Using the right app development platform can keep your company ahead of the curve, says Thomas E. Hogan, chief executive of Kony
The explosive growth in mobile apps is staggering. Understandably so since mobile apps can help businesses do incredible things. An app can run your customer loyalty programme. Sales agents on the road can access all the information they need to work collaboratively with customers and report back to their HQ using an app in near real-time. They are great for selling, servicing, increasing brand awareness and decreasing costs. The benefits are huge.
Yet many enterprises continue to struggle and hesitate in launching mobile apps to their employees, partners and customers. IDC reports more than half of enterprises have no mobile strategy in place and only 15 per cent have released more than one app for their employees. We know there’s an appetite to embrace mobile, since 75 per cent of enterprises say mobility is “essential” to them.
So what is going wrong? IDC reports the biggest mobility challenges are operating system and device management, and ongoing cost control. This makes perfect sense. Keeping up with the mobile industry is a nightmare.
Consider the launch of a new mobile handset. IT teams need to leap into action to test their app for compatibility. How many new smartphones and tablets get launched on Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone every month? It’s becoming impossible to stay up to date. Also, it is pretty common for enterprises to take a “grass-roots” approach to mobile projects, with each business unit either choosing a different set of app development framework tools or outsourcing to a boutique agency – making it very difficult and costly for IT to support and maintain such a large number of one-off, tactical implementations.
By using a standard, multi-edge app development platform, IT departments can create apps that will work on all devices and be up to date no matter what the industry comes up with. Furthermore, by using an app development platform, enterprises can slash development costs and time, both initial development as well as the ongoing evolution needed to keep your app current. Modern mobile app platforms are now so advanced and some fully leveraging cloud-based computing, IT departments can much more easily manage all the headaches and complexity, while meeting the ever-increasing demands for mobile apps from their lines of business.
The Kony platform is the world’s most popular method of developing and managing enterprise-grade apps. Our customers include household names such as Citigroup, Rentokil and Warburtons. We have developed more than a thousand enterprise-grade apps in the last five years, which are used by more than 25 million people worldwide.
Rentokil, the largest commercial and residential pest control services company, uses Kony to develop its mobile applications. Previously it used Windows CE to provide salespeople, surveyors and technicians with the ability to file reports and access company data when out in the field.
Developing new apps was daunting. Rentokil has a strong technology infrastructure, meaning the app would need to work with a variety of back-end systems. The user-base is diverse too. As an example, the needs of a termite exterminator are different to a corporate account manager.
Start to add in the complexity of writing apps for Android, Apple and Windows Phone, plus for phones and tablets across all the countries in which Rentokil is present, and keeping these apps updated, the picture got pretty challenging.
UNIQUE HOLISTIC APPROACH
So Rentokil turned to Kony’s application development platform to build its apps. Kony takes a holistic approach to mobile app development that’s unique in the market. Its software development lifecycle or SDLC, as they call it in the industry, begins with design. Design is often overlooked in the mobile app development process, but companies are finding that most mobile apps fail because of lack of user adoption caused by poor mobile app design and experience.
The implication of this new way of building apps is profound – enterprises can generate apps for all manner of tasks and business processes
Kony Visualizer lets enterprises design the look and feel of the app, in an app-like environment. This is far better than the classic design tools, which have zero functionality or relevance to support the rich and varied user experience requirements of mobile technology. Kony Visualizer lets designers and end-users download and see exactly what they will get on a native device – “What you see is what you mobilise” – quickly reuse templates, and use cutting-edge visual effects, such as pixel-perfect layout, layering and animations, so the experience can be refined from the outset. Kony Studio makes it easy to complete the back-end development, such as wiring to databases or business systems, and the finished product will function cross-channel across mobile operating systems and devices.
When the mobile app has been designed and built, Kony MobileFabric, the mobile-optimised cloud services, is where other business functions are woven in. No matter how complex your enterprise resource planning system, it can be integrated. Other functions, such as identity and security, offline data synchronisation, orchestration and locations-based messaging, can be introduced with a few clicks.
Kony Management allows security policies to be defined for either the device or the app. For example, if you want the app to shut down when a worker leaves the factory floor, this can be made mandatory.
For the ultimate in rapid, no-code development for the line-of-business users, there is Kony Modeler. This solution allows non-developer staff to create apps using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface with pre-built app models, available from either Kony or partners as part of the Kony Marketplace. This simplicity empowers business users to quickly develop their own bespoke apps. These apps created using the Kony Modeler solution can be immediately deployed to end-users and updated via the cloud.
READY TO RUN
What really turbo-charges the whole experience is the Kony Marketplace. This online exchange allows business users to discover pre-built app models, many of which are ready to run. These are developed by independent software vendors. For many enterprises, there will already be an app that is perfect for what they are after. All they need to do is find it at the Kony Marketplace and customise it for their business, such as change the colour scheme, add a logo and so on.
Kony’s approach to enterprise mobility meets both the needs of the IT department and the line of business. This dual-approach means that the chief information officer has a comprehensive mobile app development platform to develop and manage the software lifecycle and infrastructure. The line of business can have the option of using a pre-built app, which is ready to run. Others will want to create their own unique app from scratch, taking advantage of application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) on offer from Kony to make sure there is full integration with their enterprise back-end systems.
Naturally, the Kony Mobile Platform is guaranteed through our unique service-level agreement to be upgraded so it’s compatible with the latest phone models, operating system and form factors within 30 days of a new iteration, which is a huge relief for your IT department. When the iPhone 7 or new Samsung Android phablet hit the market, you can be sure your app will work perfectly.
The implication of this new way of building apps is profound – enterprises can generate apps for all manner of tasks and business processes.
Coping with the mobile app explosion won’t be easy. This is especially true for businesses with a shortage of app development talent. The Kony platform means your enterprise can deliver secure, enterprise-grade apps up to 75 per cent faster.
You can do amazing things with apps. They will revolutionise your enterprise. All you need to do is know how to build them the right way.
To find out more visit Kony.com