Thursday, June 30, 2011

Small Mobile Apps Prove Big on ROI - Guest Blogger

Today we have an article contributed by my friend and guest blogger Andre Guillemin.  Andre has over ten years of experience working in health care, financial services and mobility.  He has spent the past three years focused on cross-industry solutions for mobile enterprise application development including line of business users in manufacturing, life sciences and wealth management.  Andre frequently contributes to industry publications, panels and other events.  He is available for consultation on both strategic and tactical use of mobile technologies in the enterprise.

We all know that mobile apps don’t need to do everything your desktop systems do – in fact, mobilizing everything on the desktop usually results in bulky, confusing apps that are difficult to use. Less is always more, and I bet you’ll be surprised at how much value you can get out of an app that’s simple, focused, and highly targeted to the needs of the user.

While working on a project last year, one of our target end users said to me “I don’t care about all the other stuff - I just want to be able to log my expenses.” So I asked a few of his colleagues and they all said the same thing, “just help us with expenses.” Those simple conversations revealed an acute pain that they dealt with day in and day out, which was the result of a clunky expense management system. If we could solve that problem for them, we’d be heroes. It was humbling to see my best ideas for that app summarily rejected – but hey, tossing the stuff that I thought they wanted in lieu of the functionality that they actually wanted cut the scope of the project by about 75%, saved a ton of work, and gave the team exactly what they needed. Nothing more, nothing less.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to work with a team that built an app for safety inspectors. Sticking to the concept of simple, user-centric design, the app contained very focused, high impact functionality. It was built and deployed in less than a month and immediately made the lives of plant inspectors a lot easier by eliminating the process of manually entering inspection reports into the computer when they returned to the office.

The best part about building small is that your development cycle is a lot more manageable. And when it comes time to upgrade or modify an app, there are less components to deal with, so your release cycles are shorter and updates have more impact. So when you’re designing your next app, don’t forget what’s important to your end user and remember that most of the time, less app is more ROI.

Thanks for sharing your insights Andre!!!

Upcoming Events

Eggs with Benedict - European Tour - Mobility Strategies and More, June 27 – July 1, 2011
ClickConnect APAC 2011, July 11 – 13, 2011
Syclo Mobile Conference 2011, July 13 – 15, 2011

Whitepapers of Note

The Business Benefits of Mobile Adoption with SAP Systems
ClickSoftware Mobility Suite and Sybase Mobility Solution
Mobile Adoption Among Gas and Electric Utilities
Mobile Adoption in Life Sciences
Mobile Adoption in Oil and Gas
Networked Field Services

Recorded Webinars of Note

3 Critical Considerations for Embracing Mobile CRM
The Future of Enterprise Mobility
The Latest m-Business Trends and How the Onslaught of Mobile Devices Affects Development Strategies
The Real-Time Mobile Enterprise:  The Benefits of Rapid, Easy Access
Syclo and SAP Deliver Mobile Apps on Sybase Unwired Platform

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.