In less than 12 months the demand for mobile enterprise apps will exceed the dev capacities by 500%. With the rise of BYOD trend and growing workforce mobility, companies can no longer rely on outdated monolithic software. While the microservices architecture allows businesses to improve productivity and UX on desktop, it’s micro apps that will revolutionize enterprise
app usage on smartphones. Here’s how it works.
What are micro apps & why should we care?
Most users think they’ve never come across micro apps, but they’re not quite right. Remember those Windows notifications reminding you to upgrade antivirus software or free up some space on your hard disk?
That’s what micro apps are – small, consumer-oriented pieces of software that provide highly targeted, task-based functionality and take minimum time to interact with. In the realm of mobile, micro apps do just the same thing (your weather forecast application is not supposed to book rides with Uber, is it?).
Why do enterprises need mobile apps in the first place?
Instead, you’d better address a reliable offshore vendor and consider going micro.
First, such approach would help you protect business data: according to the Global State of Information Security Survey, the number of successful hacker attacks on tablets and smartphones has recently grown by 53%. Second, user interfaces of most existing enterprise applications are suitable for desktop only. Instead of embarking on large (and costly!) software development projects in an attempt to re-create desktop app functionality on mobile devices, enterprises should segment their applications into small functional components (that is, micro apps).
From microservices to micro apps
2015 was a turning point for entrepreneurs who realized they could no longer ignore the change in customer and employee behavior (the growing adoption of mobile apps in particular) and started pouring millions of dollars into mobile app development. Their road to success wasn’t a smooth one, of course. Here’s why:
In a nutshell, microservices are capabilities (for example, integration with third-party services or report generation) that can be managed, updated and deployed independently. Micro apps, on the contrary, are UI-level constructs which enable users to quickly access the function they need on a smaller device. While micro apps can also use several function modules, they do not necessarily rely on the microservices architecture.
How could your company benefit from building micro apps?
Micro apps are supposed to make the lives of enterprise employees a lot easier. Consider this: each business task can be potentially streamlined with the help of simple, lightweight mobile applications! However, many companies (and even software developers!) seem to have missed the point of creating such apps completely. Guess why?
Business executives seldom understand how their staff and customers use mobile devices.
Tech-savvy employees don’t want to download 20 apps to book a conference room, write meeting minutes and send the report to the Head of Department. These functions can be successfully distributed between just two mobile applications that talk to each other using… micro apps!
According to Josh Epstein (currently VP of Global Marketing at Kaminario; previously worked for Reddo Mobility - a company that created micro apps based on standard Windows desktop software), every company that considers going micro should create a universal infrastructure for their existing enterprise software to provide full access and easy deployment of the available app resources.
Thanks to mobile micro apps, enterprises can surely cut dev costs, save time and facilitate business processes. However, we wouldn’t recommend jumping on the bandwagon blindly. Before you decide to incorporate micro apps into your enterprise mobile strategy, consult an experienced vendor to make sure you can maintain a large microservices ecosystem.