Mobile applications are a source of information, knowledge, and entertainment.
We always have them with us and we can use them at any time to obtain relevant information. That is why enterprises can speed up their flow of information and fuel business growth with them.
Digital transformation of big companies used to be associated mostly with enterprise software like ERP systems or CRM applications - heavy software used only on a laptop, often with horrible UX and UI.
The modern business is fast and dynamic in terms of a change.
Employers should also be highly mobile to quickly retrieve information, communicate, and implement changes to the database. Enterprise mobile apps can be used for such processes as customer service, sales enablement, messaging and collaboration, field service, and in many more scenarios.
Companies that want to stay ahead of the market should also think about enterprise application development as enterprise apps will be a source of competitive advantage in the nearest foreseeable future.
Enterprises can benefit from mobile app development in various ways. The reasons listed below will give you a good grasp on what kinds of benefits we’re talking about. Take a closer look at 7 ways enterprise mobile apps can fuel business growth.
1. Improvement of processes efficiency
Many corporations and smaller enterprises focus on being lean, which means that they want to cut wasteful processes to improve efficiency. To become a truly lean organization, you need to analyze the way you’re doing business and recognize practices that can be optimized.
Using mobile apps can help you better understand what the company workflows look like. You can measure the time team members devote to particular tasks. You can establish what resources are needed to complete KPIs you’ve set for the organization and which ones are redundant.
Enterprise mobile apps are the best way to start the research process as they collect a lot of different and helpful data. Such applications provide real-time information as well. It’s a powerful tool for lean management.
2. Gaining a competitive advantage through innovation
Big companies often struggle to keep pace with the ever-changing market. They want to stay innovative but startups can beat them in the innovation race, as large organizations are held back by very structured policies and procedures.
That’s why small and agile companies became a driving force for market changes. They create new products and services fast. They quickly test and swiftly implement innovative ways of interaction with customers. It’s a real threat for legacy companies. The solution to this problem is creating internal startups within big companies to stay competitive.
The best example of a successful internal startup is Expedia, a global travel technology company. It started as a part of Microsoft in 1996 and was an internet experiment by the giant from Redmond. In 1999 it became an independent company and continued to grow ever since. Expedia even created internal startups of its own, like TripAdvisor, Hotels.com or trivago.
Another example of incubating fresh ideas inside a large and established corporation is Merck. The company was founded 350 years ago and has a proven track record of harvesting new ventures. It operates a space for innovation in the heart of its headquarters in Darmstadt called The Merck Innovation Center. Merck employees together with external startups foster new ideas there.
Sony also has its own innovation program called Sony Startup Accelerator Program. It started in 2014 to encourage innovation and risk-taking among employees. So far 34 ideas have been incubated and 14 of them have become new businesses.
What’s the role of enterprise mobile apps in corporate innovation initiatives
They can be used to build a community of innovators inside the organization, facilitate discussion on important topics, and be a platform for crowdsourcing new ideas. Applications developed during such programs or as tools for internal use can also be spun off into separate businesses, just as TripAdvisor or Slack did.
3. Reaching new target groups
You can also use proprietary enterprise mobile apps for external purposes. Companies can use them as a communication channel with users and customers. As a vast majority of internet consumption takes place via mobile apps, it is essential to offer clients relevant and fresh content. Well-designed applications can boost user engagement and loyalty.
L’Oreal is a nice example of using a handful of mobile apps to get in touch with customers and engage them. The company has acquired ModiFace - a provider of augmented reality and artificial intelligence solutions applied to the beauty industry. The company has implemented ModiFace's technology in two apps: Style My Hair and My Skin Track. Users of the first app can check what they would look like with a different hair color, thanks to 3D modeling. The other app uses AI for skin analysis. L’Oreal also uses a mobile app to keep its stakeholders informed about the organization’s financial results.
Credit: Sephora, App created by ModiFace
4. Providing better overall experience to the customers
Enterprise mobile apps are good sources of easily accessible knowledge about users and customers. Customer care and sales specialists can use mobile apps in physical stores to better address clients’ needs. Quicker access to consumer and company data allows them to serve and engage with customers more efficiently.
The information accessed through a mobile app allows employees to form personalized experiences for customers. They can see what products or services are interesting to them, what they were searching for in the past, and what they finally bought.
Such personalization increases the chances that the customer that received the personalized offer and brand experience will be loyal to the company and come back for further purchases. It’s also a tool for word-of-mouth marketing as well-served clients are more likely to recommend your products or services to other customers.
5. Boosting employees efficiency
Smartphones are the most personal devices we use. We’re making good use of them in our private life and they’re becoming more important in our work. The modern workforce is mobile, so enterprises should develop applications which will help employees fulfill everyday duties.
Employees can use such applications to transfer important data directly to the main database or report any issues or concerns. A mobile app can be a gateway to corporate systems. Mobile devices can be used to quickly approve budgets or actions, whether the manager is on- or off-site.
Keller Williams, the world’s largest real estate franchise, has recently launched a collection of apps to help realtors create better processes and become more efficient. Among the apps released so far are Command, an AI-powered customer relationships management system, and Command Mobile, a personal assistant app that helps agents manage their deals.
The latter is exclusively a mobile app that allows realtors to do their jobs on the go and avoid wasting precious time on managing tasks from the office manually. As a result, they are far more efficient at their jobs and the sales pipeline is that much slicker. It has also resulted in Keller Williams being dubbed one of the most innovative brands in the industry, keeping them way ahead of the competition.
6. Improvement of employee satisfaction
Enterprise mobile apps can also be a tool for building employee engagement. Information accessible within smartphones reach can give them real-time insights on the corporate process, strategy, and performance. It gives employees a better understanding of their part in the bigger corporate picture and can tighten the relationship with the employer.
Companies can engage their people in many different activities through a mobile app. For example, you can use an application to poll employees about important initiatives and strategic decisions. It’s a natural way for the modern mobile workforce to take part in discussions or knowledge-sharing projects.
7. Providing better access to data and information
Business intelligence solutions can also be spun off into an enterprise mobile app. Managers and C-level executives are increasingly relying on their mobile devices as a source of important information just as other employees do. Many business leaders are ditching their laptops for smartphones and expect that business software development will follow the changes in their behavior.
Analytics-based and data-infused business intelligence mobile apps inform enterprise executives of marketing opportunities or inefficiencies that can be addressed. Such solutions can be used in every kind of business: manufacturing, retail, various services, and e-commerce.
Enterprise mobile applications are the interface for big data. Corporations and smaller businesses gather various types of information and are trying to translate the data they collect into useful tools in decision-making processes.
An app installed on a device you always have in your pocket can be crucial for your business, as it can help you manage your enterprise. After all, big data is not about data, but about business.
The enterprise mobile app struggle
The 7 ways enterprise mobile apps can fuel business growth mentioned above are truly compelling, but the truth is that big companies struggle with successful implementation of mobile apps for a variety of reasons.
According to Gartner research, only 32% of organizations undertaking mobile app development design for mobile first. What’s worse, new apps developed by enterprises haven’t massively affected the digital transformation processes.
The main reason for that is ruthlessly simple: most companies are trying to mimic web-based content and solutions in the mobile environment and therefore release poorly designed apps with awful UI and UX.
Of course, enterprise mobile app development is a challenge for big companies, but the number of reasons to take up this challenge surpasses the difficulties.
Organizations must learn from innovative consumer apps to truly transform enterprise apps for maximum success.
And to do so they need to seek help outside their IT teams and rely on the experience and knowledge of external experts. It is important to find specialists who provide full-stack service of enterprise mobile development: from process analysis, through digital strategy consultancy, to execution.