security concerns

The dynamic environment fuelled by frequent updates and new releases by mobile device manufacturers and OS developers, as well as short development cycles with multiple releases make it difficult for service providers to stay up-to-date and ensure security.

Additionally, different operating platforms offer varying degrees of support for securing data stored on the device, which means mobile app developers need to design customized security architecture for each operating system.  

Despite enterprises providing the best security solutions, mobile malware continues to pose a threat to corporate security. So try as they might, businesses can’t always stay on top of security, which is a big factor stopping many enterprises from going the mobile app route.

Availability of multiple platforms

The number of mobile devices is on the rise, which is also increasing the number of operating systems supported by mobile devices. This presents yet another challenge for your friendly neighborhood enterprise mobile app development services provider (as well as for buyers).

From the service providers’ perspective, companies have to provide services across multiple platforms and OSs.  Similarly, mobile app buyers have no way of being sure of their user preferences. Especially in larger organizations, iOS and Android users are plentiful, and a company can’t necessarily afford to just cater to one user base.

The fragmentation in mobile devices exists across platforms as well as within the same platform. The OS platform differs with regard to the user interface, user experience, user metaphors, programming languages, application program interface (API)/software development kit (SDKs), and other supported tools. Fragmentation also exists within the same platform. Different mobile devices exist with different properties such as memory, CPU speed, and graphical solutions.

Issues pertaining to integrating enterprise back-end databases

Unlike consumer mobile apps, enterprise mobile apps require integration with the company’s back-end systems to view relevant information in real-time. Some of the most important integration areas include:

  • Customer relationship management (CRMs)
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERPs)
  • Social media
  • Web portals
  • Payment gateways
  • Enterprise databases

Most companies support their employees working in the field using smartphones and tablets by providing mobile apps. To support a mobile workforce, the developer should be able to pull out real-time information including product, financial, and customer data, available from a wide variety of business applications. The integration of all the critical business applications results in a complex architecture.

Scarcity of skill sets

Unfortunately, the increasing demand from enterprises for mobile apps and shortages of mobile app developers is creating a huge demand-supply imbalance in the industry. Application development is the first step in the enterprise mobile app development services market and the lack of mobile app developers might prevent businesses from launching apps.

For more information on the mobile enterprise application development services market, including market drivers a trends, check out Technavio’s new report.