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Nowadays, companies are really being challenged to find the best way to enable their mobile workers and set their mobile strategy.

An IDG Study in Sept of 2015 outlined the key reasons why::

• Mobile is a critical priority on the business agenda for 64% of organizations.

• Top factors behind mobile investments include improving internal communication (68%) and customer retention (62%), and increasing decision-making speed (60%).

• Nearly half (49%) of organizations will increase their investment in additional Wi-Fi network capability to accommodate mobile devices; however, internal network reliability is still low.

• Security is the greatest concern associated with mobile (54% overall), and even more prevalent among enterprises (63%) than SMBs (48%).

• Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile App Management (MAM) tools are gradually being used to secure mobile devices and data, with 38% and 27% using cloud-based MDM and MAM tools, respectively.

• Integration, security and ease of deployment are key factors when evaluating mobile vendor options.

Businesses are driving towards making an impact in customer acquisition or retention with mobile strategy; or disrupting the way they do business internally leading to improved communications to faster decisions to more revenue and lower costs.

Here are some criteria to consider in defining you mobile app strategy:

1. Security for your data – Is it strong enough to withstand cyberattacks.

2. Budget – Will you end up spending ‘000’s of dollars to get something that doesn’t met your needs.

3.Ease of Mobile App Deployment – Will it take a team of professionals to deploy or will you need end-user training?

4. And finally, how will your strategy provide fast implementations and smooth integration into your existing applications and IT infrastructure.

We believe that as you weigh your options against these criteria, you’ll find that Rapid Mobile App Platforms can best meets all of your needs, from security to fast turnaround time, ease of deployment, engaging mobile app user experiences, and lower costs, PLUS the control you gain to empower your IT team and citizen developers to best mobilize your business.

ViziApps is pleased that the need and value of Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) platforms like the ViziApps Visual RMAD have been recognized in the fast paced mobile industry.

Chris Nerney is a technology writer who covers mobile technology, big data and analytics, Android, data centers and cloud computing. Here’s an excerpt from one of his posts in CSC Blogs:

Even the best of the best mobile apps development best practices may not be enough to enable enterprises to meet the expected demand for serious business apps, according to a new report by technology research and consulting firm Gartner:

By the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them. Gartner forecasts mobile phone sales will reach 2.1 billion units by 2019, which will fuel demand for apps in the enterprise that meet the high performance and usability of consumer apps.

The driving force behind the growing demand for mobile apps by enterprise users is the increasing number of devices employees are expected to use in the workplace, including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and other wearables. The Internet of Things also will generate more demand for mobile apps.

Gartner recommends four specific steps enterprises can take to offset mobile apps development challenges:

1. Prioritize app development

Rather than develop apps for whomever asks first or the loudest, “mobile development teams need to formulate a process of mobile app prioritization that involves understanding the needs of business stakeholders,” Gartner says.

2. Adopt a bimodal IT model

Gartner urges the scrapping of the “traditional IT development approach” with a bimodal approach that delivers apps more efficiently and quickly. Bimodal approaches consist of two modes: “Mode 1 drives the creation of stable infrastructure and APIs to allow apps to retrieve and deliver data to back-end systems without impacting those enterprise applications, while Mode 2 uses high-productivity, agile approaches to quickly deliver front-end app features required by the business.”

3. Deploy RMAD tools

Rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools enable enterprises to turn out apps much faster. Examples include drag-and-drop codeless tools, model-driven development and other approaches that allow non-developers and people in business units to get involved in creating mobile apps.

4. Used a mixed-sourcing approach

While Gartner says enterprises eventually will upgrade their in-house mobile development, only 26% of organizations now use in-house-only development, while more than half (55%) are “successfully delivering apps using mixed sourcing.”

The bottom line, if Gartner’s forecast is accurate, is that enterprises need to ramp up mobile apps development in a strategic way. If they don’t, they may cede market opportunities to their competitors.

Now, let’s walk thru some use cases showing how three companies have solved key issues with mobile apps.

Construction – Home Maintenance Services

The home maintenance industry has been comprised of individual and small business contractors and handymen, interacting with each homeowner by phone. HomeSquare is disrupting this traditional model, increasing engagement with homeowners and lowering home maintenance costs, by giving each homeowner a private mobile app connection wherever they are. This makes it quick and easy to request new services, and keep apprised of all their projects’ progress and status, making it easy to consume more home maintenance services by breaking down the barriers of finding the right people for a project and negotiating the terms and pricing.

The solution was to put a mobile app in the hands of every customer, making it easy to request services, provide details and explanations, and even take photos to clarify needed work orders. With this successful customer-facing app, HomeSquare is looking to increase their productivity with mobile business process apps.

Retail Channel Engagement

One of the world’s largest fast-moving consumer goods companies based in Asia, which we’ll refer to here as FMCG, saw the need for a mobile app to carry their business forward with their network of thousands of retailing partners in Asia. Mobile apps presented a new opportunity to significantly increase engagement with them. It opened a new direct marketing vehicle with the partners, increasing the productivity of these relationships and encouraging increased loyalty and teamwork. In addition to reinforcing FMCG’s brand, benefits also included increased sales and reduced call center volume.

FMCG’s marketing and sales team was very keen to make sure that the mobile app’s user experience was optimized. A critical technology requirement for this project was a secure real-time connection to the FMCG’s corporate SQL partner database. Now released for iOS and Android devices in the three languages needed across the region, and the mobile app is achieving high adoption and increasing FMCG’s engagement and business results with their retail partners.

Farm Operations

Spiech Farms has over 600 employees processing fruit and vegetables. They had built out desktop applications for use at the corporate office, but out in the field, they needed something mobile.

Using bar-code scanning functionality from their smartphones, their field workers could take inventory of all the produce and report updates directly back to the corporate office. Additional mobile apps were built in a matter of days, enabling the company to adapt quickly, based on their stakeholder’s needs. Instead of training their filed employees for hours on desktop applications, they chose the route of mobile apps for easy and fast task workflow for their young and mobile workforce.

No longer are they chasing their field workers to update systems when they return to the office. Instead, real-time updates from the field provide fast visibility and significant increases in productivity for the whole organization.

Next up: How they accomplished these benefits!

During April, we will have a series of blog posts focusing the increasing importance of Mobile apps in Rapid Application Development - what does it mean to have mobile apps power the way your organization works. This will include Showcasing different companies leveraging Mobile Rapid App Development, aka MRAD, to improve their business results.

What we have seen are some incredible productivity enhancing stories that provide competitive differentiation. In some cases, companies have prioritized their operations focus on the back of mobile app platform. We are in very interesting times where mobile is changing the way we do business.

But you might be wondering, why are employees still tethered to their desk and not out in the field selling or servicing customers, at the customer’s office or at a Starbucks.

The reasons are many fold.

First, it is important to understand what are the deficiencies of SaaS applications being provided in the marketplace. There is no doubt that you as a customer leveraging a RAD platform has seen the increase in number of productivity apps. DIY users are quickly able to make some pretty nifty apps. But the SaaS providers have not optimized their RAD platform for creating mobile apps. Yes, you can get a mobile app but it lacks the functionality that is required in a mobile oriented workplace. A report or task workflow on a mobile device needs to be different than a report in a desktop browser. RAD platforms are still playing catch up to the mobile space and will probably never catch up as mobile devices keep rapidly evolving.

Second, creating a mobile app is not the same as creating a browser app. You might want to take advantage of some native capability of a mobile device in your app and you want that information stored on desktop app. Two sets of requirements which further leads to – can your org have the capacity to take on two unique approaches to solve the problem.

Third, mobile apps need to have simple task navigation, as the screen real estate on the device is limited. Trying to jam too much information only leaves a bad taste in the app’s user experience, resulting in low-adoption.

Companies need to be innovative in their thinking to adopt mobile apps as they choose a RAD platform. Companies that have embarked on DIY mobile apps with the right MRAD platform are seeing the business results impact in a just a matter of days, As they mobilize workflow by bringing mobile business processes to the palm of their mobile workers hands, wherever they are, and whenever needed.

Next, we’ll some unique use cases where different companies have solved key business needs with rapidly developed mobile apps.

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