Tackling the backlog: How to solve the enterprise application development problem

We already solved the problem of delivering enterprise applications with mobile apps, right? Think again. Enterprise applications just seem to be getting more complex despite the increasing expectation for simpler, streamlined actions from our workplace software.

Enterprise software is usually slow, complex, and riddled with features that only a small group of motivated “power users” need (and in most cases, they are also the only ones who understand how to use them). The average employee doesn’t want to engage with these old, clunky apps unless they absolutely have to. And even then, they must rely on power users to extract and pass along the information they need.  

So, why are we still stuck with these business applications that everyone hates?

Enterprises are running low on developers 

Many IT departments and app developers thought the solution was to design mobile apps that mirrored desktop application features and enabled access to important data on the go. And while these mobile apps were a strong step towards meeting the needs of employees, it has ushered in a whole new set of challenges for IT teams.

For example, many mobile apps have too many features – rendering them just as clunky and complex as their desktop counterparts. An overwhelming number of apps in the workplace that claimed to fill a void ultimately go unused. In fact, nearly 80 percent of mobile enterprise apps are abandoned after their first use.

Additionally, more than half of developers report having a backlog of apps waiting to be developed - some with more than 10 pending apps apiece. The demand for more apps, on both desktop and mobile, isn’t slowing down either. To make matters worse, today’s modern workforce doesn’t just want easy access to information on their desktop or mobile device. They want it wherever they are – whether that be in a web browser, email inbox, or a messaging client – without having to disrupt their workflows to get it themselves.  

But 37 percent of organizations face a shortage of developers, and with the constant introduction of new technologies, 44 percent say they face a knowledge gap in the skills needed to develop mobile apps. Companies can’t generate enough developers to match the demand for applications.  

Micro apps give development teams some relief

So how do you solve what seems like an impossible problem? Go micro.

Many companies are tackling their supply and demand challenges by focusing on micro apps: single-purpose apps that pull information from existing systems across an organization and securely deliver it to employees. Micro apps enable IT professionals to quickly develop custom apps – some in 15 minutes or less - to solve individual pain points. In addition, the smaller codebases of micro apps make them lightweight and easy to maintain, alleviating some of the burden on IT and making it easier for them to make changes to meet business needs. If any updates or new features are needed, developers can work on the specific micro app that needs updating, or create a new micro app, without taking an entire system offline.

Sapho empowers IT teams to quickly build and scale custom apps that employees want to use. Sapho’s modern portal experience uses micro apps to pull data from legacy systems, databases, and SaaS solutions throughout an organization and deliver it to a unified feed, which can be personalized according to the needs of individual employees. These apps provide task-specific, highly targeted updates and notify employees when changes happen in their work applications. Micro apps can also deliver information to any device, browser, email, or messaging platform without any extra effort on the part of development teams.

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Elle Sidell is a Digital Marketing Manager at Sapho. She joins from AVG Technologies where she worked on web content for business stakeholders. Her previous experience includes content creation, copywriting, and managing the online presence of several SaaS services.

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