Many of the CIOs all over the world, handling the IT management, are facing the urgent need to get the excess apps dissolved, which have far outlived the utility in their enterprise functionality. All are digging out effective ways to come out of the App overload problem lately and are also taking suggestions of the tech gurus in this regard. According to latest survey reports, covering over 100+ CIOs and IT managers all around the U.S. as well as European companies, more than 85% of the participants think that their application repositories are desperately in need of rationalization with immediate effect in order to assure smooth functioning.
To start with, one mobile application is deemed to be good for the purpose in hand and then two may come into picture to give better results; but problem begins when this number grows on. And if this happens, the organizations are likely to get jammed up with umpteen of apps, which may create a lot of troubles and chaos for them to handle these in an effective manner. As per the expert advice, the CIOs of any IT organization must anticipate this situation well ahead in time before their tech team starts facing the trouble of handling too many of the applications than the actual capacity. On not having a specific policy in relation to handling the apps, it is possible that the enterprise may get flooded in no time with the apps flowing in from all the directions, internally and externally, from many private and public app stores as well as from different websites.
Cause behind the problem
As many people think, this is not purely due to the upsurge of mobile apps as these are still at their nascent stage. The problems are largely related to the legacy apps, the drastic and ever-ending changes in technology, and overlapping of the enterprise solutions. Due to these situations, majority of the IT managers start thinking that the apps landscape is, in most of the cases, an obstacle in successful management of IT business rather than being a supporting pillar for the business.
The statistics of another survey on information workers in 17 countries show that the anytime anywhere employees – who are working from different geographical locations using more than three electronic devices and many different applications based on their comfort – have increased from a total of 15% in 2011 to 29% by the end of 2012. It is expected that this trend has just started and it may go up to above 905 million universally by the year 2017, bringing a drastic change in this scenario.
In the current situation, an ever-growing number of mobile applications, utilized by a large number of independently working employees from different locations on the same process, can pave way for multiple vexing problems. One of them can be the availability of many different applications to accomplish the same task. Also, there can be a situation where different versions of the same app are available with variable functionality.
Due to the app overload in different stores, the users are most likely to get confused on deciding which app to choose and the administrators may also fail to suggest their customers the apt one to be used.
The practical solutions to be considered
There are many suggestions put forth by the IT experts to come out of the app overload problem. Some of the measures to be taken by the CIOs / IT managers to build their mobile engagement strategy for effective outcome are as discussed below:
- Proper auditing: It is essential to conduct proper surveys involving the business managers as well as other users to identify what they are doing with the apps. It is also important to introduce an application portfolio management practice to determine the baseline of the existing mobile app portfolio.
- Using portfolio matrices: As the next step, it is important to determine the business value of each app. One can make use of the portfolio matrices to derive methods and then commit to the users and business stakeholders.
- Setting priorities: After surveying and determining the business objectives and deriving how the mobile apps will meet these goals effectively, the CIOs need to prioritize them based on their values against each business goals.
- Using unique app store: Along with these, consider using a unique app store to distribute apps effectively in order to avoid app overloading and to enable the IT team to manage and gain control over this portfolio.
For new businesses, this task is pretty easy if the CIOs got a good grip on the process with proper understanding of the business goals from the beginning itself. They should be able to foresee the situation of app overload and the potential risks it pose to the business. Having a close eye on it can surely save a troublesome situation later.
About Author: Mini Belwal works with PixelCrayons, an IT consultancy company. PixelCrayons helps its partners meet their long-term goals, not just the short-term ones. With services such as eCommerce and CMS development, mobile development, the company aims at giving true value to the investment of its clients. You may get in touch with PixelCrayons if you are planning to hire mobile web app developers for your web project.