I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the CTO Forum’s “RETHINK TECHNOLOGY: Transforming IT Systems, Data and Technology Operations”. It was a great conference with more than 100 CTO/CIO’s in attendance.

There was a lot of discussion and questions about enterprise mobility at the conference. In upcoming blog posts, I’ll review the three top topics that came up in my conversations with clients, prospects and industry experts. Here’s the second:

Do all B2B apps need to look and feel just like a consumer application?

This is a question that customers often raise. It’s a great question because it raises two issues critical to true enterprise mobility: 1) when to consider a process-driven (as opposed to code-driven) approach; and 2) how to factor the user perspective (and experience) into your development plans.

The way we look at it, the best apps are the ones that get used. To that end, a great mobile app has to do two things: 1) support your business functions and processes and 2) work in a way that is comfortable and intuitive to your users. If you try to force-fit an old window app onto a mobile device with VDI or by rendering in the mobile browser, the lack of functionality and familiarity will guarantee both user dissatisfaction and limited usage.

The key to true enterprise mobility is to create mobile apps that directly support your business requirements/processes and are native to the mobile device delivering a great user experience, including the unique functionality of the device. For example, use the camera for a Travel and Expense application, use voice-to-text for medical dictation and use location services for delivery professionals.

Bottom line: the core purpose of any B2B app is to support the business. But when that support is coupled with a great user experience, you’ve got a truly productive app.