Today’s mobile enterprise apps, like the consumer-focused apps that preceded them, are micro apps. These micro apps make a small portion of your existing enterprise apps available on tablets and smartphones. While micro apps are an effective way to get started, the goal isn’t to build and distribute dozens of micro apps to an employee’s smartphone. Over time, these micro apps need to offer more functionality to minimize the number of applications an employee needs to have on their device to get their job done. Companies should be building applications that deliver the right information based on the device you are using and what you are trying to do at that moment. If you are using a PC, the application can surface more data than if you are using a smartphone. Or you may choose to enable voice commands on the smartphone app, but not the PC or tablet.

phone call

The applications development team needs to create a seamless integration between desktop apps, mobile apps, and cloud services. As your employees embrace mobile devices, it’s imperative that workflows and applications are accessible, wherever your employees are and on whatever device they’re using. Effectively, a business must create adaptable and contextual applications that adjust to the needs of the user and the capabilities of the device. They should also leverage cloud storage, processing, and SaaS where necessary. These applications and workflows will also need to be accessible over a wide range of mobile operating systems and form factors that will include wearables. Cloud and SaaS is one way of creating these cross-platform apps.

Make the move to a mobile platform

How do you get started?  IT and the apps team must first understand what functions make sense to move to mobile platforms, whether parts of an application or the entire application. For example, expense tracking and management is a logical application to mobile enable, and it makes sense that your employees would have access to all of the features within that app. IT should also evaluate SaaS apps as one method for mobileenabling an application, such as CRM and expense management. As part of mobile enabling apps, IT must determine what, if any, data should remain in the cloud and how the application should address offline access. Every company has applications and processes that it needs to share across a wide range of devices. Businesses that can transition processes to work seamlessly across devices and locations will be more agile and more likely to succeed.

How is the cloud impacting your mobile strategy today? Do you have a plan to transition your most vital apps to the cloud?

Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.