When you think about the benefits of custom app development for your business, you probably first and foremost think about developing apps for your customers to use. This is the primary reason businesses develop apps, but there’s another reason you might want to think about app development as well. That’s for your employees.

Thanks to tools and platforms that make it faster and easier than ever before to develop custom business apps, more businesses are looking at the possibility of implementing enterprise employee apps.

So, what should you know about enterprise app development including what it entails and what the pros and potential cons might be?

What Is An Enterprise App?

Enterprise apps are becoming more and more common. Employees are already accustomed to using apps in their daily lives, so in many instances, it only makes sense to introduce internal apps in the workplace as well.

According to 2017 research from Gartner, almost 75 percent of surveyed global enterprise businesses reported having built customized or virtualized mobile apps in the past year. Of the businesses that said they’d taken on mobile app development they each had an average of 6.2 apps in the pipeline for development in the coming year.

There are different reasons a business might introduce an enterprise app. Some of the purposes they may have include:

  • Enterprise apps might be used to improve employee productivity. This is one of the top objectives of many internal apps—they give employees access to information and tools wherever they might be and if they’re away from their office or computer.
  • Information can be delivered using mobile apps including when employees are in the field.
  • Many enterprise internal apps are used for their big data capabilities.
  • Simple communication may be another reason to develop and implement an internal employee app.

The Return on Investment with Enterprise Apps

If your organization is wondering whether or not it’s worth it to develop a custom employee app, you have to consider the fact that you don’t have the obstacles of a traditional client-centric app.

There’s no competition, you don’t have to worry about monetizing it, and you don’t have to think too much about making it catchy.

However, your employees need to be using it for it to deliver a positive ROI. So, while you don’t have to give as much thought to making it engaging as you would with a customer app, you do still have to give some thought to UX and UI if you expect employees to utilize the platform.

What Are the Features of a Good Enterprise App?

So, if you want a good ROI, you have to know what makes for a good enterprise app. There are similarities but also differences between a good internal employee app and an app designed for clients or consumers.

What you should think about above pretty much all else is developing an app with a clear, relevant purpose.

Your employees will use the app if it’s helpful to them and solves a problem they actually face in the workplace. Strive for an app that’s going to make the lives of employees easier and more efficient.

You can’t think about how the app is going to benefit the company as you’re developing it. That should be something that happens naturally because it benefits employees. If you make your employees’ lives easier, they’re likely to be happier, more engaged and ultimately more productive and that’s the business benefit.

Consider Your Employees and Your Corporate Culture

One of the ways that enterprise app development is going to be similar to customer app development is the fact that you have to know your audience. You have to know your employees and consider things like their level of comfort with technology.

If you have a primarily younger employee base, you might want more advanced functionality and a more intricate interface to interest the tech-savvy people who will be using the app. If you have an older workforce, you might want to be careful that something too advanced could turn them off from using it.

Your market research should focus on some of the key areas you would research with consumers, but it will just be focused on your employees. Think about what employees want and need, and talk to them to learn more. Find out what pain points are, and find out how you can develop an enterprise app that’s going to integrate well with the culture of your company.