12 Mar 2013

Does your business need an app?

These days, apps go far beyond the shiny entertainment and productivity offerings you can find in the App Store or on Google Plus. Find out how custom enterprise applications can help you really embrace a mobile workforce and reap the rewards of mobility.

Supporting a mobile workforce

Web-based apps available to your teams in the field allow data to be pushed back to HQ without being permanently stored on a mobile device. You’ll have the most up-to-date business data in your head office, and you can make more informed business decisions. It also means that in the event of a device being lost or stolen, it does not contain sensitive business data.

Automating admin

A web-based app also eliminated time-consuming administrative and data-entry task you’d otherwise having to engage lower-level employees to tackle. When sales and customer data are automatically updated and added to your systems and environments, it eases the burden on the company as a whole.

Enabling (safe) Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD)

Apps that are designed to fit the form factor of phones, tablets, laptops and desktops will allow your employees greater freedom in how they work. It’s likely they’ll already be using apps from the public app stores to perform business tasks, and this comes with significant security risks. With an internal application delivered via its own dedicated portal, you can overcome these while retaining the mobility benefits of BYOD.

Reducing licensing costs

Developing a custom web-based app specific to your business that will be available to both desktop and mobile users may reduce your reliance on third-party software that must be licensed for each user or device.

When should it happen?

You should make a realistic decision about when to develop an enterprise application or roll out an enterprise app store to your staff. If your workforce is highly mobile, you’re running most applications from the cloud, you already have a BYOD system in place and administrative tasks are a significant burden on your budget, the answer is “NOW”. If you’re not in this position, you should look at your plan for workforce mobilisation and check whether staff are using public apps for business purposes before developing a strategy for your enterprise applications.