It’s like waiting for the release of that chartbuster movie. One look at the star cast and you know it is going to be a hit! Similarly, when it comes to the story of enterprise mobile apps, the lead players make its prospects look very promising. Both artificial intelligence (AI) and global positioning system (GPS) are set to revolutionize the way enterprises work.
Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of smartphones, apps have become an integral part of our lives. As we are so charmed by its resourcefulness, apps are fast foraying into our cars, watches, home, and just about everywhere.
Mobile apps are no longer used to just engage with customers, businesses are looking at it as an opportunity to improve productivity and communication within the enterprise. Simply put, enterprise mobile apps are developed to help employees work, even when they are away from office. While they come in handy for field staffs – say sales or delivery personnel – these apps can also be valuable for business partners, such as suppliers, distributors and retailers.
As Internet of Things (IoT) become the norm and more millennials join the workforce, there will eventually be an app for everything at work. For businesses that do not have the time, money, or skills to develop native enterprise mobile apps, there are viable browser-based or hybrid (a web app with added native functionality) options.
A recent Adobe survey across five countries (US, UK, India, China and Germany) drives home the message that a company is at a competitive disadvantage if it isn’t deploying enterprise mobile apps. Not only does the business look outdated and risk losing out on new clients, the internal operations are likely to be less efficient, hampering productivity and increasing costs.
Man & his machine
For enterprises today, the challenge is not so much to get data, but to sift through the sea of information to find relevant stuff. Managing data is an arduous task and that explains why enterprises are so excited about the innovations in AI algorithms. Revenue for enterprise AI applications is expected to increase from $358 million in 2016 to $31.2 billion by 2025.
Enterprise mobile apps are working towards embracing AI in the form of machine learning. The idea is to complement human intelligence with the computational power and data handling skills of new-age machines. With predictive analytics, enterprises can now identify business patterns as well as anticipate future trends.
As far as employees are concerned, the thinking virtual assistant – like Siri and Alexa, for instance – promise to make day-to-day management easier and more efficient. Chatbots can help coordinate one’s personal and professional life, ensure better time management and improve productivity.
AI technologies are already being used in industries such as healthcare, retail, advertising, automotive sector, finance, etc. It’s only a matter of time before players in other segments wake up to its business potential. Thus, 2017 could be the watershed year for AI in enterprise mobile apps.
Sometimes the solution is so simple that we don’t even consider it! Many enterprises fail to cash in on the existing features of mobile devices – say GPS – to improve operational efficiency. Unlike AI, for facilitating better communication and data sharing within the organization, using location-based services makes sense, as it is easier to integrate with enterprise mobile apps.
Today, there are apps that help companies plug field personnel into the IoT with GPS tracking solutions. Sales and marketing team as well as other personnel on the move can benefit immensely from geolocation and location-based services. They can tag items of interest with location metadata, and use location coordinates as a key to search databases. This way, communication between the customer, on-field staff and the backend team at office can be seamless.
As employees get more comfortable with wearable technology in their personal space, they’ll be willing to explore its effectiveness at work too. Watch out for the coming together of virtual reality and GPS, better known as augmented reality (no longer restricted to the gaming zone) in enterprise mobile apps.
Doing it right
The key strategy about having a good digital transformation, lies in doing it right. According to the Adobe report, the first step is to identify critical apps that can replace or supplement desktop applications. The next step is to identify and invest in the capabilities to ensure that the apps run smoothly, such as security and functions to integrate with other business systems.
Given that AI is an evolving sector, it is important to monitor the performance of the app on a regular basis. Is it really helping the employees work smarter? Is the user experience good enough to encourage the team to use it?
Adopting the right mobile application development strategy calls for constant initiatives. How else will you make a blockbuster?