Across the globe, organizations are including mobile devices in their employee communication strategies. Some companies are also offering to Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) options to employees. Thus, with increased adoption of mobile devices, the number of mobile workers is increasing and organizations are focusing on offering enterprise applications on mobile devices.
Line of Business (LoB) applications are specific to business applications, in the context of specific business processes. For example, partner applications, customer service applications, and so forth are especially useful for staff on the go.
The line of Business apps resides on the cloud. They authenticate users and act as a medium between the app and the enterprise systems.
Why invest in Line of Business Applications?
Mobile users who want to access business applications, need to be able to identify the information they are looking for, really quickly. They need to be able to access this information anywhere and anytime. They should be able to not only access but also analyze data and interact if required.
With high-speed networks and next-gen devices, this seems to be the way forward for businesses.
LoB applications must meet four important criteria if they should be successful.
1. They need to be user-friendly and be interactive. Any employee who is accessing a mobile device for official purposes is doing so because he wants quick answers, he wants to respond quickly or wants immediate information or access to data. He needs to be able to do all this without having to expend too much time and energy accessing the same.
If the above purposes are not served, the employee will not want to access the LoB application
2. Fully integrated with enterprise systems, especially those systems that they need specific access to. If the employee through the app can access only parts of the enterprise system, there is a good chance that he will put the task `on-hold’ till he is on-premise. Most organizations worry about information compromise and therefore are reluctant to put all of their data out on the cloud. Valid point, but this is also a case of `heads you win, tails I lose’.
3. Highly secure from the point of view of data compromise and leakage. The employee needs to be made comfortable accessing the Mobile Application on-the-go. It is not actually speaking his concern to worry about data leakage or malware.
The organization, in its own interest, has to ensure that security is provided and the employee can feel secure, accessing his data.
4. Domain specific. Some companies might be tempted to buy a LoB application which is available in the market. However, if it is not domain specific, then it can fail. An HR app must be not only HR specific but also relate to the domain in which it is being used. HR processes within an insurance company might differ from the processes in a health company.
The simpler, more friendly and complete the app is, higher the chances of adoption are.
For this reason, LoB applications are not as pervasive as they should be. However, the fact remains that their potential is huge and innovative companies must include it in their business strategies for the future to increase employee productivity.