So your board feels it’s time to take a look at mobile. Everyone's doing mobile, right?
But where to start? Without a set strategy in place or consideration of key elements, you risk setting your efforts up for failure. If you’re going to invest time and resources into mobile, it pays to do so effectively.
First consider why the need for mobile is now present. What are the challenges facing your organization? What’s missing? What needs improving and what needs simplifying? Whether it’s engagement, communication, revenue generation or efficiency, apps are powerful tools with the ability to create productive solutions for the modern-day problems organizations continuously succumb to.
It's helpful to examine what your competitors are doing through mobile as well as the organizations you aspire to emulate. If they’re utilizing mobile, what’s working and what isn’t? Mimicking successful features offers a significant advantage. Identifying user habits, expectations and especially dislikes is highly valuable research in creating your overall strategy.
Who to work with is normally the major kicker. There’s a lot of pressure surrounding that big decision. You want to work with a trusted vendor that guarantees quality products. As with almost all vetting processes, references and honest reviews can be looked to as guides. Beyond these however, are partnerships and integrations to consider. Most likely you already have established systems in place. The mobile technology you invest in should either replace those that have become obsolete or integrate seamlessly with those you continually rely on. Not having to pay an arm and a leg for these integrations is bonus points.
It’s also important to keep app updates in mind. Version 1 of an app is never the final. You don’t want to become trapped in having to pay for each and every update your app needs (which will be many). It helps to view apps as living, breathing tools that require constant attention and tending to. Work with developers that care to consistently adapt your app to changes in the market and within your user base. Not making proper updates to your app could put you right back at square one with outdated and ineffective technology.
Don’t forget about your data. Mobile produces much more analytics than a website ever could. That data is powerful in many decision-making processes. Ensure you have direct backend access to it at all time.
Development time and cost are substantial influences as well. You should not have to wait years for your app, nor should you go bankrupt over it. Going with the most expensive solution does not always translate to the most quality. And choosing to go with the cheapest option, well… you’ll quickly realize why it’s the cheapest. Many companies will try to bombard you with outrageous upfront fees. It’s best to avoid these bogus charges.
Lastly is usability and design. It’s simple - if people can’t figure out your app, it won’t get used. When looking at a vendor’s designs, screens should be clean and easy to navigate. Your app should not require a ton of instructions. Users should be able to download and clearly understand the purpose of each button or action once inside.
To sum it all up, when your board asks for mobile it means they’re embracing change. And that’s a great thing. They want the organization to keep up with an ever-evolving market. It’s becoming more and more apparent that those who aren’t proceeding with mobile-first initiatives will not be able to survive the coming years. Success is found within apps. No one can afford to wait.