By Patrick Welch

Most IT managers have a good understanding of how apps are being implemented and used in their company. However, many struggle with ways to enable the full extent of productivity benefits, particularly when it comes to managing massive influxes of apps. Below are the ten must-have strategies for your checklist before launching apps to the enterprise.

1. App security

App security encompasses the measures taken pre-launch and throughout the application’s lifecycle to tighten security and prevent hiccups in the policies of an app. Flaws in the design, development, deployment, upgrade or maintenance of the application come as a result of faulty security policies.

2. Encryption

Furthermore, companies need to choose apps with advanced encryption, just as we see with PCs. IT needs full control over how and where employees are using the app in order to ensure enterprise network safety.

3. Compliance

Compliance with major regulatory initiatives is necessary to help keep information shared via the app safe.

4. Device compatibility

With a wide range of devices—including diverse operating systems and form factors—entering enterprise networks, applications compatible across multiple computing platforms are ideal.  Its significance revolves around the web of BYOD and company-owned devices. For instance, if an employee is issued a company-owned smartphone, but wishes to use a personal tablet of a different operating system additionally, all mobile apps must allow for cross-device compatibility and functionality. Today, most enterprise apps are available across operating systems, and compatibility is correlated with employee productivity.

5. Consumer-like experience

The consumerization of IT is here—yesterday! Investing in apps with a consumer-like user experience provides a number of benefits, including an easier transition, less time and investment spent on training, and natural encouragement of higher adoption rates.

6. Test-drive

For IT, a test-drive speaks volumes to the success rate of new apps. Deploy prospective apps to a select group of employees and follow through by working out any obstacles before the entire staff is involved.  

7. Integration

An app’s ability to integrate with tools employees need throughout the lifecycle of their business content is essential, which might include abilities not just to deliver that content, but to manipulate it and share it.

8. Social capabilities

Additionally, social networks like Twitter and Facebook are increasingly prominent professional tools (think HR or marketing).  When it comes to choosing an app, some have solid capabilities built-in for integration. Eliminating the need to tirelessly toggle between business apps provides a favorable productivity return.

9. Ability to work offline

Working offline is a capability recently gaining growth and attention. Mobility promises real-time access to content on-the-go, and apps need to reflect that. Plane, train or automobile—unplugging is a typical part of the work flow, and offline access to apps is critical in enabling constant work-flow.    

10. Measurement and tracking

By implementing a check-list for each mobile app, companies can save time, money and headaches. However, once apps are on the enterprise network, the job doesn’t end. These apps need to be continuously measured and tracked to be sure they deliver ongoing benefits to the business. As processes and initiatives change, technology must also evolve, and an efficient enterprise mobile app strategy is key to staying ahead of the curve.

Patrick Welch is President & COO at bigtincan, a provider of mobile content management technology for smartphones and tablets