Enterprise Cloud App Updates: 10 Tips for Adding Social, Mobile Features

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Know Your Target Market and Tailor Your App Accordingly

It's essential that a developer know what type of enterprise they're targeting. For instance, a small organization often prefers simplicity and will not require deep integration, while large enterprises need apps that require deeper integration so they can scale to huge audiences and global commitments. Many developers try to deliver a product that meets both ends of the spectrum and in the process miss both targets completely. Make the decision at the beginning, and once you've conquered one segment, you can always move up or down market. —Joe Fisher, vice president of products, Bunchball

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Focus on the User Experience

First, start with an unwavering focus on user experience. What are your users' goals? How can you make it unbelievably easy for them to achieve those goals? Then think about the social and mobile aspects of your product as additional opportunities to help the user satisfy their goals and you'll be on track for delivering a great app. —Eric Wu, co-founder, Bracket Labs

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Consistency Across All Devices and Use Cases

The biggest "trick" to developing apps like BMC Remedyforce in the new connected model is to consider all the ways a user will interact with the system, including social, mobile, email and Web. The experience should be similar across all, yet allow the user to interact in the way with which they are most comfortable and that provides the fastest way to accomplish their task. —Chad Haftorson, director of product management for Remedyforce, BMC Software

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Design With Social in Mind

Social integration should be one of the first interaction aspects you consider in building your user experience. Think about how your app presents events and notifications through the feed, making your app part of the conversation. Conversely, think how your users' activity in the feed integrates and affects your app's behavior. By automatically mining social data associated with its data model to look for comments and likes, the app can adapt and optimize itself automatically. A social design changes enterprise apps from being data-centric to being solution-centric. —Andrew Fawcett, CTO, FinancialForce

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Optimize the User Interface for Mobile

Mobile apps for the enterprise need to be intuitive yet innovative, engaging and social. The UI design is critical to ensure adoption and continued use. Developers need to continuously update the app to maintain engagement and interest. Leveraging social is much more than just sharing via Facebook and Twitter. Social capabilities need to be baked into the core of your mobile apps in a way that increases stickiness and adds significant value to the user experience. —Peter Grant, CEO, CloudApps

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Focus on Communication and Collaboration Within Your Company

When it comes to developing social apps, it's important to think inside the walls. There's lots of communication and collaboration that needs to happen within an enterprise to complete a task such as launching a marketing campaign. Applying this same thinking along with the tools we're familiar with in the social media world can provide some great opportunities for social collaboration within an organization. —Steve Woods, CTO, Eloqua

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Balance, Security and Platform Selection Are Critical

When considering enterprise app development, it is important to balance speed to market with a robust solution that can quickly be implemented and deliver value both for the individual user and the organization. Platform selection is another critical component as it allows developers to focus less time and energy on development and maintenance of the technology stack and more time on solving the organization's business needs. Finally, security is a must-have for today's enterprises as the app and its information flow across mobile platforms and connect throughout social businesses and social mediums. —Nathan Snell, executive vice president of technology, nCino

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Use Social Intelligence, Predictive Insights to Transform the Customer Experience

When developing cloud apps, leveraging predictive insights that tap into the vast quantities of rich customer relationship management, mobile and social data are critical for businesses in building apps that are personal, truly relevant and help transform the customer experience. —John Ball, CEO, KXEN

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Innovate Quickly to Stay Competitive

"Developing connected apps requires the ability to innovate quickly, to generate revenue quickly and to deploy securely on any mobile device." —John Love, chief technology officer, global technology, Concur

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The Social Revolution Is Here: Pay Attention

The challenge for today's developers is not just to build a better mousetrap; it is to build something that stands on the shoulders of giants and makes something game-changing. The only way to do that is to take advantage of the social revolution, and pay attention. The application development world has never moved faster than it does today. Things that will fundamentally change the world six months from now haven't even been drawn on bar napkins today. —Dan Reid, director of product management, Docusign

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