I was having a conversation about enterprise mobility with an executive of a large enterprise participating in the private beta of our new enterprise mobility backend as a service platform (www.kidozen.com ). In a very concise and clear way, our customer was articulating their vision around enterprise mobility. In his opinion, they have established a very simple strategy to mobilize some of the business capabilities of their existing enterprise system into different mobile applications. He was very emphatic about the fact that enterprise mobile apps should expose almost atomic and independent business capabilities in their simplest representation and remove all the extra features that impede a good mobile experience. A very simple vision but yet so profound.
In my opinion, a vision like our customer was exposing could be the difference between a success and a failed enterprise mobility experience. By definition, mobile applications are about simplicity and most enterprises tend to ignore that simple fact and keep thinking about creating mobile representations of existing enterprise applications.
While conceptually might make sense, implementing a mobile version of existing enterprise line of business applications will, almost unequivocally, produce unusable mobile applications. Instead, enterprises should focus on exposing mobile representations of specific business capabilities in a very simple way that can maximize the productivity of the end users. This might entail sometimes breaking up a specific enterprise application in various mobile apps in order to protect the end user experience.
In a nutshell, to build mobile you need to think mobile.
When building enterprise mobile applications, stop thinking about your existing enterprise applications and focus on exposing atomic business capabilities via very simple to use mobile interfaces. The apps might look trivial functionality-wise but this approach will tremendously improve the user experience and effectivity of your enterprise mobile apps.