Large companies often face the issue of optimizing internal processes. The bigger the firm, the more difficult it is to assign tasks, set deadlines, and control implementation. An internal corporate app is a tool that will help you in this matter. It places handy control options and brings clarity to the workflow.
If you want to launch an in-house app, you should clearly define the goals and functions that it will perform. In this post, we will take a look at the main challenges of enterprise applications development and suggest crucial points to consider before you start your project.
The nature of the enterprise application
A corporate app is designed for the internal purposes of the company. App users are company employees. They run the app to:
- check tasks and deadlines
- suggest about certain aspects of the work
- download or upload files
- set up a business meeting
- report on work progress
- pick up corporate news
- and much more
Unlike a web program, which is usually installed on the work PC, mobile enterprise apps are available around the clock. Thanks to this, employees are always in touch. Thus, they can solve small tasks even if they are out of office.
Levels of enterprise app
A corporate app is not necessarily a unified solution that covers all the tasks of an enterprise. It can target particular departments and even specific people. There are three levels of corporate applications depending on the intended users:
- employee level
- department level
- enterprise level
These are the simplest apps that have a minimal set of options. As a rule, they are developed for specific employees so that they do not spend time performing simple repetitive actions but focus on more complex tasks. Here are some use cases that you may utilize:
An employee management app may provide essential analytical tools to let users quickly check the KPI from a mobile device. Another idea is placing an electronic signature right from the phone. Thus, you can reduce the time for approval of documents and speed up project execution.
App for PMs and personal assistants may provide handy tools for setting a schedule of meetings and interviews. Also, responsible executives may schedule shift workers and maintain feedback with them.
App for marketing specialists can automate posting on social media, blogs, and other platforms. You can prepare content beforehand and set time when it should appear on a particular channel. The app will post it for you.
As the name implies, department-level apps serve specific units or teams inside of a company. Such employee apps are the most demanded because they are not too large-scale and not too small. The company can invest and get results relatively soon. Below are some use cases that you can try on your business.
Accounting app allows working with financial records and even transferring money. It is unlikely that your accountant will manage documents through the phone. So, as a rule, internal apps for the financial department are web-based. Nevertheless, you can make a lightweight mobile version that will allow the financial expert to have 24/7 access to the database and send any paper upon request.
The sales app accesses the clients’ database through the corporate CRM system. Thanks to this, sales managers extract customer profiles to their phones within seconds. Seeing a history of online purchases, a wish list, and submitted feedback, the seller can offer the most suitable product both in the online and offline shops.
The supply chain app adds value to the work of the logistics department. It is a business process optimization software that lets logisticians track ordered, shipped, and received goods at any moment. Also, it allows users to solve problems if any occur quickly.
HR and recruiting app provides smart algorithms to analyze CVs and decide whether they fit given positions. It brings together HR specialists with applicants and employees. Besides, the app helps organize onboarding for new hires.
The field force automation app is handy for employees who work in fields. Through the app, they access the product catalog, description, items in stock. The employees can make changes to the database on the go. Thus, they save time and money by minimizing trips to the office.
Company level apps are an excellent tool for maintaining the corporate spirit and creating a sense of importance for each employee. The use cases of enterprise-scale apps can be as follows. You can gather all of them in a single app or use a narrow focus tool.
Employee communication app keeps people in touch and contributes to effective collaboration. You can create standard and special groups, hold video conferences, share files, and do many other things.
Corporate learning app aims to upgrade personnel qualifications on-the-job. Employees can take some time each day to gain new knowledge and train skills.
Total productivity app helps staff members follow the progress of their work or the progress of their subordinates.
Enterprise app examples
Since there is a high demand for enterprise apps, many ideas have already been lived out. Take a look at the ready-made solutions that you may want to apply.
Slack is a platform for meaningful communication, brainstorming, and project control.
Teams empower practical remote work using video calls, file repository, and a shared work environment.
Zoom is a powerful tool for a video conference with many members. You can use it for online meetings from around the world.
Envoy encourages visitors to register in the virtual reception so that you know whom you will talk to before the meeting. Also, the app lets book a meeting room right from the mobile app.
Fishbowl lets the colleagues ask and answer work-related questions anonymously. It helps quickly resolve sensitive issues and prevent conflict situations.
Intercom.io helps stay in touch with customers anytime, anywhere. Managers assist in the sign-up process, give feedback, and enhance the overall user experience.
Trello allows for prioritizing tasks, meeting deadlines, assigning responsibilities, and doing other actions for effective management. The app is intuitive and easy to use.
Develop or not to develop?
As you can see, there are plenty of ready solutions for business purposes. So, the logical question is whether you should make a custom enterprise app or use a third party service. The answer depends on three crucial factors:
- Reason for creation
- Company size
Let’s go through the above list one by one.
Reason for app creation
First, you need to outline out the problems that your app should solve. If these are mean tasks faced by many companies, it is worth using turnkey solutions. Here are the most common cases:
- communication within the firm
- split of duties
- setting goals
- monitoring performance
- managing deadlines
If you have a non-typical task with specific requirements, it is better to develop an app from scratch. Here are some ideas to consider:
Use case #1
Let’s imagine that you want to run an online school. To bring teachers and students together, you need mobile enterprise software that supports video calls, stores school material, provides tools for assigning, checking, and rating tasks. On the client’s side, you may want to include a payment option and a counter of open lessons.
Of course, you can use Skype for calls, send payment details by email, and write feedback in any messenger, but this approach looks unprofessional and does not inspire confidence. If you collect all the options in one place, you will assure comfort to employees and clients and grow the trust in the company.
Use case #2
Assume that you run a translation or content agency. To improve the text quality, your staff members may use AI-powered tools such as Grammarly or Glvrd. However, these services support specific languages – English and Russian.
In your agency, you may want to provide services in many more languages. So, you can think of creating an employee mobile app for the writings of your purpose. You may also build a unified service that will combine all the translations in one place.
Use case #3
If you own a lending organization, you might want to minimize risk when granting loans. Given this, you may think of internal service that will quickly collect clients’ information from social media and other sources. It is possible to empower your tool with artificial intelligence that will calculate an approximate credibility rate of the customer. Thus, you can reduce the chance of loan default.
The size of the company itself is not a decisive factor for the development or non-development of an enterprise app. However, in combination with other factors, it plays a crucial role.
Use case #1 App for big business
For example, large corporations may find it inappropriate to use a Jira, since they have to pay a good deal of money for each registered employee. In this case, it makes sense to develop a custom planning system and reduce monthly costs.
Small and medium-sized companies may find this scenario is useless because the benefits of the custom app will not cover the enterprise mobile app development. Hence, monthly spending for subscription is a sound decision.
Use case #2 App for small business
As a rule, inventory management systems have broad functionality, of which small firms need 2-3 options. Therefore, it is not practical to pay for a license, installation, and configuration. In this situation, it is worth developing a simple app with a few options that your company needs.
We have already touched on this topic a bit in the previous section. When deciding on enterprise app development, you must calculate the payback. If the investment pays off, go ahead!
If you opt for a third-party tool, you will have to pay a regular fee and, probably, hire DevOps who will help you with maintenance operations. If the software has some glitches, you will depend on a third-party company to clean it up.If you choose to build from scratch, you will need to hire developers and spend some time to agree on all the aspects, such as enterprise application development tools, design, testing. In the end, you will get a turnkey solution for your company. If a program crashes, you can fix it yourself.
A corporate application is a tool that helps employees complete their work faster, better, and in more comfortable conditions. Such an app boosts productivity and strengthens the corporate spirit. If you have ideas for optimizing your workflow, start with choosing the right enterprise mobile app development company. Working with top-ranking specialists, you can be sure of an excellent result.