What Are Enterprise Apps And Why Do They Matter?
Originally featured on Appindex.
There is no doubt that the growth in the use of enterprise apps is on a dramatic rise and they are increasingly becoming the norm at many businesses.
According to reports, the number of enterprise-managed devices increased 72% between 2014 and 2015 and IT teams will be spending at least 25% of their software budget to mobile app development, deployment and management by 2017.
It is clear then that companies are becoming increasingly convinced of the value and benefits brought about by enterprise apps and that they believe that these are important enough to warrant such large budgets and corporate attention.
But what are enterprise apps and why exactly are they becoming staples of the corporate world?
In this article we explain what enterprise apps, why they matter and what benefits they can bring to your company.
So what actually are enterprise apps?
The term “enterprise app” refers to any mobile app used by an organization for a variety of purposes. The most common of these are: solving business-related problems, conducting a business process and increasing productivity.
Enterprise apps can be used in a wide variety of business areas:
- Sales. Sales apps can help your company to increase lead generation by allowing customers to make enquiries via the app, by presenting your products and services to clients in an engaging visual way and by empowering your sales team to access the latest sales information more easily.
- Marketing. Marketing apps allow you to engage with prospects directly on their mobile devices, to promote your products in a visual, interactive way and to gather data about your audience’s engagement with your content.
- Internal communications. Internal communications apps can help you communicate more easily with your clients and employees better and in an engaging way and gain insight into whether your employees have read the latest announcements and newsletters.
- Events. Event apps allow you to communicate more easily with attendees before, during and after your event, to give them access to additional content and to gain insights into their event experience.
- Reporting. Reporting apps are great ways to deliver the latest reports to clients and stakeholders in an interactive and visually engaging format.
- Training. Training apps facilitate employees’ learning by offering an interactive and engagement platform for the learning of knowledge. By including gamification elements, these apps can increase employees’ motivation and interest in learning.
- Project management. Project management apps can help teams connect better by delivering the latest information and reports to everyone’s mobile devices and enabling all participants to access and update the app with new project information.
- Health & Safety. Finally, health & safety apps enables all employees to file incident reports and complete audit checklists, with the option to upload images and video to provide more details and with automatic GPS coordinates.
What are the benefits of enterprise apps?
But how exactly are enterprise apps helping companies to achieve all this? In this section we outline their key benefits:
1. Increased productivity
The most obvious benefit of enterprise apps is the increased productivity they can bring to business processes.
Internal mobile apps have been demonstrated to increase productivity up to 40%, an incredible figure considering the amount of extra work that employees can now get done thanks to them.
Enterprise apps do this by allowing employees to get work done with more flexibility and ease.
By always being available on portable mobile devices, apps enable employees to get work done whenever and wherever they are, for instance during “pockets” of free time such as commutes.
From accessing and submitting important documents to communicating with colleagues, apps ensure that employees have everything they need to carry out tasks wherever they are.
This enables employees to structure their work in whatever ways suit them best, ensuring that they are more efficient in their delivery.
Performing daily tasks more easily
Enterprise apps can also increase productivity by allowing employees to incorporate them directly into daily business processes.
An examples of this is employees who need to submit data daily while on the go, whether as part of routine checks or lead generation.
Traditionally employees would have to record this data on paper or on a computer in order to submit into the right databases once back at the office and with an internet connection.
An app, however, can allow employees to submit data directly into the database, avoiding the need for double handling of information and therefore saving time.
This can work even if employees do not have access to an internet connection, as an app with offline functionality can save the data within the device until it becomes connected to an online network.
This approach also eliminates the risk of misplacing data that has been collected on paper.
2. Instant access
Another benefit of enterprise apps is the way they make access to information faster and easier than ever before.
Apps enable employees to access documents almost instantly while they are away from their desks, making it particularly useful for employees working remotely or attending meetings.
Being able to access information on the go can help employees in a number of ways, whether by reducing problem solving time or by allowing salespeople to reacquaint themselves with the company’s products and services before a meeting.
All this can help speed up sales processes, prepare employees better for meetings and reduce the amount of dead time caused by unexpected problems.
3. Improved communications
Communications between employees are of utmost importance, but unfortunately they are often relegated to email, which makes it difficult for employees to ensure that urgent emails or requests are being read instantly.
An app can speed up communications by offering an instant messaging channel that is much more convenient and effective than email.
For instance, apps such as Slack treat internal communications as conversations within a chat room, providing push notifications to notify employees when they are receiving a message. This makes urgent requests much more likely to be responded to faster, reducing problem solving and support delivery times.
It also means that employees can stay in touch with colleagues while they are away from the office, ensuring that any urgent requests can be delivered quicker.
Enterprise apps can also be used to communicate with customers more effectively by enabling them to contact the company directly via the app the company to deliver information and support accordingly.
Not only does this improve customer support but it can also make the customers’ experience much better and reflect positively on the company.
4. Higher engagement
Enterprise apps not only make access to information much easier and faster but they make the process itself much more engaging by providing mobile-specific interactive content.
From videos and podcasts to interactive charts and infographics, enterprise apps can incorporate a wide range of media and features, making information much more visually attractive and easier to engage with.
The apps themselves also contain features such as zooming and swiping that adapt themselves to user behavior, leading to a more intuitive experience.
Apps can also connect with the native functionality of mobile devices, such as the camera and speedometer, leading to potential innovative features that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
5. Customer insight
Finally, enterprise apps offer unique opportunities to capture customer data. Whether in the form of real-time app usage data or direct feedback about the firm’s services, this can give companies great insight into their customers’ needs and issues.
Companies can capture user data via apps by using CRM and analytics software such as Google Analytics.
Enterprise apps are bringing great benefits to companies by helping them increase productivity and improve business processes.
As the adoption of enterprise mobility continues to increase and to become more central in organizations’ business processes, the use of enterprise apps is on the road to becoming the norm at companies everywhere.