Let’s face it: We love our mobile devices and smartphones. Approximately 90% of us have Don’t Have A Mobile App For That? Chances Are BYOA Savvy Employees Already Dothese handy devices within reach 24 hours a day and check them as often as 30 times a day – every day. Because life with mobile access is the new world order, customers expect it to be an integral part in their dealings with vendors and suppliers. Plus, employees insist on incorporating mobile solutions, that they are accustomed to using, in their business strategies and daily routines.
Hot on the heels of the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend, “Bring Your Own App” (BYOA) is starting to become popular among most employees. The concept of BYOA refers to the adoption and use of mobile apps (both consumer and enterprise) by employees, teams, and even business units. And like the consumer app market, the number of mobile apps for business users is rapidly growing. And knowing how consumers have embraced mobile apps, it’s no surprise that employees are downloading and using these apps in the workplace.
Deliver Enterprise Mobile Apps, While Protecting Business Data and Internal Systems
Similar to BYOD, BYOA can be become counterproductive, costly, and risky to the overall business if it’s not monitored and managed properly. To fully harness the benefits and mitigate the risks of BYOA, business have two options.
1. Acquire and provide employees with off-the-shelf mobile apps
This low-cost, fast approach is typically used when user requirements are consistent across industries. Off-the-shelf mobile apps offer a number of advantages, including being readily available; satisfying the needs of most users; and lowering acquisition cost. And with access to the user community, on-going feedback and suggestions from a large user group can help identify and bring new and improved updates into the enterprise.
2. Build custom mobile solutions
By creating an in-house mobile solution, IT can tailor features and functionality to the business’ unique needs and goals. The solution can be tightly integrated with existing enterprise systems and applications, while being scaled up or down as needed. Also, IT can introduce upgrades when the business needs it – not when the market dictates it. Although this is a more expensive option, the benefits can outweigh the cost and time invested.
Whichever approach you choose, don’t forget that employees expect their mobile apps to have the same characteristics as those they use in their daily lives. The apps must be accessible 24×7 and user friendly; facilitate collaboration; embrace the notion of gamification and the cloud; and leverage accessory technology such as cameras, location awareness, voice recognition, and artificial intelligence. Without these trait, employees will not adopt the mobile apps provided and will find other ways to get work done – with and without IT’s permission.
Not sure whether off-the-shelf mobile apps or custom mobile solutions are right for your business?
Read the white paper “Mobilizing the Enterprise with Off-the-Shelf Apps and Custom Mobile Solutions” for the 12 criteria to be considered when deciding the best approach to enterprise mobile apps.
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