Enterprise Mobile Application – Market Overview
Today, business mobility is quickly becoming a necessity in the workplace. People increasingly use their mobile devices (tablets/smartphones) for both personal and work-related applications. Whether it is checking email, sharing a document, looking up information before a sales call or using a more specialized business application to simplify their usual work process, today’s workers are becoming mobile workers.
It is very visible that the companies that provide mobility solutions for their employees see greater productivity gains from their mobile solutions. Many companies have started adopting mobility – this might be a CRM program or sales force automation or it might be a workflow application, etc. This is just the beginning of mobility. Increasingly, the mobile workers expect their specialized business applications extend to their mobile phones, tablets, etc. World over organizations are gearing up to put in an effective mobility strategy to stay ahead.
It is projected that the market for business-focused mobile applications will more than double in the next five years. Analytics predicted that 200 million mobile workers will use at least one business-focused app this year. Over the following years, both the number of mobile workers using business apps and the number of apps available will grow rapidly.
What is an Enterprise Mobile Application?
A mobile application (or mobile app) is a software application that can run on any mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets. Any mobile application that is business oriented can be broadly called as enterprise mobile application. These applications are either Business-to-Employee (B2E) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) focused. Following are some of the examples of enterprise mobile applications:
- Mobile Banking
- Mobile Ticket Booking
- Mobile Sales Force Automation
- Mobile Field Service Automation
- Mobile e-Commerce
- Mobile CRM, etc.
Invariably, enterprise mobile application, connects, accesses, updates, enterprise data through a back-end enterprise application such as,
- Core Banking
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP)
- Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)
- Pay Roll and Human Resource Management System (HRMS)
There by, it provides access to enterprise information anytime anywhere based on business needs.
Challenges with enterprise application
Unlike, stand-alone mobile applications that are built for personal productivity (Organizer, Contacts, Calculator, Location), entertainment (Games, Music), education, social networking, etc., enterprise application has multiple challenges to address.
1. Cross Platform Support
We cannot expect all the users, be it employees or consumers will be using the same mobile device to access the application. The users have plenty of choices and preferences such as Android, Apple iOS, Windows Mobile, Black Berry, etc.It has thus become imperative to roll out the application on multiple platforms and allow the users to have a choice of the mobile platform based on their preference, familiarity, and convenience. In a way, the organization can allow the users to use their own mobile appliances for accessing enterprise applications.
2. Back-end Integration and manageability
Organizations cannot look at mobile applications as standalone applications; it has to be integrated with the back-end enterprise application. Having multiple standalone mobile applications and integrating them with the back-end enterprise application through multiple connectors adds complexity to database management.
3 . Data Privacy & Security
Unlike enterprise applications where data exchange happens over a private network, in mobile applications data exchange happens through public, wireless network. It becomes even more critical to look at data security and privacy aspects on mobility seriously.
How businesses can benefit?
The world is moving forward, you cannot afford to be outdated. With increasing competition, organizations look for effective IT systems to derive advantage. Over the last couple of years, it is visible that the organizations that have extended their enterprise information access to mobile devices have derived rich benefits. Informed workforce on the field becomes more productive. Increased convenience to prospective customer enables them to take quick decision and thereby increased revenue to the organization.
Effective mobile solutions take full advantage of the capabilities that are unique to mobility. There is a reason why individuals and work groups are pushing for mobility in the workplace. This is because mobility has something special to offer. If you examine any mobilized business process, you will see that the mobility advantage comes from a combination of mobile capabilities:
- Access – Any time, any place, immediate access to people (including awareness of their availability), instant access to business information; real-time information sharing and communication (collaboration).
- Insight – The instant availability of “interpreted” information using reports, dashboards, business data, images, location – based data and communications; using this information to make faster and smarter decisions and deliver better service.
- Convenience – Always on, always connected, always “in hand”; form factors appropriate for the task at hand or user
The mobility space is evolving to simplify the complexity of various business processes and functions. The implementation of this tech in organizations depends on how innovative and creative the decision makers in today’s business world can get.