But the growing list of apps isn’t just limited to B2C use. Employees are using apps for work, as well - to expense travel, gain secure access to buildings and files, monitor and manage sales, revenue and customer data, and more.

Enterprise mobile apps have the power to completely change the way people work, but they can only deliver on their promise if they are widely adopted by an organization’s stakeholders. What’s the difference between business-to-employee (B2E) apps that fly and those that flop?

Gartner suggests that every good B2E app begins with a “product” rather than a “project” approach. As a project, one team builds the app, calls it done on their side, and then hands it off to another team to support thereafter. But Gartner recommends organizations look at mobile apps in an entirely different light – approaching them as products where development, improvement, and promotion is a continual group effort.

The 4 Ps of a Product Management Mindset

Gartner predicts that by 2022, 80% of enterprises successfully building, deploying, and maintaining mobile apps will have adopted product management principles to manage the mobile application life cycles of their portfolios. In the research note, Treat Mobile Apps as Products, Rather Than Projects, to Maximize Their Value, analysts Marty Resnick and Adrian Leow detail Gartner’s 4Ps framework which includes:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Placement
  • Promotion

Many apps suffer from low or no adoption because in a B2E setting, the fourth P is not given proper attention. But, the only way to ensure mass adoption and continuous use is promotion - and that’s where the product vs. project mindset shines the brightest. It’s not just the IT side of the house that should own the app and its success, but the entire organization.

Another key is understanding mobile app usage. What screens are people going or not going to? What functions are they accessing? How's the app performing? Just like a B2C app, organizations must think of their employees as customers and focus on how to increase engagement and satisfaction in order to maximize value and, ultimately, adoption.