When developing consumer apps, there are some hard and strict rules. In consumer apps, intuitive interfaces and easy navigation are essential. Much of the data needs to be stored on the devices instead of back at the database, so that access is quick even when connectivity isn’t at its best. But an entirely different set of rules apply to business apps. Here are the differences app developers need to be aware of when building apps for business purposes.
Security updates for a business app need to be released immediately as vulnerabilities are discovered.
A consumer app needs to be secure, but in most cases the security is more of an afterthought. Most apps can leak no more than perhaps a password. Business apps, however, are usually the gateway into a company’s most carefully-guarded data. Business apps can lead a hacker straight to sensitive business intelligence, intellectual properties, their customer databases, and more. Instead of tacking security on as an afterthought, developers building business apps need to factor in security from the design phase through deployment.
2. Business Apps Need Far More Functionality
Consumer apps are usually built to do one general thing. Having a few extra features is a side perk. For instance, a consumer app gives you the weather or keeps you up on sports scores or lets you shop for new shoes. A business app, however, is a one-stop shop for workers, and might include a wide range of functionality from general ledger to account management to workflow. While consumer apps demand streamlining and specialisation, the business app needs to offer a plethora of features and functions.
3. Business Apps are Tolerant of More Fields and Trickier Navigation
Developers should never assume that a consumer will bother clicking through two or three screens to do a simple task, but as the complexity of a business app increases with the number of features packed in, the navigation and ease of use can be expected to decline considerably, as well. While simplicity and usability should always be a primary focus of the developer, business apps are more tolerant of difficulties in navigation than are consumer apps.
4. Data in Business Apps Should Be Kept on the Back End
Keeping most of the data back at the database instead of storing it on the mobile devices helps you keep the critical business data secure.
In consumer apps, developers often stash a considerable amount of data on the phone to help the app work lighter and faster, especially when connectivity isn’t so good. With business apps, though, most of the data is sensitive proprietary information. Developers need to keep as much data as possible on in-house (or cloud) databases instead of the devices. This way, if the mobile device is hacked, lost, or stolen there is little on it to damage the company. Optimally, you will empower the IT department with an easy way to remotely wipe the data (and perhaps even the app) if something does happen to an employee’s device.
5. There is Less Wiggle Room for Experimentation When Building Business Apps
Consumer app developers can try lots of funky, fun things, but developers working on business apps need to stick within the mainstream. Definitely strive for a great user experience with an attractive interface. Just don’t stray far from what’s expected in terms of layout, design, and navigation. Keep it professional.
The development pros at Glance are ready to help you get started on a great new business app. Visit their website today to get started!
Simon has worked in the software industry for over 20 years; intent on always producing work of the highest standard and creating software products that genuinely makes things better for people. Simon has previously held positions ranging from Developer, Technical Consultant, Head of Development through to CTO and more recently founder and CEO of several high profile technology companies.
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