In a series of five articles, our consultants Estelle Banoum and Sébastien Chatel, consultants at Arctus, detail the five key factors to consider in order to successfully convert your intranet into a mobile application.
In this 3rd article dedicated to the mobile intranet, we remind you the possible technical approaches, for employees, in a context of mobility.
In this article, we will consider that your non-connected employees are not equipped with smartphones provided by the company, as these are more often reserved for executives. To access their company's intranet from their personal smartphone, non-connected employees will have 4 possibilities.
This is by far the simplest for employees. No need to install any application, therefore it is ideal for occasional use. Of course, this implies that your intranet is web-responsive, accessible in mobility (no VPN or device blocking) and that the URL is simple enough to remember. All the employee has to do is enter his or her login and password to access it.
Be careful though: it is possible that several features are not not available (offline article reading, push-notifications, multimedia reading, documentary links, etc.).
Also, unless your employees bookmark the intranet link in their mobile browser, it is unlikely that they will use your intranet daily .
Downloading a generic app from the solution your intranet is based on (SharePoint, Powell365, Lumapps, Sociabble, Unily, etc.) is an interesting option because it allows you to access all of the features of a mobile app without having to go through the development phase and upload to app stores.
The publishers have done so for this purpose and therefore offer you to use their generic application.
Beware, this means that you will be asking your employees to install an application that may have a different name than your intranet, which can be confusing. Moreover, additional security measures must be taken to ensure that your employees access your intranet and not that of another client of the same publisher (code to be entered, etc.).
Cette option est sans doute celle à laquelle on pense naturellement lorsque l’on veut faire une application mobile pour son intranet. Avoir une application qui aura les mêmes nom et logo que ceux de votre intranet ou de votre entreprise est idéal en termes de « user experience ».
Il se trouve que c’est l’option la plus complète… mais aussi la plus complexe !
Lancer une application mobile est en effet loin d’être un long fleuve tranquille. Il vous faudra vous entourer d’expertises techniques et fonctionnelles dédiées pour développer et mettre à disposition l’application.
En fonction de la technologie utilisée, vous pouvez faire face à des challenges techniques qui pourront complexifier le projet. Par exemple, votre application sera-t-elle mise à disposition sur les stores Google, Apple, Huawei ? Si oui il faudra passer par des étapes de validation souvent assez longues. Sinon, les salariés auront à télécharger l’application soit via une Company App store (à installer), soit via un fichier APK à télécharger et installer sur leur téléphone (il leur faudra alors autoriser leur téléphone à effectuer cette manipulation)
L’application mobile dédiée pourra être produite soit sur la base d’une application mobile fournie par l’éditeur de votre solution intranet, soit par un développement spécifique intégral.
A PWA is a web application that offers an experience close to an app. It is a mix between a native application and a website. In the context of a mobile intranet project, the PWA option has a few advantages:
Even though a PWA looks very much like an app, the user experience is designed for use on the web, overly advanced functionality can be degraded. In addition, compatibility with all mobile browsers and operating systems is under development. The choice between PWA and mobile application depends a lot on the features you are looking for. A PWA can also be deployed in addition to a mobile application.
The subject of cybersecurity is also an important subject that must be kept in mind in a project to launch a mobile version of your intranet. Indeed, giving access to company data on a mobile device must be accompanied by some safeguards. It is likely that your IT department will have to make sure that the basic security principles will be respected to access the content (authentication, even double authentication, enrolment of phones, etc.). This must of course be accompanied by awareness-raising actions for users (not divulging / distributing sensitive content to the outside world), and for your contributors (ensuring that the readability permissions for each content are properly set).
That said, be careful not to overdo it! Indeed, too complex login rules will be a barrier to adoption and usage: need to download an additional application for double authentication, request to change password too often, etc. These are processes that "connected" populations may be used to, but which may be new to the "unconnected".
Chances are, a lot of the information on your intranet doesn't fall under "sensitive" characters.
Therefore, adapt security rules to the degree of criticality of the content. If the essential use of your mobile application is to access the latest company news and the canteen menu in a simple and convenient way, it may not be necessary to lock down its access too much, at the risk of discouraging your users!
If you are at the stage of choosing an editor for your mobile intranet application, we can only recommend the CleaBox Consulting report The buyer’s guide to employee mobile apps dedicated to this topic. You can of course also contact us..
In our next article, we will discuss the costs of a mobile intranet.