Drive Productivity by Developing App Strategy
By Dave Courbanou
When talking mobility, it’s easy to focus on device management strategies and corporate device policies. These elements, while necessary, do not help build a real productive mobile workforce, though – they only provide the infrastructure. But a clever CIO can turn standard bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy into a productivity powerhouse. How? There’s an app for that.
Not one specifically, but your own app – an in-house application purpose built for your company and the needs of your users. In a recent Wall Street Journal CIO Report, this simple recommendation has been made with some app development ideas. These guidelines, along with some common sense found here , should kick start the app creation process.
Good news: CIOs don’t have to be development experts. It will, however, require a solid investment in time.
First, a CIO must understand the employee and the every-day tasks that are part of that employee’s work flow. This will help shed light on pain points and uncover inefficiencies in existing routine. Ideally, these findings will tease out the primary functions a mobile app should have, but speaking directly with employees is a simple and effective way to determine application functions, too. Together, this information will lay the groundwork for a custom-tailored app that makes every-day hassles a manageable in-app process. In short, a CIO must build an app that works for the employee.
Once the app is outlined, it’s time for development. The development process must stay focused, delivering the features employees need most. Internal testing can ensure the app is up to snuff and ready for distribution.
Once the app is launched, employee feedback must be made a top priority. Keep track of metrics and usage on the app, overall company workflow and the aforementioned inefficiencies. After processing the raw data, understand what will make the app better and direct that back into the development cycle.
Mobility isn’t a one-and-done approach – customization of an in-house app lends itself to flexibility and improvements, which leads to the final step:
Built it better. Refinements wrought from direct employee feedback are what make mobile productivity flourish. Mobile devices aren’t likely to stay the same, thus CIOs must encourage the development and adoption of new technologies to incorporate the best ideas into the latest app revision.
To truly create a mobile-centric workforce, CIOs will need to operate this mobile app development cycle on a regular basis. This will set the foundation for the creation of stable and robust apps (potentially some the company could turn into profitable products), in addition to spurring the development of multiple in-house apps for specific departmental needs.
It’s all an investment, but it’s an investment in the future.
At the end of the day, we can bring our tablets and phones to work and make the best of what these devices have to offer. But to truly modernize and promote a mobile workforce, it’s critical that internal applications are treated with the same level of respect that they once were given on the desktop. From there, productivity will undoubt