Despite the fact that employees want mobile-first work experiences, they aren’t getting them. As we recently discussed on our blog, a report by Sappho and Forrester Research found that 55% of companies have implemented three apps or fewer—a far cry from what many would consider a comprehensive mobile program.

There are a lot of reasons this could be the case. Many companies are struggling to find developers—internal or external—for their apps. Companies are also wrestling with decisions about which processes to improve with apps, with the cost of managing a full-scale EMM program, and even with driving adoption and long-term usage of apps after they’re developed.

As Kia Behnia of PowWow Mobile explains in a piece for EnterpriseAppsTech, however, the challenges we just mentioned aren’t the biggest obstacles to enterprise mobility. As he sees it, these are the three biggest obstacles to “ubiquitous workforce mobility:”

Battery life: Even if they have the apps they need, many employees are today limited by the relatively short battery life of their devices. As Behnia sees it, devices must be able to withstand much longer usage times without dying in order for workers to be truly mobile.

Poor user experience: This should come as no surprise if you keep up on our blog. Users want good apps. If apps don’t work as they should, crash often, run slowly, or are difficult to use, employees simply won’t use them. (And if they’re forced to use them, productivity will be negatively impacted.) Companies must prioritize user experience for widespread mobility to be viable.

Transformation of legacy apps: Finally, Behnia argues that legacy applications which aren’t optimized for mobile can be detrimental to workforce productivity. Simply ‘translating’ legacy apps to mobile isn’t enough. Companies must transform apps to better fit mobile work styles. This is a more taxing and difficult process, but the results are worth it when employees are given custom tools to help make their jobs easier. 

“For organizations to mitigate the challenges of app transformation,” Behnia explains, “they must build and embrace a mobile-first work culture in which user experience, workflows, and security are prioritized above all else.” We couldn’t agree more. Mobile-first must be the standard moving forward. However you get there, it’s essential for mobility to be a priority.

For the time being, there isn’t a lot most companies can do about device battery life. Companies can, however, build apps with great user experiences. They can also find the right tools and people to turn legacy apps and processes into eminently usable mobile applications. We absolutely agree with Behnia that conquering these obstacles will position companies for success in the long run.