The three enterprise ‘smart’ app trends that are transforming business processes
Although we live in an era of breakthrough innovation and entrepreneurship, millions of enterprise employees worldwide kicked off 2017 by continuing to embrace the constraints of desktop computers, old-school legacy business systems or worse, paper-based processes. This reality exists despite more corporations developing their digital transformation and mobility strategies over the previous 12 months.
Forrester predicts that many organisations will spend billions of dollars on digital transformation initiatives in 2017. While its too early to tell if the firm’s projection will manifest, we do know that a portion of digital transformation budgets will go towards mobile enterprise app development and deployment. In fact, the mobile enterprise apps market is expected to grow to $128 billion by 2022 according to a recent report from Strategy Analytics.
The goal of any digital transformation is to create capabilities that fully leverage new technology that will impact an organisation in a positive and innovative way. Employees who use enterprise mobile apps benefit from improved agility, are more aligned with their teams, are customer-focused and efficient.
As companies start to develop their 2017 digital transformation plan, here are three “smart” enterprise mobile app trends that are transforming everyday business processes:
Mobile apps are becoming more integrated
Enterprise mobile apps are a great resource for communicating with business units and sharing data. But many enterprise users haven’t considered how apps can use existing native mobile device features to improve operational efficiency.
Sales teams, maintenance technicians and other field workers on the go can benefit from geolocation and location-based services that offer the ability to tag items of interest with location metadata, and use location coordinates as a key to search databases. For example, if a technician is needed at a customer’s facility for an emergency maintenance issue, a manager back at the office can access their locations via the geolocation tracker on their mobile app and dispatch that individual to the job.
Beyond geolocation services, enterprise mobile app users can now also take advantage of other device features, including cameras for scanning barcodes in manufacturing plants, retail centres, and in hospitals to gather data. They can also use push notifications to alert app users of time-sensitive information, and utilise touch ID to make and approve purchase orders. With the right training and awareness, users can benefit from combining the functionality of their enterprise apps with the features inherent to their mobile devices.
Mobile app workflows are becoming more seamless and secure
Most mobile app workflows are not simple standalone apps. In fact, many enterprise mobile app platforms now provide advanced back-end services to support complex workflows that often span across multiple applications and data sources. The biggest driving factor for organisations to implement enterprise mobile apps is that it can ultimately transform how teams work, increase flexibility and improve workflows and collaborations.
When employees’ data sources and apps are available from their device of choice, they have the ability to seamlessly transition from one workflow to the next with little to no interruption. These cohesive movements sound great to users, but often leave IT teams challenged to balance the need for agility with a greater need of security.
According to Sumit Dhawan, VMware senior vice president, the concept of “conditional access” lets IT teams determine in what scenarios employees can access certain apps or data. With this, IT has the ability to impose restrictive access on a location or mobile device that may not be trusted, while not needing to eliminate the app from use altogether. This is a win-win for every enterprise stakeholder.
Mobile apps are becoming smarter
Companies will begin to rely more on chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) to connect with users and to improve customer experiences. For example, many employees agree that the current processes for completing timesheets, expense reports and time off approvals provide terrible experiences – yet they are necessities that are not going anywhere.
Fortunately, as chatbots begin to trend in the enterprise, they will take on the role of the personal assistant to the user, eliminating poor usability and making them straightforward and simple. While chatbots used in our personal lives such as Siri and Alexa let us know the current weather forecast, the latest news or request an Uber, similar chatbots available via enterprise mobile apps can make day-to-day tasks that usually feel arduous much more efficient. Most development teams are already turning to chatbots to improve one or two small but necessary tasks.
The focus of digital transformation in any organisation is to make processes more efficient and innovative while helping employees “work smarter.” As companies think through their digital transformation and mobility strategies, its important to consider enterprise mobile app development platforms that can provide these smart features as well as integrate seamlessly with existing data systems to give users the data they need to make informative decisions and improve existing workflows.
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