Tired of Underperforming Email and Collaboration Apps? Try These Performance-Boosting Steps

Don’t let poor mobile app performance sap the productivity out of your workforce – and force them to seek out their own solutions

istock 105689217 small

Mobile apps have become the business user’s lifeblood. When crucial apps including email and calendar fail, perform poorly, or don’t sync effectively, the results can be devastating. Fortunately, in today’s environment, there’s no reason for organizations to settle for any solution that fails to live up to enterprise expectations.

Here are a few tips to help businesses overcome the impact of underperforming email and collaboration apps.

Find focus. The number of mobile app downloads is expected to reach 269 billion in 2017, almost double the 2014 number. When it comes to apps, there have never been so many options for the business user or the enterprise. As such, organizations need to pay close attention to app quality (including whether or not it’s native to the operating system), usability, and security. This is especially true for business-critical email and collaboration apps.

Poorly integrated email, calendar, and contact apps make it difficult to sync information to perform simple tasks quickly and easily. Poor service or outages on the back end can make it impossible to access critical information when needed. This is true whether connecting to the enterprise data center or third-party apps like Box, Evernote, or Google Drive.

The impact of poor app selection doesn’t stop at underperformance. Unfortunately, it can also spell disaster if security isn’t enterprise-grade. With over 1 billion mobile breaches in 2014 alone, and dramatic increases in year over year mobile malware rates, IT needs apps offering end-to-end encryption of data at-rest and in-transit with AES 256-bit encryption. Other factors are crucial, such as the ability to trigger manual or automatic compliance actions to block or wipe enterprise data based on password policies, jailbreak/root detection, device compatibility, OS compatibility, and more.

Listen to your users. Paying close attention to what your user base wants while embracing a mobility strategy is instrumental in limiting the possibility of users embracing unstable apps on their own. Find out what they like and dislike about existing apps as well as what they hope to accomplish with their email and collaboration tools. For instance, more users have come to expect features like pre-determined email replies, predictive moves to folders, and one-tap sharing of calendar availability. Users also appreciate the ability to personalize their experience with customizable gestures and shortcuts.

The BYOD movement has made it easy for users who are unhappy with IT-provided applications to seek out solutions on their own – solutions that in some instances unintentionally leave an open door for unauthorized access corporate networks and sensitive data.

Aim for enterprise grade. Perhaps the best way to avoid performance issues including app crashes and security limitations is to find enterprise-grade apps capable of providing the functionality users desire.

Unfortunately, few consumer apps provide IT with the tools needed to rapidly and proactively track and monitor performance, identify points of failure in the infrastructure, or take corrective action as needed. When designed with the enterprise in mind, IT has the ability to leverage critical analytics, maintain high uptime levels, and limit the number of outages.

Maintain flexibility. User preferences and work styles change and new apps are hitting the market at a record pace to help the enterprise keep pace. The key to remaining flexible is to select an email and collaboration platform that is extensible and can easily take advantage of these new apps.

While security needs to be the foundation, the need for flexibility is just as important to avoid committing to highly restrictive options such as proprietary container environments that once prevailed in the mobile management space and have a hard time keeping up with OS platform changes. Flexibility helps organizations easily scale the number of users and the apps rolled out.

The right enterprise mobility solution will address these four principles to keep your users productive while simplifying management and security for IT.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.