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The 3 keys to getting value from custom-built apps

Ryan Faas | Sept. 18, 2017
Whether a company is building for mobile users, the desktop or the web, custom apps can solve a lot of enterprise problems – if IT does all the right things in the right order.

The development process doesn't end when an app is rolled out. Facebook, Google, and myriad other companies have trained people to expect constant iteration and improvement. This expectation extends to all apps, including custom-built corporate apps.

This means that app developers need to remain engaged with users, their needs and any on-going problems. It's also good practice to set benchmarks by which to measure success. These can be as simple as tracking installation on devices, watching the network traffic generated by an app, studying how often the app is launched, looking at when it connects to resources, and/or which features are used (and for how long). All of these can be identified and automatically compiled. But the best benchmark is connecting with users to determine what works and what needs to be added, improved or removed. 

Although one-on-one user discussion is a great way to gauge user opinions, there are automated options to collect feedback, including helpdesk statistics or internet social/collaboration tools, where mentions of an app can be searched and collected. 

In responding to feedback and rolling out updates, keeping users in the loop via email or internal social platforms can help promote ongoing interest in an app, particularly if users are encouraged to suggest changes or identify areas that need tweaking.

Putting it all together, custom-built apps can deliver exceptional value across every industry in thousands of different situations and contexts. But that value is determined by how well an app meets real needs, delivers a superb experience, and is updated regularly in ways that continue to respond to real-world usage. 


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