Mobile apps for business are one of the most important innovations of the recent past. Mobile apps and smartphones together have created a shift on how data is accessed and shared at workplace. Already many businesses have included smartphones in their list of critical productivity tools. According to recent study by Forrester, around 13% of information workers are using smartphones for work at least once a week. From e-mail to collaboration, there are many types of mobile apps for professionals that enable them to do the most sophisticated tasks more easily.
With the increased need for apps has come a boom in the mobile app development industry. There are more options for building than ever before. Those options fall into two different categories off-the-shelf development and custom development.
Custom-development: In this case, a company pays a development shop or hires an in-house team to create customized apps for its own business. This is often the best option for companies that are building mission-critical pure native apps. However, this process of development is expensive. Hence, most businesses, especially the small ones, cannot afford them.
Off-the-shelf development: If you do not have the resources or budget to build a custom app in-house or with a development shop, you may be able to purchase, at a much lower cost, off-the-shelf apps. You can use them for everything – from email and scheduling to data collection to CRM.
Common mobile apps in enterprise workplace
The following are a few of the most commonly used mobile apps for the enterprise workplace.
E-mail apps are one of the most basic and commonly used apps in business mobile devices. They enable e-mail usage on smartphones and tablets. A Forrester survey reports that 92% of information workers have an e-mail app on their smartphone.
Schedule planner apps have a calendar that can record and remind users of important events, meetings, etc. According to Forrester survey, around 80% of information workers have calendar apps.
Customer relationship management apps manage and share interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects by integrating sales, marketing and customer support information into a single, centralized database and software system.
Service and support automation apps enable workers in the field to capture real-time service information using mobile phones and tablets and transfer it immediately to back-end systems through wireless connectivity. They also allow you to access this data instantly at any point of time.
Near field communication apps establish radio communication between two smartphones within a certain range.
Financial apps can access your financial data like payments, expenses, pending bills, customer accounts from your mobile phone. You can also use these to share or record the financial data whenever required.
Apps for healthcare industry help in managing product and patient information, prescribing medication, checking drug interactions and even billing using smartphones. These can also be very helpful in epidemic outbreak forecasting and monitoring.
Future of mobile apps in business space
Improvements are still being made to mobile productivity apps. With more and more companies encouraging use of smartphones in their workforce to enhance productivity, there is a lot of potential for development of business mobile apps. Further, with cloud computing technology enabling easy development of mobile business apps, businesses can greatly leverage them for their operations.
Mobility is the trend and apps are quickly overtaking traditional software development. Choosing between off-the-shelf and custom development of apps entirely depends on requirement and budget of the organization. Though a lot of progress is seen in business app development in the recent past, there still remains a large scope for improvement.