Strategy, business models, and tactics are often used interchangeably but they differ slightly in their actual meaning. Business model is the means of identifying a solution’s key offerings that will make customers pay for the product/service.
Business model is defined at the outset, when the enterprise mobility solutions are discussing a potential application idea. It is crucial to get all aspects of the business model right, and the ambiguities (if any) listed and categorized as ‘needed to be addressed before development’ or ‘can be expounded on later’.
Here are 10 steps that cover all dimensions of a competitive and viable business model
1. Define clear goals
Most enterprise applications are built to generate revenue directly through customer payments or indirectly through third-party payments. The goal of the enterprise application can differ from just earning money for the organization. It can be to establish brand presence also. Hence, the priority of ‘getting downloaded’ vs. ‘earning revenue’ should be established. It goes without saying that if the app does solve a real-world problem effectively, it will generate revenue in either case.
2. Identify the technology requirements
Enterprise applications can be developed using latest technology or legacy methods – this depends on the type of audience that the application is catering to. If the app is targeted towards B2B customers, where it will mostly be used for employee utility, legacy systems can be used. If it is targeting general customers, it needs to leverage the state-of-art development technologies and methods to reach the market in minimum time-frame.
3. Create a reachable timeline
Go-to-market time is important. So is quality. One part of the business model is to minimize the development costs. If the time taken to develop the application is less, lesser man-hours will be billed. However, this should not be achieved while compromising the quality of the application. Hence, the client and the vendor (if outsourcing) should both set realistic timelines.
4. State the initial budget
The returns on the initial investment determine the total profits from the total revenue. This requires the initial budget to consider all aspects of application development – resource costs, infrastructure costs, tools and development environment costs, hosting costs, etc. This also includes the business plan that identifies the channels from which the application will generate money.
5. List the mandatory industry and government compliances
If the enterprise application is specific to a domain like medical, banking, etc., the necessary compliances (e.g. HIPPA, PCI-DSS) should be listed beforehand. This ensures that the application will be accepted by the leading application stores (iOS and Google Play) without the possibility of being rejected on the basis of non-compliance.
6. Fine tune and trim costs where possible
After including the compliance related features, there might be an overhead in the initial budget. These changes should be noted, and the whole estimate should be revised by cutting unnecessary costs where possible.
7. Identify the development method – outsourcing or in-house
Large enterprises often have their in-house teams, while some may prefer to outsource consumer-facing apps from vendors. The approach should be decided on earlier in the business model planning, so that the pros/cons of each approach are carefully weighed, and their effect on the final output measured.
8. Build a proof of concept/beta
If the application is a disruptive app, using completely new features and development technology, it makes sense to test the concept on a small scale before launching it on production. Hence, the whole business model formulation should be done only for this limited feature proof of concept version that is released for a few test users. If the application uses regular features (technology-wise), a beta version should be released for a closed customer segment, and their feedback should be included in the actual application version.
9. Roll out a controlled version
The bigger picture envisioned by the enterprise mobility solutions should be broken down into chunks that fit into a 3 monthly/6 monthly release cycle after the base version that has the optimal features fit to be used by the customers. This keeps the risks in check, and allows the business model to be flexible (only if the initial strategies are not working) in between release cycles.
10. Keep the business model evolving
In this agile landscape, it is vital for a good business model to continuously evolve according to the latest customer trends. Hence, due margin should be allocated in the budget and timeline for changes in the business model – like addition of extra payment gateways, integration of freemium features, etc. based on the customer behavior after the app is downloaded.
Chirag thumar is a web developer working at Technoligent. You can contact him to hire web developers to avail the highly enterprise mobility solutions and other web service. He has several years of experience in the field of web development.