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Christine Kern
August 01, 2016

Strategies for Successful Adoption of Enterprise Mobile Apps


As industry-leading organizations work to improve efficiency and productivity, they are turning to mobile apps that matter and that make an impact on their business results. A recent study has found that demand for custom mobile apps that allow employees to be more productive and connect them to enterprise systems are on the rise.

According to findings from the 2016 Executive Enterprise Mobility Report, over half of organizations are now deploying mobile apps for extended enterprise workers. The study found that, while 91 percent of organizations are targeting corporate employees, 51 percent also currently provide apps to at least one type of “extended enterprise” worker, including hourly workers, contracted employees and business partners. The study also found that the emphasis is on productivity apps rather than on traditional sales and field service apps, representing a shift towards enterprise mobility management technologies to improve business outcomes and highlighting the broader reach for mobility.

The Apperian study surveyed a random sample of executives from a wide variety of industries on key challenges and opportunities of enterprise mobility programs and found the number of enterprise mobile apps continues to grow as a means to fuel business strategy with many organizations surveyed offering two to 20 custom enterprise apps.

Strategies for Successful Adoption:

As the Apperian study demonstrated, companies are becoming savvier about the means to making mobile app deployment successful, and are beginning to lay the foundations for mobile strategies that are scalable by getting apps used, adopted, and iterated to improve ROI in the most secure way possible.

Enabling mobile access to critical enterprise systems.

Overall, the survey demonstrated that companies are employing more means to drive the adoption of their mobile apps to ensure ROI. Access to business-specific processes and systems is critical to delivering compelling apps that will be widely adopted and transformative. In fact, 58 percent of respondents say that such access was their first priority in driving app adoption. The study found that companies are now supporting businesses processes that are unique to their organizations by creating custom apps that can engage with their critical enterprise systems.

Offering key apps to employees and contracted workers.

Broadening the populations of users that are supported by business apps is another key trend. Often, organizations provide mobile apps to employees before moving into supporting contracted workers, distributors, and other partners to support the extended enterprise. More than half (51 percent) of the organizations surveyed provide apps to at least one other party in their extended enterprise.

An enterprise app store to help users find apps.

The study found that providing such an app store is a key strategy for driving app adoption, since it provides a central location to discover, download, update, and provide feedback for custom apps. In fact, more than one-third report having an enterprise app store, up from 23 percent in 2015.

App Launchers are also powerful tools to distribute custom apps to users. IT Managers can use app launchers to group all services from internal users and to simply replace app names when new versions are released. App Launchers also quickly limit access to app content by removing links to apps in the launcher. AppSheet can help design custom apps to fit your company’s unique needs to work with enterprise specific systems.

Internal promotion of apps.

A staggering 91 percent of respondents equip their corporate employees with mobile apps, through internal promotion of them. And, the survey found, “Companies deploying custom apps to such large bodies of workers is important, and it suggests they recognize that mobile apps can be transformational to a wide segment of their user base.”

Help desk for mobile users.

One-quarter of respondents said that they offer a mobile help desk to help promote mobile app adoption, up from just 6 percent in 2015. Particularly as more and more end users work outside of office hours and on mobile devices, providing 24/7 support is becoming increasingly important for help desks. Responding to this demand for mobility and flexibility, new self-help iOS and Android service desk apps could be the key to enabling users to fix basic challenges at any time, reducing the requirement for round-the-clock support and also decreasing service desk call volumes.

Mobile or cloud-based help desk offerings offer service level agreement (SLA) ticket alerting and app center integration capabilities, helping to encourage the adoption of mobile apps by employees. Mobile help desk staff can also take suggestions for new apps and provide app owners with valuable feedback about what works and doesn’t work for other users.


The study also found that the number of enterprise mobile apps continues to grow as a means to fuel business strategy with 57 percent of all organizations surveyed offering two to 10 custom enterprise apps. Enterprise-specific apps can have a positive impact on cost reduction, efficiency, and tracking.

“Our research and experience suggests broadening the types of end users that are supported by apps – beyond full-time, in-office workers — produces the highest ROI for businesses,” said Brian Day, President and CEO of Apperian.

Pros and Cons of Mobile Apps:

While obstacles still remain, particularly when it comes to security, organizations are finding that when they build an app, they can boost their productivity levels for better returns. Significant roadblocks to expanding apps include the complexity of the mobile landscape, security issues, and visibility. Yet, despite the roadblocks, improving business processes (30 percent), improved productivity (23 percent), and competitive advantage (20 percent) were cited as the key benefits of enterprise apps.

The research also revealed companies are supporting businesses processes that are unique to their organizations by creating custom apps that interact with enterprise systems, and more than one-third report having an enterprise app store, up from 23 percent in 2015.

In addition, the survey found adoption strategies drive satisfaction, with nearly 60 percent of businesses currently mobilizing access to critical enterprise systems. And productivity apps and field service apps ranked highest in terms of impact.

Download our B2E App Guide for a full phased approach on how to successfully launch business apps at your organization. 

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