Mobilizing a business requires more than simply providing users with mobile devices and popular off-the-shelf apps. To really move the needle on productivity, companies need custom mobile apps that empower people to perform critical processes anytime and anywhere.

When it comes to developing custom mobile apps, two principles in particular are critical: Apps must deliver a great end-user experience and easily adapt to change.

Swipe-and-Go Design

The conditions under which mobile apps are typically used make an intuitive user experience especially important. Whether you’re a salesperson heading into a meeting or a field service tech grabbing lunch at a fast-food drive-through, you usually have only a few seconds to complete any given task. User success, therefore, depends on completing that task in just a few easy steps.

And because popular consumer apps such as Waze and Uber make it easy to accomplish complex tasks, they’ve raised user expectations for ease of use. If an app doesn’t offer a user-friendly interface, adoption will suffer.

Therefore, organizations should thoroughly test their interface design prior to sending a mobile app into production. I’ve found Kony Solutions’ mobile development platform to be great for this because it lets the developer create a functional front end before the rest of the app functionality is developed. That allows for early feedback from employees that will help developers ensure that they’re delivering intuitive apps that fit the way people work.

Flexible and Adaptable

In addition to fulfilling users’ expectations on the front end, mobile apps also have to be extremely adaptable on the back end. With the advent of virtualization and the cloud, back-end IT infrastructure — where the data lives — has become very fluid. It’s imperative to build mobile apps that can flexibly access these back-end resources without having to be updated in the field after they have been deployed. This flexibility lets developers avoid interruptions in their mobile initiatives, which can add cost and undermine success.

Here’s where Kony Mobile Fabric, part of the broader Kony Mobile Platform, is particularly helpful. An abstraction layer insulates apps from back-end resources so the app doesn’t have to be recompiled when those resources are moved or modified. Any back-end changes are accommodated automatically.

In fact, by leveraging Kony, we were able to quickly and cost-effectively support a broad mobility initiative at one of the largest healthcare systems in South Florida. The initiative encompasses 10 different mobile apps, including one that mitigates the revenue loss associated with physician referrals outside of the healthcare system.

You can get the same results by paying close attention to user interface design and by abstracting apps from back-end resources. That kind of true mobile enablement can provide your business with significant operational advantages and set the stage for even more sophisticated mobile capabilities in the future.

For more information, check out CDW’s white paper, “The App Roadmap: Mobile App Strategy for the Workplace,” or leave a comment in the field below.