Enterprise apps “functional but unfriendly”, new report affirms

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According to a study from digital design and development studio ArcTouch, only 12% of respondents use enterprise mobile apps in the workplace – and of that number, many are ‘underwhelmed’ by the experience.

The report, “Functional But Unfriendly: A Study of Enterprise Mobile App User Experience”, polled 4000 office workers and found that enterprise mobile apps “underperform in the core aspects that make employees look forward to using the apps, and ultimately improve employee satisfaction and work experience.”

This is not exactly the most positive of news, although there were some caveats. 85% of those who do use mobile apps say their most-used app saves them time, while a similar number (83%) believe its usage makes them more productive. Yet only 13% of those polled would describe their enterprise apps as ‘elegant’, while seven in 10 would not describe their most-used app as intuitive.

The study also looked at uptake between off the shelf (OTS) and custom enterprise apps, with not especially surprising results; overall OTS apps were more commonplace – except for apps which covered specialised job-related tasks – yet for security and device management, as well as analytics, both were pretty much neck and neck. 54% of respondents said they spend more time overall with OTS apps compared with 46% for custom.

“There is a significant missed opportunity when it comes to enterprise mobile apps in today’s workplace,” said Adam Fingerman, co-founder of ArcTouch in a statement. “First, there is a large unmet appetite for apps among the workforce, and second, a slew of apps that are simply missing the mark.

“With great enterprise mobile apps, employers have the opportunity to improve their employees’ productivity and overall work experience. Yet many enterprise mobile apps today are simply not living up to user expectations,” Fingerman added.

The research, which can be seen in full here (registration required), makes for interesting reading, and echoes comments made in this publication last month following a mobility survey from CCS Insight. As Nick McQuire, VP enterprise put it: “We tend to think the vast majority of enterprises are developing apps, deploying these applications, governing and managing…it’s well discussed in the industry…but the reality is that only the minority of enterprises are doing that.”

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