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Developing a Business Case for a Mobile App

app roi

There’s no doubting the fact that Enterprise Mobility is becoming one of the most exciting opportunities within the workplace. Organisations are actively searching for ways to improve business processes through the deployment of mobile enterprise applications. That’s why it’s essential for businesses to develop a strong business case, and here’s how you do exactly that…

Creating an actionable enterprise app strategy is one thing but developing an effective business case is another. The global enterprise mobility market is showing no signs of slowing down and is expected to be worth as much as $140 billion by 2020.

And whilst it’s tempting to jump straight into the development of an enterprise application, it’s important businesses take time to define a proper business case to prioritise projects and measure success.

It can be a challenge to determine the ROI for enterprise applications. Cost savings from mobile projects are associated with process transformations, making them difficult to assess, especially because the majority of organisations haven’t baselined time and effort required by these processes.

Creating a strong business case can be broken down into 3 small pieces:

  • Calculating Benefits, Cost Savings and Revenue
  • Development Costs
  • Operational Costs
Calculating Benefits, Cost Savings and Revenue

The deployment of an enterprise application can increase business efficiency immensely. Mobile devices have the power to replace more expensive equipment and tons of paper-based procedures. Cutting internal communication costs is another capability mobile technology can see to, leading to more sales, calls, emails and CRM updates.

Mobilising a business can have a long-term impact and has the potential to increase traditional sales and field force metrics. Prior to the deployment of an enterprise app, your employees will have been spending valuable time amending data entry errors, filing new content and destroying old paper copies.

Regularly measuring the ROI of your mobile strategy will ensure that your app is helping to improve your workplace, rather than spending money without any thought to strategy.

Measuring the ROI of your mobile app isn’t visibly defined. Firstly, you need to come up with measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that marry up with your company’s goals and strategy. Determine the goals of your application and whatever they are, your KPIs should directly reflect them.

Once you’ve clearly defined your company’s goals, strategy and developed measurable KPIs, you can begin to calculate the ROI of your enterprise app. Make sure you weigh your KPIs against the development costs and operational costs (see below).

Once you begin doing this, it will become easier to see a tangible ROI number that you can weigh against the value of your mobile strategy.


Development Costs

It’s important to calculate how much the app development will cost per platform and to consult with development specialists to minimise the overall risk of the project. Technology is moving at a rapid rate, so you need to ensure your teams have the best and most up-to-date recommendations from a team who live and breathe mobile.

Testing is a procedure often overlooked during development projects but the reality is, the complexity of it needs to be taken seriously. Users won’t accept apps that don’t work properly and adoption rates will be severely damaged if each platform isn’t tested by specialists with testing capabilities.

Finding out the cost of integrating with your existing IT systems is a priority. The lack of suitable integration points is one of the most common issues encountered in mobile app development. Make sure you allow sufficient time and budget to consult with mobile API specialists during the early stages of development.

Operational Costs

Deploying an enterprise app can have an impact on your organisation’s infrastructure. It’s important to consider whether the added number of devices will have an effect on the usage of corporate Wi-Fi. You’ll need to consider the costs of upgrading bandwidth and whether it’s time to invest in a mobile device management (MDM) partner.

There’s the possibility of implementing training courses on new systems for internal support staff. What is the cost/time associated to on boarding training with new users?

ROI metrics aren’t straight forward in regards to mobile app development. Follow this model and work with the business and end users to uncover other business processes that could be mobilised and thus improved. Coming up with measurable KPIs will ensure you see a palpable ROI of your enterprise application. This will also enable you to make strategic improvements later on when updating or making any amendments to your app.

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