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Sep 20, 2013

Mobilizers: Do Employees See Value in Enterprise Apps?

In the world of enterprise mobility, many companies take a “build it and they will come approach” to deploying enterprise apps. Sure, it sounds good -- but is it realistic? When planning which enterprise apps to buy or develop, ask yourself the following questions;

  • Will the app deliver value to employees?
  • Does the app make business processes easier, faster, and more accessible?
  • Once the app has been deployed, will employees see the value and become repeat users?

A good starting point is developing a thorough understanding of what employees need and are looking for. Whether you’re planning to buy an app or build one, ask employees which tasks or processes an enterprise mobile app would make easier for them. Understand their day-to-day pain points – in their roles, as well as the gaps in the desktop apps they use that the right mobile apps can address. Be sure to test mobile apps before they’re put into production. Pick a small group of beta testers that represent a cross-section of the user base the app is intended for. Are they encountering any problems downloading an app from an enterprise app store? Are they having trouble loading the app? Is the app intuitive for them to use? Does the app provide users a seamless approach to their natural workflows?

Remember, deploying enterprise mobile apps isn't a one-and-done exercise. Evaluate whether and how employees are using the apps made available to them and then make refinements to each app if needed. If an app is being downloaded but gathering dust, find out why. Does the app make it harder for an employee to do their job? Is the app prone to crashing? Knowing whether an enterprise app is performing as expected and delivering the kind of value that’s anticipated is a critical step in fostering employee buy-in and adoption.

Once you've deployed  an app, close the loop with crowdsourcing, ratings, and feedback. Crowdsourcing is a great way to engage employees in the use of an app and solicit their feedback on what works well and what doesn't. Creating a rating system that covers the full lifecycle of an app – from the ease of locating an app in an enterprise app store to downloading and app functionality – can inform IT and developers about the strengths and weaknesses that can then be acted on.

Providing employees a forum for sharing their experiences and feedback under a closed-loop communications system is a terrific technique for driving adoption. It’s a way of providing employees an opportunity to express their assessment of each app while strengthening their confidence that any issues they encounter will be evaluated, acted on, and communicated back to them.  


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