This post is part two in a three-part series on building a mobility strategy within the enterprise. To read part one, click here. Check back in after the Fourth of July for part three.  

As all too many companies have learned the hard way, building an app is no guarantee that employees will actually use it. With that in mind, you would be remiss not to consider how you’ll drive adoption when building out your mobility strategy.

This question—“how will we get our employees to use our apps?”—is a relatively new one for companies. When devices were company-owned, and pre-loaded with software, there was no need to ponder whether or not employees would use the devices or software. They had to. It was part of their job.

In today’s BYOD world, however, employers aren’t so lucky. Without a mandate to use a specific app—which, in our experience, is often a poor way to drive adoption—employers must not only build good apps, but also market them to employees to make sure they know what tools are available to them.

In the strategy-building process, here are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of getting employees to use the apps you build:

  • Forget the mandate. Thinking about telling your employees that they must use an app? Forget it. Though it’s certainly within your rights as an employer, telling employees they must use an app is a surefire way to start your mobility program off on the wrong foot.
  • Build good apps that empower your employees. The absolute best way to drive mobile app adoption in the enterprise is to build really good apps that empower your employees. If your app doesn’t make your employees’ lives easier in some way, all you’ve done is taken a process that already exists and stuck it on a mobile device.
  • Commit to gathering feedback—and implementing changes based off of what your employees want. Apps aren’t a set it and forget it deal. It’s essential to learn how your employees use your app, why they use it, what problems they have with it, and what they like about it. To build adoption and grow or sustain it over time, you must remain committed to gathering feedback and integrating it into future updates.
  • Market your applications internally. You might be surprised how many employees at a large company don’t use mobile apps simply because they don’t know what’s available to them. You don’t need to hold an all-day mobile app summit, but you should plan on doing some internal marketing—something like an email blast, or a lunch and learn—to ensure your employees know about the apps you’ve built. 

Just like apps in any consumer app store, no enterprise mobile application is ever going to stay afloat without a core base of users and advocates. In a mobility program, your employees are your customers.

As you develop your mobility strategy, don’t underestimate the importance of treating your ‘customers’ well. Prioritize their experience, make it easy for them to do their jobs, and make sure they know about the apps available to them if you want your program to succeed.