Despite the increasing interest in mobile apps at the enterprise level, we’ve realized something interesting in our time within the industry: many companies have no idea what it costs to create and support an app (for the record, from development, to testing, to support, an app could cost in the ballpark of $50-100 thousand over its lifetime).
And yet, we know that every business decision is based on ROI (or if it isn’t, it should be). Companies are for-profit, and their decisions should always be informed by that need. We also know from a lot of time with IT budgets that they’re not a loss leader. IT departments exist, as any other department should, to either increase efficiency or decrease costs.
So when you start to roll out mobile apps, how are you measuring ROI?
By the time you’ve decided to release an app, you already know how much you’ve invested to get there—but it’s up to analytics like those that you can get through App47 to measure your return on investment. Here are a few things that proper analytics can tell you, all of which can help you determine the ROI of your new enterprise-wide app:
- How often your app is being used. First and foremost, analytics can tell you how often your app is being used. The user base of any app (internally or externally) is often a good indicator of how useful it is; if no one within your company is using your app, doesn’t that say something about its utility? By tracking how often your app is being used, and who’s using it, you can get a much better idea of what type of impact it’s having within your organization.
- How often your app crashes. Tracking how often your app crashes is a sort of negative ROI calculation. Any time your app crashes, it’s wasting valuable employee time and reducing organizational efficiency—a sign that things need to change. Knowing how reliable your app is is key to understanding what type of value it brings to the table.
- What types of transactions are being performed with your app. By monitoring activity within the app itself, you can get a much better idea of how the app is impacting ROI. Placing sales orders, looking up stock quantities, and solving a customer’s issue all have very different returns on investment, and the better you can pin down how your app is being used (and potentially, how its actual use compares to what you designed it for), the better you can measure its overall ROI.
- Whether or not your app is performant. Finally, analytics can tell you whether or not your app is even capable of adding value. If your app is taking too long to download or crashes frequently, an employee could instead opt to return back to their laptop—thus completely erasing any value that the app could’ve potentially had.
Analytics allow you to measure the performance of your app by tracking ROI and helping you support the app once it’s been released, and our platform here at App47 lets you do all of that remotely, without ever having to be physically connected to the device.
If they haven’t already, companies at the enterprise level are very soon going to start looking at the release of an app as a revenue-generating event. It’s simply not possible to measure the ROI of an app without proper management tools—enterprise mobile apps need to be managed just like anything else within your business—and just as companies want to build and deploy their apps, so too are they going to want to monitor and manage them over time.
That’s why we built App47 three years ago. And if you haven’t already started thinking about how to manage your apps (and measure their ROI), now is certainly the time to start.