08 May How to Measure ROI for your Enterprise Mobile Apps
Extending your team’s productivity tools to the mobile space can be a game-changer in many ways. Your mobile workforce enjoys greater efficiency and convenience, while your back office team sees timely and accurate data capture. Win-win! How can you tell, though? Measuring enterprise mobility ROI needs careful thought and management.
Defining return on investment (ROI)
The first step is always to define the question. According to Merriam-Webster, ROI = (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) x 100. That’s a great, basic definition. The next step is to figure out how to apply that definition to your specific enterprise mobile apps so you can determine your enterprise mobility ROI.
Basically, you’re measuring ROI for a tool. It’s not a straightforward calculation like cost of goods sold for merchandise, after all. It can be done, though. Let’s take a look at a few approaches that can give you insight into the value of your mobility investment.
Measuring enterprise mobility ROI
Mobile workforce apps are internal productivity tools, not products or customer-facing apps, so many recommendations for measuring gains simply don’t apply in this case. Your goal in rolling out enterprise mobile apps is to make a seamless connection, to expand your productivity ecosystem so that it’s available whenever and wherever your team needs it. Combine the results of a few different approaches to get a more robust picture.
ROI by the book: revenue vs. costs
The first, most straightforward approach is the classic revenue-and-cost method. Since this isn’t a product, define your key performance indicators (KPIs) carefully.
Choosing KPIs for enterprise mobile apps
What are some possible KPIs for your application? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Increase in sales
- Time to market
- Improvement in employee productivity
- Improvement in internal efficiencies
- Decrease in time to resolve customer support issues
- Decrease in data entry errors
Be sure to define the purpose and goals of your mobile initiative, and choose KPIs that reflect those goals.
Cost of investment for enterprise mobile apps
There are a few factors to bear in mind when calculating the cost of your mobile workforce app. In addition to the immediate cost to develop, test, and deploy the application, plan to include the costs of maintenance and updates during the app’s life cycle.
Maintenance: All software requires maintenance. Think about the release notes that come with updates to your computer or mobile apps. It takes a certain amount of effort and attention to keep a piece of software operational in the fast-moving digital world.
Updates: Software applications should also evolve over time. Apps expand their features and update their user experiences. They adapt to new hardware and new operating systems. This helps the app to stay relevant for its users. Each new or updated feature represents additional costs for programming efforts.
Once you have a clear picture of both your revenue indicators and your costs, you can measure your enterprise mobility ROI using the classic calculation. But don’t stop there!
Other measurement strategies
Drilling into the “fuzzier” measurements can give you valuable insights. The feedback you receive can guide you toward better management strategies for your enterprise mobile apps.
Measuring user engagement
For internal software tools, the “customers” are your employee end users. How much are they actually using the app? Did some employees start using it a lot but gradually stop? How quickly do new employees ramp up on the app?
Check your employees’ adoption rate periodically. If it’s not 100%, or whatever your target may be, find out why. Employees won’t adopt a tool that slows them down. You may need to redesign the user interface and flow to make the app easier to understand. You may need to provide more training to help your team understand how important it is for them to use their productivity apps consistently. Listen to their feedback.
Your app may also provide detailed usage data. Average time to complete tasks, total time spent or saved with an app, and the number and duration of sessions can be useful metrics.
This isn’t always easy to measure, but it is possible. How much travel time do employees log for returning to the office to enter data? Has that travel time decreased since you rolled out the app? Are employees completing more tasks in a given time frame? If so, then you have a measurable increase in productivity.
Finally, has customer satisfaction increased? This is the most indirect and yet one of the most important KPIs. Since you rolled out your enterprise mobility apps, are your customers generally happier? Do you still stand out when compared with your competitors? Do your customers perceive your company as modern and forward-thinking? Are they engaging with you more readily? If so, you’ve reaped the benefits of your mobile initiative.
Determining how to measure enterprise mobility ROI takes a little extra thought. Identify your goals and define KPIs to fit them; take a holistic approach to measuring both costs and returns to calculate a meaningful ROI value. Pay attention to engagement, usage details, user feedback, and overall customer satisfaction to manage your enterprise mobile apps and get the most value for your investment.
Learn more about mobile workforce apps.