How To Build Apps That Make Your Employees Happy

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Employees are on the go. They need mobile access to internal apps — gone are the days that a desktop-only portal makes the cut. But only 12 percent of employees use enterprise apps — even though 85 percent of the ones that do say their favorite enterprise app saves them time and 83 percent say their favorite app makes them more productive.

No surprise, then, that businesses are looking to develop mobile apps that make it possible for employees to get the job done from anywhere; enterprise app development spending is forecast to continue to rise, reaching $201 billion in 2019.

For technology executives, it's more important than ever to research and choose from the best mobile application development platforms (MADP) for business-to-employee (B2E) scenarios.

A recent report by International Data Corporation (IDC) provides an in-depth review of the MADP market. Published in November 2016, IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise Mobile Application Development Platform 2016 Vendor Assessment — B2E Apps Alignment includes buyer guidance and an assessment of each of the 10 "Leaders" and "Major Players" in the industry. The IDC report named Salesforce as an industry "Leader".

Here are some of the highlights of the report's findings — and why Salesforce is ranked highly.

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The size of each vendor in the chart above represents its market share, while the two axes position each vendor by "capabilities of the company and product today, here and now" and "how well the vendor's future strategy aligns with what customers will require in three to five years." Salesforce scores well on both capabilities and strategies, and is one of the top three market shareholders in the enterprise-focused MADP market.

IDC's report identifies three areas buyers should focus on when choosing a mobile app development platform vendor:

  1. Optimized integration with other mobile app deployment and management solutions used by the enterprise
  2. Wide selection of front-end, client-side mobile app development tools that enable teammates of all technical skill levels to create, customize, and test mobile apps
  3. An enterprise customer focus that enables new clients to benefit from the vendor's past experience with other enterprises that have built successful internal mobile apps

Decision-makers should also look for platforms that target both line-of-business developers and technical developers as well as prioritize integrations with widely-used enterprise back-office software and processes. Top players in the MADP market understand that enterprise clients needs their systems to be highly integrated for optimal use.

Finally, buyers should consider platforms with a "clear vision of their future evolution," the report says. A strategic vision helps enterprise clients understand how their individual needs fit with the platform's own development in the long run.

How Salesforce Stacks Up

The IDC MarketScape report identifies Salesforce as an industry leader and offers a thorough review of Salesforce App Cloud Mobile, an enterprise cloud platform for quickly building and deploying mobile apps. The report calls out Salesforce's strengths in flexibility and usability:

"Salesforce's installed base of CRM software clients is testament to the value of the company's approach to solving enterprise-grade software and scalability needs. Salesforce has invested significantly in its mobile app development platform approach to building mobile apps in a short time to market."

See how Salesforce builds employee apps internally and delivers an engaging digital employee experience.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.