The Right Way To Deliver Enterprise Mobile Solutions

By Saima Siddiqui | Mar 09, 2015

The worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) market is poised for exponential growth over the next several years, according to IDC – up to 7.1 trillion in 2020. Now that most companies have crossed the bridge of mobile device management (MDM) challenges, many companies are exploring enterprise mobile solutions to optimize the workforce and transform business processes. Some corporations even have an appetite to roadmap an IoT or Digital ecosystem in order to build a more connected and smart organization, improve business process monitoring, control and optimize, and accumulate knowledge and shared value.

However, with an increasing number of trends in user experience, programming languages, and types of mobile devices (i.e. smart phones, tablets, Apple Watch, sensors, etc), the challenge is building an enterprise mobile solution strategy and delivery method that works for your organization.

ChaiOne believes in taking a collaborative and User-Centered Design-driven approach to deliver a custom tailored solution using the 5D Delivery Methodology, keeping our customers continuously engaged and providing feedback at every step. The sections below provide highlights on each phase of the 5D Delivery Model, including key deliverables for each phase.
5D

Discover: A User-Centered Design (UCD) Approach

UCD is about choosing from a collection of activities and methods from the disciplines of Human Factors and Psychology to form a strategy for engineering the user experience that businesses and organizations want their users and customers to have. It’s important to find a company that will work with you to determine the optimal method of research based on the ecosystem, roles and accessibility of personnel.

After the UCD activities and methods are selected, a six sigma (data driven) approach is applied to collect empirical and statistical data to identify areas of optimization within an ecosystem, which are then relatively ranked to identify low effort-high impact to high effort-low impact opportunities.

During this phase, it’s crucial to include key stakeholders in order to rank areas of optimization and generate high-level requirements, and in some cases a product roadmap based on tactical and strategic objectives for enterprise mobility.

Lastly, we recommend that customers find agencies that will engage with them in preliminary discussions on technology to understand their technical architecture and data security requirements to define high-level technical requirements.

Key deliverables may include:

  • Research Report
  • Workshop with Stakeholders
  • Discovery Report (containing Visual Explorations with Proof of Concept Screen Design)
  • Enterprise Mobility Roadmap

Define: Identify Your Next Mobile App

While Proof of Concept screen designs are created to show the potential and look and feel of an enterprise mobile application, a detailed scoping session is required to estimate the full blown Research and Design, Development and Deployment activities to produce a stellar enterprise mobile application that will transform or optimize your business processes. Some customers may choose to proceed with Research and Design only and then choose to develop and deploy themselves.

Along with understanding what it takes to build an enterprise mobile application, customers need to look for mobile companies that will work with them to understand Key Performance Indicators to define what values should be aimed to achieve through the enterprise mobile app. For example, it is critical for us to know the target audience, mobile devices used within the demographics, most widely used operating systems on the mobile devices, estimated app usage and usage time which can vary per industry, company and user role or profession.

Key deliverables may include:

  • Detailed User Requirements
  • Technical Requirements
  • Functional and non-Functional Requirements
  • Personas
  • Visual Explorations
  • Content Management Strategies and Taxonomy
  • Statement of Work
  • KPIs

Design: “Shaping digital things…”

To put it simply, designers shouldn’t just be UI or UI/UX Designers. They should be Interaction Designers who “shape digital things for people’s use” through the process of design thinking. The initial research (which occurs in the Discovery phase) enables an agency to identify the pain points to begin ideating and shaping solutions, which may be presented as the proof of concept screens in the Discovery phase.

Design ideation, is followed by establishing a design strategy which may include, but is not limited to:

  • Identifying key features
  • Determining the user experience, all things considered
  • Identifying key screens and their content

Once the design strategy is customer-approved, the iterative process of developing an app map (to organize data flow and navigation) and creating wireframes (basic screens), including stakeholder review and feedback begins.

High-fidelity screen (or “comps”) are created next, to visualize actual screen design and features, with iterative review and feedback from stakeholders. Having actual end-users included in the design process is key to creating an optimal design for your enterprise mobile solution.

Comps are followed by specs – a deliverable created to communicate detailed specifications of the high-fidelity screens to mobile developers.

Key Deliverables may include:

  • Design Strategy
  • App Map (map and flow of screens)
  • Wireframes
  • High-Fidelity Screens (or Comps)
  • Specifications
  • Technical Architecture
  • Data Model

Develop: Native vs. Cross Platform and a plethora of Mobile Devices

While other mobile solution delivery vendors may consider themselves experts in either native or cross-platform only delivery, ChaiOne works with the customer to advise a development approach that best fits the customer’s enterprise mobile solution. We breed a culture of continuous learning and being in-the-know of latest trends in mobile devices and mobile development.

To date, we have delivered a number of enterprise mobile solutions on multiple device types (i.e. iPhone, iPad, tablets, Android phones) for our customers via Apple’s B2B App Store, Consumer App Store, Heroku Apps for Android enterprise apps and Google PlayStore for Android consumer apps.

We recommend that an engineering team use Agile methods to execute, test and deliver enterprise mobile solutions, optimizing delivery by leveraging a variety of development tools to streamline and manage mobile code.

Key Deliverables:

  • Charting progress
  • Mobile App Releases

Deploy: Submit to App Store(s)

This is also known as the Run Phase. Generally, customers have to purchase licenses to deploy enterprise mobile apps to the appropriate App Store(s). We recommend finding a mobile agency that will purchase developer licenses for you and then have them notify you when the app is approved. Afterwards, it’s crucial to conduct ongoing maintenance of defects or bugs and minor enhancements, and also continue to maintain upgrades to enterprise mobile apps.

Key Deliverables:

  • Final Enterprise Mobile Application

Conclusion

It’s no secret that the better you define and plan your project upfront, the more money you will save in the long run by not being burdened with re-design and re-work costs, which can become very costly depending on the type of fixes warranted. However, before thinking about the features you want to build in an enterprise mobile solution and planning for it, have you determined if you are tackling the right problems or areas of optimization in your organization or company? As a start, I recommend reading Business Strategy: Leave User Research to the Experts, by Evelina Tapia, PhD (Psychology), because it starts with understanding the ecosystem of your organization and the people in it.
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