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Employee-facing apps failing to meet end user needs

While facilities management businesses are now making use of employee-facing mobile applications, new research has shown that the vast majority face regular reports of issues from their workforce.

The research by mobile data capture specialist, WorkMobile, which explores the rising case for ‘no coding’ app development, revealed that 91 per cent of FM Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have received complaints from end users about their apps’ functionality.

The two most commonly reported problems are that apps are difficult to navigate, with 55 per cent of FM businesses’ employees experiencing this issue, and that they are not updated frequently enough, a problem encountered in 46 per cent of businesses.

Other widely-cited complaints included apps providing a poor user experience (31 per cent), not being sufficiently tailored to employees’ roles (26 per cent), and only being available on company-owned devices (19 per cent).

Exploring the reasons behind these issues, the report found that while 48 per cent of CIOs in the FM sector are expected to enable employees to work remotely more easily, more than a third (34 per cent) are also under intense pressure from other senior members of the business to adhere to restrictive budget constraints.

This has resulted in issues both when developing mobile solutions in-house, and when procuring third-party apps. According to the research, 26 per cent of CIOs have experienced difficulties developing apps within a designated financial budget, while 34 per cent have found costs a problem when implementing off the shelf apps.

Colin Yates, Chief Support Officer at WorkMobile, commented: “Mobile apps can be a brilliant way to streamline operations and facilitate better remote working – particularly for field-based employees. They can also help to make social distancing easier, by eliminating the need for certain employees to return to the office to complete paperwork.

“However, it’s clear that in their efforts not to exceed tight department budgets, many IT teams in the facilities management industry are struggling to find and implement apps that truly make the end users’ roles and responsibilities easier.

“Developing apps in-house is time consuming and costly and requires specialist expertise that many companies find it hard to source. Equally, purchasing off the shelf solutions can result in apps that don’t quite fit the requirements of the business.

“Newly emerging no-coding app builders offer a fantastic alternative that enable CIOs and their teams to quickly and easily build their own solutions that are specifically tailored to the needs of their employees and can be tweaked as needed based on feedback from employees.”

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