Learning Zone

What To Do When You Have a Poor Quality Enterprise App

It feels like it used to be so much easier. All you had to do to be successful in the enterprise was dominate your industry. Just think of juggernauts like…

  • Nike
  • IBM
  • Bose
  • Ford
  • United Airlines


These organisations used to have simpler goals that focused on a single outcome.

 

  • Nike? Used to just build incredible athletic wear and shoes. Now they are focused on technology innovations such as Nike+ and Apple Watch integrations.
  • Ford? Used to be focused on affordable cars and trucks. Now they have to consider the wider implications of technology in vehicles, infotainment and mobile operating systems.

 

So, what’s changed?

 

Somewhere in the last decade or so (hello iPhone era I’m talking to you) the entire customer demographics shifted to mobile.

Here’s the proof (6900% increase in case you are wondering):

 

 

With the shift to mobile, consumers have, almost overnight, demanded you become a tech company. But, here’s the rub…

 

Most enterprises aren’t tech companies.

 

A real problem emerges because your customer demands technology solutions that deliver value to them. Put another way by Catherine Heath from TechNation:

 

Many companies now have to produce technology without necessarily relying on it for revenue. However, their technology must be a key differentiator in how their business generates value.

 

The issue is that you haven’t built a kickass tech team with top notch developers. The company wasn’t founded on agile, DevOps and CI/CD. And that means…

 

You had to outsource.

 

Look, nobody is blaming you. In fact, “75% of enterprises work with a third-party provider for IT services.” (Enterprise IT Services Survey, 2017)

 

Here’s the problem though. Your customers are no longer judging you based on competitors in your industry. Let me explain.

 

When a customer downloads your enterprise app they are comparing it to the other apps on their phone. The traditional segmentation between industries has been blurred.

 

In the past consumers would usually compare quality within industries and between brands in the same ecosystems (think Ford vs Chevy or Nike vs Reebok, etc). That’s no longer the case.

 

According to Wunderman, 87% of US consumers (85% for the UK) are now measuring all brands against a select few who knock their socks off.

 

That means your clunky, low performing app is competing against the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Starbucks and more. Just think about that for a moment.

If you’re not a tech company, or haven’t transformed into one yet, but you’ve got an app...it's competing with apps beyond just your segment.

 

Is your app as good as Starbucks? I’d wager not and that you’ve never thought about it from this perspective.

 

What does this mean for your brand?

 

Even ignoring for a moment that your app has to compete with the likes of Starbucks and Netflix, there are some serious implications to consider. Here’s a few stats just to drive the issue home:

 

  • A recent Telsyte report found that just under one-third of Australian customers have ended a relationship with a brand due to poor service. [2]
  • 60 percent of consumers are likely to be less loyal towards a brand if they experience poor website or app performance [3]

 

The cost to your brand and revenue cannot be underestimated and, in fact, can be hard to fully measure. Sure, you can measure things like loyalty rates, Daily Active Users (DAU) or revenue but can you really measure all the users who decide to never engage with you in the first place?

 

To be fair, I’m not directly blaming outsourced development for this situation.

 

For many enterprise organisations it made the most sense to outsource development.

 

You’re outsourcing loyalty

 

You have to realise that at this point you are effectively outsourcing the loyalty of your customers to a 3rd party. Here’s what this process typically looks like:

 

 

 

 

If we dive into the quality issue a little deeper we can start to build some real revenue impacting issues. A large enterprise customer we work with discovered that a major function of their app was simply not working accurately in the field. Do you know how much it was costing per week?

 

A cool £200k per week in lost revenue.

 

I don’t care who you are, that much lost revenue, let alone the negative impact to the brand is simply insane. Couple this with the loss of 10% of their Android users after the latest release and the effects quickly compound.

 

By now the impact should be clear to any enterprise organisation that has an app. While I’ve particularly picked on outsourced development, the same rings true for inhouse teams.

 

Can you expect a traditional mainframe or COBOL developer to upskill into mobile development? (fun fact: About 95 percent of ATM swipes use COBOL code and the 58-year-old language even powers 80 percent of in-person transactions.)

 

So, what can you do about this?

 

One thing you can’t do is throw more people at the problem. For one thing, getting headcount approval in most enterprise organisations is akin to scaling Everest. Furthermore, creating more teams of QA people won’t actually tackle the fundamental quality issue plaguing your apps.

 

You could outsource QA but then you’d end up in a similar situation as the development front. Can you really afford to outsource the quality factors that impact your brand? Outsourcing is still limited by the expertise of the outsourced organisation which isn’t ideal.

 

You need a QA solution for enterprise

 

Enterprise organisations, as we’ve discussed already, need to leverage the expertise of a modern QA approach. You need something specifically engineered to ensure brand loyalty remains high, you don’t lose revenue and app quality is high.

 

Using a QA solution like Global App Testing allows you to easily scale your QA, without the pain of growing headcount. By scaling your QA team in this manner, you get to monitor and validate the quality of your internal or external software development teams.

 

Greater impact

 

Let’s pretend you are the Head of Mobile and you’ve got an outsourced vendor development team. In the past, they might grade their own homework and tell you the app is good for release but you’ve got to be the steward of quality.

 

If you’re using Global App Testing, this is where we step in.

 

Using a global crowd of over 20,000 professional testers means we help you deliver apps to market with greater confidence. Delivering apps with greater quality equates to higher revenues, improved retention and a more loyal customer base.

 

And who doesn’t want that?

 

Contact us today for a demo to see how we can help your organisation.

 

Resources:

[2] https://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/633463/poor-app-performance-cost-brands-more-than-their-reputation/
[3] http://smallbusiness.co.uk/consumers-poor-website-performance-2540328/ 

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Nick is a senior global technology leader having worked in an array of SaaS companies.

Schedule a Demo