- Enterprise mobile app development concerns software designed for conglomerates and corporations.
- There are 4 types of enterprise mobile applications: employee-level apps, HR-focused apps, enterprise resource planning apps, and business management apps.
- Some of the benefits of enterprise mobile application development include easier onboarding, workflow optimization, easier management, easier data processing, and easier monitoring.
- The costs of an enterprise app typically start at $56,000.
What is enterprise mobile app development?
Enterprise app development tackles IT-products for conglomerates and corporations. Usually, an organization contacts an agency for mobile development services — to design an individual enterprise solution specific to their business processes. There may be a logistics or management-related issue unique to this company, and they want to get rid of it with the right enterprise software.
Enterprise mobile app development helps big organizations deal with their business problems. It’s unique because of the needs of its target audience. With the scale of corporations and conglomerates come its own issues.
For example, employee management may have expanded bureaucracy needs which are difficult to navigate. Some workers may require special permits, and others need to provide a much simpler document package.
Another example is logistics. Small businesses operate on a local scale, hence the name “small”. Conglomerates have a complicated supply chain with separate departments. Keeping them in line is hard without proper software. A non-enterprise app won’t cut it. Keeping track of it all is a pain that can be managed thanks to software.
4 types of enterprise mobile apps
Each company is different. From scale to needs to employee count, it’s important to keep in mind what type of enterprise app you want to make. Otherwise it’s easy to get lost in the details. We distinguish enterprise apps on a purpose-related basis. Let’s examine these types closer.
Here’s a small table with these types and a brief summary of them:
|Type of app
|Employee-level enterprise app
|Makes it easy for workers and entire departments to communicate in the workplace. Example: Slack
|HR-focused enterprise app
|Helps monitor job candidates and maintain corporate culture. Example: Paycor
|Enterprise resource planning app
|Helps optimize workflow, keep track of costs and progress. Example: ResourceGuru
|Business management app
|Allows you to integrate Agile and Kanban into your workflow. Example: Jira
Employee-level enterprise apps
Apps like these are designed for communication between workers. In a majority of successful corporations, work processes are practically set in stone — employees communicate with each other to maintain it and get the work done on time. Employee-level apps can help make this process smoother. Co-workers can provide updates regarding specific tasks, request additional info, and manage documents.
Keep in mind that these apps can be modified for different scales of operations. A company could integrate an app designed specifically to support communication between employees — or a product that maintains contact between entire departments and company branches. For example, legal, UX-design, and HR branches.
Let’s take a closer look at HR — they need their own tools for successful work in an enterprise.
HR-focused enterprise apps
As the company grows, so does the importance of its image. It needs to invest into its brand to find the cream of the crop with its job postings. And after a proper person gets hired, the conglomerate has to ensure they stay by instilling values and maintaining positive corporate culture.
HR-focused apps help tremendously with the company image. Thanks to software like this, an HR-department can consistently monitor job candidates and maintain proper corporate culture. At the same time, enterprise apps help HR-staff collect documents and other important info — this streamlines the working process.
Speaking of the working process, let’s take a bird’s eye view of it — with software that targets the company’s entire business proceedings.
Enterprise resource planning apps
A company that operates worldwide needs specific software to scrape enterprise data from every part of its workflow. It’s crucial to keep track of progress and costs. Otherwise, how can an organization know if it poured a part of its marketing budget down the drain?
Enterprise resource planning apps simplify the entire work process. They can be customized for specific departments to use for their own purposes: e.g. marketing departments can utilize the app to optimize content creation and distribution. Or customer support branches can reshape it into a CRM, which makes it simple to navigate through client queries.
Resource planning can go a long way to make a business work efficiently. But there is a specific type of app, designed for this task alone — business management apps.
Business management apps
These are apps that can help integrate Agile and Kanban methodologies into the company’s workflow. It’s easier to boost the productivity of employees this way, check their progress, and provide feedback. It’s a demanding type of app because it requires resources to keep it online — but it’s still a useful tool for corporations.
Now let’s take a look at the key benefits of enterprise app development, so it’s easier to discern its effectiveness.
Key benefits of enterprise mobile app development
Enterprise mobile apps have multifaceted benefits. They can address a company’s weak points, boost employee productivity, and make boring and tedious tasks quick and easy to do. Let’s look at some of the benefits in depth.
But first — a summary table with key benefits:
|What they help with
|Keep track of communication and agreements
|Teach new employees and manage their workflow
|Check the work is being done on time
|Makes managing legal and accounting departments simpler
|Easier data processing
|Keep track of important data
It all boils down to communication and minutiae. Without software, working processes can become chaotic: everybody has to remember the promises they made, the deadlines, and the tasks they assigned. This back and forth between teams and workers is tedious and time-consuming. Enterprise mobile apps help keep track of communication, while also streamlining the work approval process.
Teaching new employees without software is a pain. Mentors have to memorize their mentees’ tasks alongside their own, track deadlines, and provide access to most of the company’s resources. Different apps alleviate this: senior workers can keep track of junior-level employees, manage their workload, and send learning materials in one place.
How did a particular department perform over the last quarter? What’s the status of a campaign launch? So many things to keep track of. With enterprise mobile development, employees can check whether their tasks are done on time, or they’re lagging behind.
For a corporation to stay afloat, correct management strategies are key. If supply chains, accounting, and legal departments aren’t managed properly, a business can incur heavy losses. Enterprise apps make this process much more convenient — for example, there’s no need to appoint separate meetings with lawyers to discuss whether a certain marketing slogan is appropriate.
Easier data processing
This particular benefit ties into the others. Every department and task has its own share of files and documents: there’s lots of important data that needs to be saved. It’s impossible to keep track of this data without enterprise apps.
Key features of a mobile enterprise app
There are some features that enterprise apps can’t function without. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.
Databases have every single bit of data necessary for an organization to function. They include confidential info about users and employees, data transfers, and company assets. Without them, storing files and documents is difficult.
If you want to create an enterprise mobile app, make sure it supports extensive databases. It’s important to remove any limitations regarding the size of files or info. Try to integrate scalability — with each passing year corporations typically grow larger, and so does the amount of data in their storage. Your app’s databases should accommodate this trend.
Multiple user roles
Even if you’re planning to create an app to solve a singular problem of a given business, it should be somewhat versatile. There’s hardly a time when an app that accommodates managers or low-level employees only, is useful.
Your app will benefit if it has separate user roles that work irrespective of each other. For example, make sure that managers can’t access the data and files of C-level. The same can be said about individual team members seeing insider info or team’s performance statistics. Keep some level of privacy in your enterprise app.
Third-party app and API integrations
If you created a product that covers a singular important need of your audience, but want to add something more to help with related issues, APIs can help. You can simply integrate tools which are tried and tested by time. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create an enterprise app — some of the integrations can help you save money on development and release the product earlier.
For example, if your user base deals with the problems your app can solve AND they want to do other things, like manage tasks, there’s no need to develop a separate task module. The same goes for designing separate task tabs, checking them for bugs, etc.. You can take a solution available on the market: e.g. task managers like ClickUp, Jira or Trello, and use them in your app.
No commercially successful enterprise app rolls out without any semblance of analytics. It’s important to integrate tools that keep track of statistics within teams and departments. Make them customizable — with it, you increase the chances of your app being used more.
Think of some features that can repackage the data collected from the organization into readable charts and diagrams. This way, corporations won’t have to resort to other solutions to do this job for them. They’ll be more inclined to use your enterprise app.
A feature that’s a must for an enterprise mobile app regardless of its use. No matter what problem your product is focused on, instant messaging can come in handy.
For example, if your app is concerned with communication between teams, instant messaging can make the whole process seamless. The same can be said if you’re planning on integrating customer support. It’s a versatile feature that improves the quality of any app.
Essentials to consider before enterprise mobile application development
Features aside, there are other aspects you have to account for, before focusing on enterprise app development. We laid out the most crucial factors to think about here — just read on:
Corporations are unique in the sense that many enterprise app developers are vying for their attention. Competition is high, and so are the stakes. And if your app won’t have frequent updates to deal with pesky bugs or integrate features that are becoming commonplace with each day, your product runs the risk of becoming obsolete.
Are you planning to create a one-off product? Or is longevity one of your main concerns? These are the questions you need to consider before creating an enterprise app.
Essentially, when do you deem your app successful? And on what metrics will you base its overall usefulness? If you don’t think of the means with which you’re going to measure this success, it’s unlikely that an app can solve any of the corporation’s problems.
Without KPI’s, you increase the chances of an enterprise app becoming an unsalvageable budget strain, an accounting error, or a waste of taxpayers money — if a corporation is state-funded.
If you’re planning on outsourcing app development, it’s a good idea to think about who’s going to take over when the work is done. If you’re a corporation in need of a product, will you continue working with an outsider agency, or are you going to allocate resources at your disposal?
If a company doesn’t think this through beforehand, there’s a possibility the app fails at inception. For example, the agency transfers the app to a corporation → the company doesn’t have anyone to care for the app on its end → the app isn’t used.
This ties into app management. After the corporation integrates the product into its internal systems, the hard part begins. Without pushing, making employees use the app is flat out impossible.
Consider creating some internal study guides and setting deadlines to help employees get acquainted with the enterprise apps. Companies that forego this step can’t integrate the app into their workflow at all.
Enterprise apps store large amounts of valuable data and insider info. Consider some data security measures — whether it’s integrating two-factor authentication or partnering up with other companies to secure files.
Without thinking of security beforehand, corporations run the risk of massive security breaches and company data leaks. This can lead to serious legal consequences.
Choosing your enterprise mobile app development partner
When you start looking for enterprise app development services, you’ll have a lot of choices to make. But the main question is — who to hire? Before choosing a development partner, you’ll have to look into their:
Overall experience. What kind of projects have they worked on? Any self-respecting agency will have a portfolio section on their site, and you need to take advantage of that. Look at their previous projects, see what you like. Later on, you can alway use these projects as a reference.
Client feedback. One of the most important things are the reviews and client feedback. Try to find their previous clients and ask questions. If they’ve had positive experiences — that’s a good sign. Also, a good sign if they have video reviews on their website, this way you’ll know that the reviews are real.
Enterprise development experience. There’s a lot of nuance in mobile enterprise app development, especially if it involves sensitive data. Make sure your development partner follows best practices for security and compliance with relevant regulations and standards. Besides just asking, try to look into their case studies and other blog articles, they’ve probably talked about it there.
Step-by-step enterprise mobile application development process
While enterprise mobile apps may have their own peculiarities, we believe the process of creating them from scratch is standard. We’d recommend creating a minimum viable product (MVP) before launching a full scale corporate platform. This way, you get to test certain app features at half the cost and time it’d take to release a full blown version of the product. If you’re looking to get some funding for your SaaS, or you’re trying to determine whether there’s any actual product-market fit, MVP is a solid option.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at a complete enterprise mobile app development process. We’ve broken it down into 6 manageable steps.
Step 1. Gauge the market
Think of the primary customers of your app. What type of employees are going to use it: are they clerks and low-level employees? Maybe they’re part of upper/middle-management. It’ll be easier to figure out what features to add into your app.
Also, look at the market as a whole. Pinpoint key trends and take a peek at your competitors: what are their weak points and what they’re good at. You’ll be able to stand out using this info.
Step 2. Choose the key features of your products
Now that you’ve identified your target audience and their pain points, use this knowledge to pick out some features for your enterprise mobile app. You can use the MoSCoW prioritization technique to pick features most vital for your app’s success.
Don’t forget to include features we consider vital to any app for a corporation, like instant messaging. This ensures your app is convenient for the user. And don’t forget about a unique selling point — what makes you better than other similar apps on the market.
Step 3. Create UI/UX design
We believe this step is key for great, smooth, responsive user experience. Make sure to outline a user journey with actions your customers can take inside the app. This will help you create an app that users actually open and utilize.
Step 4. Develop and release the 1.0
Hire a team of experienced software development professionals. They’ll be able to create an app in record time with minimal bugs. And if there’re any glitches found before release, they’ll be dealt with , thanks to regular testing.
Make sure to launch the app on both iOS and Android. Cross-platform app development can help with this. It’s a type of development that helps create a product for as many platforms as possible — widening your reach at the same time.
Step 5. Set up a feedback loop
Make sure to gather the opinions of your clients. In the case of enterprise app development, it’s either the employees of a corporation or a company itself. It’s easier to discern whether you need to change the app, add new features, and integrate quality of life changes. Keep in mind that not every suggestion needs implementing — focus on the features that users mention the most.
Step 6. Maintain the app and provide updates
Now comes the continuous process of improvements and updates. It’s an inevitable part of creating a good app. Keep in touch with your app’s target audience, listen to their concerns, and integrate changes. The same goes for scaling — if the corporation is planning on doing that.
Costs and timeline of enterprise mobile application development
Here are the approximate costs of an enterprise app. The estimates are based on our experience — we’ve been making apps for over 9 years:
|We gather info about the client and the project
|Free at Purrweb ☺️
|We create the visual look of the app and map out the user journey
|We create apps for both iOS and Android from scratch
|We look for bugs and glitches in the system
|We chaperone the project — make sure it releases on time
|Throughout the entire cycle
Mind you, these numbers are not set in stone. Every project is different, and there are many factors that can influence the final price. Here are the major ones:
- Feature complexity. The more features you want in your app, the longer and more expensive it will take to build.
- Supported platforms. Developing an app for multiple platforms requires additional effort and money. Think about cross-platform development, if you want to launch on multiple platforms at once.
- Integrations. If your enterprise app needs to be integrated with other systems (such as CRM, ERP, or databases), expect additional costs.
- Deadline. Depending on how close your preferred launch date is, you might have to hire more mobile app developers, which can raise the cost of the project.
- Team selection. Rates for IT specialists will vary depending on things like their location and skill. Also, don’t forget that employing an in-house team is far more expensive than outsourcing.
Enterprise application development cases: iZumator
At Purrweb, we’ve followed the aforementioned process to create an enterprise app called iZumator. With it, employees can create and pass courses themselves. Its killer feature is simple — any student can become the next mentor.
In the end, our client got a corporate education platform that can be changed and scaled without any hassle. We received positive feedback from our customer’s employees, too.
Enterprise mobile app development trends in 2023
We’ve briefly discussed some examples of enterprise mobile apps. But what’s going to happen to this sphere of enterprise mobile application development in the long run? Let’s check out some of the things which will be useful to keep track of if you want to make an enterprise mobile app:
Cloud storage. More and more corporations are leaning towards cloud providers. A lot of the companies of this scale typically have their own servers, but the upkeep costs keep rising, so they’re slowly shifting away from them.
AI. Some generative tools make mundane, monotonous tasks a bit more bearable. At the same time, AI models are becoming better at predicting business outcomes. Corporations that leverage these tools in their enterprise mobile app development platforms save money.
Dockerization. A lot of companies preach endless growth, and dockerization is a good way to make sure enterprise mobile app development platforms run the way they need to.
Big Data. Corporations work with large sets of data — each of them needs to be analyzed to boost sales and productivity. Specific Big Data tools help tremendously with this particular task.
In this article, we talked about the enterprise mobile app development process: what it is, some of its benefits, and how we go about it. Most of the tips we’ve mentioned are applicable for the majority of entrepreneurs or employees: e.g. if you’re looking to create a product to sell to companies via subscription, or if you want to integrate software into your corporation.
If you have an enterprise app you’d like to create, don’t hesitate to contact us via the form below. Our project manager will get back to you shortly to talk pricing and approximate timeline.