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A Definitive Guide to iOS Enterprise App Development

A Definitive Guide to iOS Enterprise App Development

According to Statista, an online statistics portal, Apple claims that the number of iOS apps downloaded from the Apple store has crossed the 100 billion mark in June 2015 (from July 2008).

Now that’s a staggering figure, isn’t it?

Enterprise Mobile Apps_Chart

Source: Statista

The regular mobile apps that you find on any app store are the ones developed to directly target consumers around the world. They are based on some simple tasks, like learning English and simple mathematical formulas, to complex tasks, like managing expenses and maintaining calendar appointments.

But, enterprise mobile apps are those that are dedicated specifically for teams within an organization and enterprise customers instead of for just direct consumers

These business apps are made for companies of different sizes and are more data-centric . Developing these apps involve fulfilling stringent requirements with regard to company security, administration and maintenance.

According to Apple, around 98% of the Fortune 500 companies have an iOS application which clearly shows that enterprises are keen on investing wisely in business apps from a long-term point of view.

Let’s check out the best practices for developing iOS apps for enterprises.

Hire Qualified iOS App Developers

Would you trust an individual app developer, who has made some regular apps, to develop an enterprise app for your company just to save costs?

Of course not! Right?

When the stakes are high, you need well-trained and qualified developers who have significant knowledge of iOS app development for businesses.

Being an experienced app development team ourselves, we realise the importance of getting the enterprise app development process streamlined from the start. And a key component to this is to hire (on contract or on a permanent basis) the right iOS app developers from proven mobile app development agencies.

Determine an Appropriate App Development Method

There are different ways in which your company could get its enterprise app built, based on your peculiar requirements.

This depends on whether you need an HTML5 app, a native app or an app that lies somewhere in between.

The following are some unique methods or techniques for iOS enterprise app development:

Bespoke App Development

Major companies opt for enterprise apps that are custom built.

The perfect way of achieving this is by using a device-side iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). You then need to appropriately integrate the back-end systems or applications with the mobile app, which often raises some security concerns due to the involvement of user authorisation and connectivity.

To deal with mobile apps and its integration with back-end apps, some changes to the back-end systems or hand-coding and logic building are required.

Cross-Platform App Development

You can build native apps (which meet most of the capabilities of a mobile) or HTML5 apps or hybrid apps (a combination of native and HTML5 apps), using cross-platform tools.

These tools include Configure.IT, PhoneGap, Telerik, Apache Cordova and more.

Even if you are developing an enterprise app for the first time, you can try a comprehensive platform like Configure.IT, because it offers automatic coding capability, app preview facility, direct API connect and similar features.

Backend-As-A Service

Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) solves the concerns for back-end integration in an enterprise along with proper user authentication and security.

These services can be used by you in addition to the cross-platform tools to design and develop integrated business mobile apps that will be compatible with any device.

With this method, you can easily integrate with cloud apps, but integrating with on-premise resources is a tad difficult.

Platform-As-A-Service

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is one of the latest model-driven methods used for integrated enterprise app development.

It consists of complete application lifecycle management abilities to model the business logic with code generated in the background and it makes it easy to integrate with on-premise and cloud apps.

Get a Work Model for iOS App Development

Although there are several models available which you can opt for but the most popular and effective approach to the enterprise app development process is the agile methodology.

It involves a systematic process from gathering the requirements through making a strategy through creating the app design to actually develop and deploying the app.

Deploy and Test the App

Developing an iOS app for your enterprise is initially done on an iOS simulator. As part of the deployment process, you need to get the app on your physical Apple mobile phone. You can then do the beta testing for your enterprise app before it is officially made available to users.

It is extremely important for your company to plan for the future and ensure appropriate maintenance of the deployed enterprise app.

Every app has to go through numerous innovations after real-time usage and it helps to have professional expertise at hand.

So, your company needs to have a budget for maintaining the iOS enterprise app which will go a long way in improving its efficiency and overall productivity for your organisation.

It is clear that your company needs to plan for enterprise apps and start the development process as soon as possible. The future is friendly mobile apps and to stay ahead of your competition, your firm needs to have highly efficient, secure and innovative iOS apps.

So, what are you waiting for?

Enterprise Mobility Trends in 2015

The last few years have been a whirlwind period for enterprises, as work cultures ruffled up and finally settled for new ways of doing business with enterprise mobility. It has made businesses realise the potential of mobile devices supplied by them to their employees and how it can create a positive impact on their business in terms of enhanced communication, increased productivity and improved efficiency.

According to a study by Salesforce, 60% of British workers use mobile apps for work-related productivity and around 21% use department-specific enterprise apps. It has also been found that enterprise apps boost employee productivity by 34%!

While enterprise mobility is focused on solving the business needs, normal mobile apps are mostly fun-orientated and specifically focused on the consumers.

Additionally, developing enterprise mobile apps is much more complex and expensive, demands reliable security features to prevent any breaches of confidential business transactions and requires highly-skilled resources.

So, what lies ahead for enterprise mobility? Is it going to evolve more this year? Although half of 2015 is already gone, we can expect to see more improvements in the remaining months.

So let’s see what’s in store.

More Devices for Greater Enterprise Mobility

Forrester states that about 20% of all tablets sold today are used in enterprise mobility. This all started with the Blackberry in 2000 and the pace increased with smartphones in 2007 and again with tablets in 2010.

Besides this, a heterogeneous world of devices is emerging as “internet of things,” connecting all possible devices together.

You need to keep up with the pace of the ever-changing world of digital devices where the success mantra is to provide an outstanding user experience by adopting new technology and engaging the customers through the variety of devices.

This caused a paradigm shift in workplaces with the deployment of enterprise-focused apps being on the rise. According to Forrester, 65% of enterprises view customer engagement as their primary mobile priority.

So, we will certainly witness more devices used by businesses to maximise the usage of enterprise mobility to improve efficiency.

Interactive Apps on Multiple Devices

You have tested the agility and efficiency of enterprise mobility with services delivered in your hands on your smartphones and you do business and personal transactions with a whole range of smart devices, resulting in higher expectations for better services in your terms.

But now you want a consistent experience through resourceful apps on all your communication channels. Isn’t it?

To handle such mounting client anticipation, the IT industry is gearing up to meet the ever growing demands of enterprise and customer mobility.

One way of doing this is by an overhaul of the backend architecture to provide SOA-based apps running on a variety of digital devices. Enterprises are shifting to provide a perfect customer experience on all possible devices through interactive apps that aptly represent their business processes.

Such architectures will need a common code-base for all devices. It’s like a single application wearing various masks for multiple channels of interaction.

Versatile, Scalable and Robust Customer Apps

As this trend is catching up, a need to provide versatile, scalable and robust apps is being felt. These apps can be off the shelf or customisable to handle various user demands. They should be instantly deployable or vertically or horizontally configurable to adapt to your business processes.

The coming years will see a major growth of control systems to integrate the apps with the back-end functioning of the enterprises to give proficient and expert guidance to customers for profitable business deals at both ends.

Another new mobility trend is shaping up in enterprises is “bring your own device” (BYOD). Organisations have visualised huge savings by using smart devices brought by employees to their workplace. Internal business processes are now mobile-enabled through apps for employees in manufacturing, human resources, sales and marketing, and many more.

According to Forrester, by the end of 2015, 60% of the enterprises will employ higher investments in their IT departments in mobile apps. The fast invasion of smartphones, encouraged by low-cost Android phones, is driving the rapid growth of app development and downloads.

Providing Good Customer Experience

Enterprise apps are bridging the gaps between designers and IT professionals. Designers are being encouraged to create appealing designs to provide a unique experience to the customers. This collaboration of designers with IT professionals and the adoption of development standards across organisations will help create apps which give an excellent and beneficial customer experience.

This will allow experts and professionals to present the business and its processes to customers. To hit the bull’s eye, a single interconnected technology stack is needed to cater to all the development needs, such as device management, design, development and testing processes for multi-channel applications.

As per Forrester, 226 billion apps will be downloaded in 2015 and this number will grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2%. By the end of 2017, 45% of the cloud services will be SaaS based. The world of mobility is being redefined and so are the enterprise processes. So with bigwigs forecasting a bright future for mobility, enterprises would not want to miss this opportunity.

Final Thoughts

“The global market for enterprise mobility is expected to grow from $72 billion to $284 billion by 2019, nearly quadrupling in size,” said the president of Products and Marketing of Kony Inc.

Enterprises are growing with mobility by redefining, reshaping, refining and refreshing their internal as well as external business communications and collaborations.

Apps for communication, office productivity, sales force automation, human resources, supply chain logistics, mobile commerce and customers are opening a new avenue of enterprise mobile applications for any imaginable and conceivable business process.

So we can expect to witness much more advancements in this space in the coming years.

What’s your view about enterprise apps? Have you implemented it yet? Do you have any points to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!