Five steps for building a successful enterprise application strategy

CIOs everywhere want to create a more digital workplace. While digital transformation involves all areas of the business, one of the fastest ways to get started is to rethink your enterprise app strategy.

Now, rethinking an app strategy doesn’t mean simply moving away from legacy systems and implementing new SaaS solutions. It truly means taking a hard look at your employees and what they do on a day-to-day basis to determine what would make them most successful. Here, we’ve identified five tips to create an enterprise app strategy that will help your employees work smarter and more efficiently:

1. Assess how employees work. Employees work in a variety of locations throughout day. While many vendors would advocate that a mobile-first focus is the future, it’s important to consider where your employees spend the most time – many employees still spend much of their time behind a computer screen with a keyboard (like me right now working on this blog). Mobile is important but think about all of the channels, such as devices, apps, and tools employees use to do their jobs. Enterprise apps and data should be accessible from all of the different channels your employees use in order to simplify how they access information and to drive their productivity and efficiency. 

2. Think micro. App development is going micro. Rather than focusing on bloated, expensive app development projects that never get finished, app developers should focus on delivering simple solutions to complex problems. Why? Because employees get overwhelmed with (and simply delay completing) complicated workflows that seem to have no end. Instead, they want the most urgent part of their workflow delivered to them so they can get it done quickly. Then, they want to receive a notification for the next portion of the project that needs completion. This helps them focus on smaller, more manageable chunks of work, which can be completed quickly.

3. Personalize everything. Too often, employees are presented with far too much data to make a rational decision. Instead, employees would prefer to access only a subset of data that has been personalized to their specific needs. Think about the apps you use in your personal life. Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest personalize and deliver content based on your preferences and search history. You receive push notifications for things that need immediate attention (or are perceived as very important) and then you have the option to check your customized feed during downtime to see what you missed. Enterprise apps should take the same approach to create an engaging experience that drives adoption and productivity. 

4. Use machine learning and artificial intelligence. Employees spend one day a week searching for information across various systems to make a business decision. This is no longer acceptable. Machine learning and artificial intelligence will make finding relevant information more effective in the enterprise. Machine learning can overcome the roadblocks that keep you from getting the information you need to do your job, such as information siloes and unstructured data, by providing employees the exact data they need when they need it. It can monitor your past information needs to surface what you’re looking for in your daily systems, or it can go even further and monitor for important changes in your business systems and surface personalized updates for you before you even know you need them. While these technologies are still in their infancy, many companies are dipping their toe in them to simplify how their teams work. 

5. Start small. Rolling out new systems and applications to transform the way your company works will be a daunting task. So start small with high-value use cases. Prioritize the apps and the workflows that will have an immediate impact on your employees and the business. Then, as you see results, you can focus on expanding the use cases – and thus the number and types of apps – that will benefit from a new way of doing things. 

While there are many components of an enterprise app strategy that can work for your business, our hope is that these steps will help you create one that drives productivity, efficiency, and engagement.

Check out this short video that shows how Sapho micro apps improve productivity, efficiency, and engagement.

Natalie Lambert is the Vice President of Marketing at Sapho. She joins from Citrix where she held multiple product marketing leadership positions. Before that, Natalie was a principal analyst at Forrester Research where she was the leading expert on end user computing.

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