A strong mobile strategy is essential for successful mobile apps. When organizations neglect this first step, or approach it haphazardly, they jeopardize their ability to drive key business outcomes. Generally, the questions addressed during a strategy session aren’t about whether or not the organization will use apps, but rather which apps are the right apps to support the organization’s goals.
Although every organization faces its own unique set of challenges, here are five signs that your mobile strategy has veered off course.
1. The Wrong Apps. One symptom of an ineffective mobile strategy is an app that is misaligned with your company’s needs and requirements. Unfortunately, most organizations focus on building obvious apps rather than developing apps that have significant business impact. It’s critical to define the problems you need the app(s) to address long before app development projects get underway. Then identify the metrics you hope to achieve and have a system in place for measuring these after the app has been deployed.
2. B2C vs B2E. If your mobile strategy is focused on the development and implementation of B2C apps at the expense of B2E (Business-to-Employee) apps, you’re probably leaving important organizational wins on the table. In most companies, B2E apps have the potential to generate substantial gains through improved efficiency, increased productivity and other opportunities.
3. No App Development Process. A nonexistent or poorly articulated app development process can be a harbinger of a mobile strategy disaster. Ideally, app development should prioritize the accomplishment of the app’s stated purpose above all other considerations. But if your process isn’t well defined, app development goals can easily be subverted by inexperienced mobile developers, hard deadlines or ad schedules designed to promote the new app – rather than measuring success by the app’s capacity to meet predefined business outcomes.
4. Bloated Apps. Mobile applications should deliver a very focused set of functionality for meeting a specific type of user’s needs. If more than 5% of your organization’s web application is transferred to the app, it’s going to be too complicated and cumbersome on a mobile platform. To avoid this problem, your planning process should meticulously define how the app will deliver a unique, simplified mobile experience to customers and employees.
5. Not User Focused. Mobile strategies, including app development initiatives, should always focus on users. If the planning and development process neglects users’ real world mobile behaviors or fails to create an exceptional user experience, employees and customers simply won’t use the app, and your organization’s entire mobile strategy will be at risk.
Of course, the most obvious sign that your mobile strategy has gone wrong is when apps and other mobile initiatives fall short of predefined outcomes. By constantly monitoring the impact of mobile program, you can adjust your strategy to meet the changing demands of your company’s workforce and the mobile marketplace.