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The True Costs of Enterprise Mobility

Many enterprises still lack an effective mobile strategy. A good strategy can help you execute on your goals faster and leapfrog your competition.

This year marks 12 years since the original release of the iPhone, and most enterprises today are well aware of the importance of having a mobility strategy. However, you’d be surprised how many still don’t have one, and how many others are using one that is either outdated or ineffective. Your organization may already be releasing internal mobile apps, but you’re probably spending far more than you’d like for a smaller productivity boost than you imagined.

The first thing you need to do to set, or maybe correct, your course is to determine the business goals of your strategy. Then you need to figure out how much that strategy is going to cost to implement.

Let’s assume you have the first part figured out. Your mobile strategy is going to increase sales opportunities, or boost customer engagement. It’s probably going to drive revenue in one manner or another, and you’ve figured out the best goals for your company.

Next, you need to figure out the second question about cost. There are many approaches for building mobile apps, and we delved into some of them in an earlier eBook that you may want to review. But when it comes to costs, the key thing to remember is that your most expensive resources are your human resources. Yes, systems and tooling have a cost, but the developers, designers, project managers and others who are responsible for implementing your mobility strategy are far more valuable.

Not only are there direct costs associated with the time your human resources spend on implementation—but these resources can be expensive and time consuming to acquire in the first place. If you end up requiring a large number of highly specialized resources to execute on your strategy, you may find yourself overpaying to lure scarce skillsets or settling for less skilled options.

On the other hand, you can’t simply apply fewer resources towards your strategy and assume your employees, who are after all a captive userbase, will just be happy with what they’ve got. Your workforce has been spoiled by the plethora of slick and regularly-updated mobile apps available to them in consumer app stores. If they don’t find a comparable experience using your app, they’ll be dissatisfied, decreasing their effectiveness and increasing the odds they avoid your app in favor of workarounds.

The goal, then, is to find the tools and platforms that give you the best bang for your buck. You need to figure out the acceptable trade-offs you can make between complexity, cost and user experience. Some things, however, are likely non-negotiable, such as security, while others may be just strong preferences, like ensuring a consistent experience across all apps. There are many details to consider.

We’ve analyzed the options available today for modern mobile development, ranking them based on these and other critical factors, to try and help you understand what’s out there in 2019 and what is best for your organization. We reviewed a number of approaches to mobile development, including web apps, native, JavaScript-driven and low-code high productivity solutions.

The bottom line is that you need to pick a strategy that will increase the value of the work your developers already do (such as by enabling code-reuse), and then compound that gain by making them more efficient (such as by abstracting away infrastructure maintenance so that they can focus on the user experience).

You can check out our research in our free whitepaper, The Cost of an Enterprise Mobile Strategy. We hope this paper will help you define a strategy that is the best fit for your organization and business goals.

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