The FINANCIAL — The vast majority of executives recognize the value of mobile apps for their business (87 percent), but very few are well prepared to successfully deploy and maintain those apps, finds a new Accenture study.
The Growing the Digital Business: Spotlight on Mobile Apps report surveyed nearly 2,000 senior decision makers. It found that during the design and build stages of app development, only 52 percent employ a testing program that includes user feedback. Only 48 percent carry out usage reporting or analytics to understand any user pain points in live apps.
“Businesses are not keeping a close eye on their apps. Nine out of ten respondents told us that they see high customer demand for effective mobile apps, but despite that half of respondents felt that mobile apps cannot be appropriately secured for business purposes, and only 45 percent of them have crash reporting in place,” said Abhijit Kabra, mobile applications practice lead, Accenture Digital – Mobility. ”To get the best results from apps, businesses must do rigorous testing before launch and robust app management once deployed. Not only does this help to provide the best possible user experience, but it will also help make sure that security challenges are addressed as an ongoing priority.”
“We found that too many companies are neglecting to continually improve their existing apps,” said Kabra. “So, they risk wasting their investment.”
App management throughout the app lifecycle helps avoid impaired performance that can frustrate users and create a poor user experience, or lead to weak security.
Half the survey respondents (49 percent) cited security as the greatest challenge faced in managing and developing mobile apps.
After security, the second biggest challenge cited was performance issues, such as crashing and bugs (37 percent). But, just over half (55 percent) make use of any bug fixing or tracking tools to help overcome this.
Senior decision makers expect enterprise apps to play a major role in adding value to their business, according to the survey findings:
82 percent of respondents see apps as integral to their organization
85 percent believe that apps are the dominant user interface of the future
Nearly nine in ten believe apps to be a portal to the digital business (87 percent).
However, less than half of respondents are taking advantage of apps to improve their business efficiency. Just 46 percent reported using productivity apps, and only 44 percent are using apps as a channel for sales, customer service or information. Other apps that could represent major operational benefits to enterprises such as mobile learning and collaboration apps are only in use in 35 percent of businesses, although a further 38 percent of respondents not using them today intend to adopt them in the next two years.
“Apps are becoming critical to access business data for real-time decision making, whether it’s to manage industrial processes, employee collaboration, training programs or the customer experience,” said Kabra. “So, user experience and app performance are more important than ever. Our research shows that business leaders clearly need to raise their game in app management to make sure they make the most of their investment,” Kabra concluded.