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Experts Tackle Enterprise Mobility at Latest B2B IT Forum

Experts Tackle Enterprise Mobility at Latest B2B IT Forum

Despite the monumental traffic on Tuesday night (where did that come from?!?), we had well over 100 folks at our most recent B2B IT Forum, and the feedback has been universally positive. Our panel of experts, led by moderator Chris Hazelton of 451 Research, provided a compelling and informative discussion on the shift to mobile within organizations of all sizes. Thanks to the panel, the audience left the event smarter about how they can navigate the challenges of developing mobile apps for the enterprise.

Here’s a quick recap of the key takeaways of the evening if you weren’t able to attend.

App development and distribution:

  • Building apps for the enterprise is not easy, Verivo Software CEO Steve Levy said. Keep your initial expectations low, and learn something from your first few attempts.
  • Identify what your users are trying to do, and how you want them to be productive on the device.

  • Simply put, the apps have to work and they have to be simple to use. Users expect this because have been trained on consumer apps that are easy to use. They expect the same from enterprise apps. Prat Vermana and Swarna Podila made these points clear to the audience. Prat said he spends more time in testing than in development.
  • Remember: people will be using your app. Understand who you are giving the app to, and the types of devices they will be working on. Don’t lose sight of this, Samsung’s Ken Daniels urged the audience.
  • Localytics VP of Marketing Bernd Leger referenced a key stat that 26 percent of users download an app and never use it again. Enterprises have the same challenge, he said, so put users in the center of your efforts, and they will be satisfied.
  • The distribution of enterprise apps was also an area of interest. The panel discussed three options:
    • Companies can put the app in the App Store, Google Play, etc., which makes it available to a larger audience
    • They can choose to distribute the app privately amongst their employees
    • They can work with a company that already has an app in an app store and provide it to the workforce in a customized manner

BYOD and ensuring the security of sensitive data:

  • It’s imperative to define the information you are trying to contain and protect. But it’s easier said than done: how are you ensuring data is accessible to employees without being sharable outside the workplace?
  • Strong encryption will prevent/limit the loss of sensitive data if a device falls into the hands of a “bad guy.” Developers need to consider encryption as a necessary part of the app-creation process.
  • Only a small percentage of the audience knew of a BYOD security policy in place at their organizations; comparatively, nearly all acknowledged that BYOD was the norm at their company.
  • An organizational BYOD policy must exist, but Apperian VP of business development Cim Buser noted that there is no set-in-stone solution to BYOD policy. Formulate an approach catered to your company’s needs and goals.

Our thanks to our excellent panel of experts and our engaged audience. Stay tuned for details about the next Forum coming this spring.

By popular demand: Presentation slides from Matt Fates and Chris Hazelton are available here: http://www.slideshare.net/AscentVP

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