Mobile devices have become a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives, yet many companies are still struggling to leverage their advantages in the workforce.

Mobile application development is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. To put things in perspective, last year iOS app sales exceeded Hollywood box office revenues. Asymco, who heavily covers the mobile industry, provides these eye opening statistics on the Apple app store:

  • $500 million was spent on iOS apps in the first week of 2015
  • Billings for apps increased 50% in 2014
  • Cumulative developer revenues were $25 billion
  • 627,000 jobs have been created in the U.S.
  • 1.4 million iOS apps catalog is sold in 155 countries

Engineer at a construction site

Defining interactions

Business users are beginning to see more mobile applications that will perform steps to help achieve their goals. While mobile devices are great for keeping up with email, viewing documents and communicating with your team, the real value comes when you start using them in ways that provide a truly new pathway to accomplish a task.

In future articles, we will explore the use cases for mobile devices to accomplish tasks such as inventory control, in-field estimating, inspections and surveys. All of these tasks can make use of the unique combination of portability, connectivity and versatility that is present in modern mobile devices. These features will help create substantial efficiency gains over traditional paper processes.

Delivering the minimum

The mobile application space has grown so quickly that it can be overwhelming to try to find the right application to meet your needs. One of the principles that developers follow when creating these applications is to deliver the minimum. Applications that are defined by design rules that make them the minimum viable product have the advantage of being easy to use and easy to support. The downside to this approach is that key features are often missing, which leads mobile device users to try to use multiple applications to achieve a simple task.

Consider customization

Custom mobile application development is an option that many businesses have not considered. With current tools it is now possible to apply rapid application development techniques to build right-sized applications for mobile devices on a budget that is reasonable for small and medium-sized businesses. The custom development option also provides the advantage of being able to integrate into existing systems to avoid disjointed processes and application islands.

Efficiency gains from using mobile devices are very real. According to a study conducted by CDW, the average professional using a tablet for work purposes gains 1.1 hours per day in productivity. The time savings can be amplified through correctly understanding how to use the right features and tools available for the job.

Making the shift

If your business isn’t using mobile devices today, it’s hard to make a case that it shouldn’t be. As the information technology industry continues to focus on how to better support mobile devices and build more useful business mobile tools, companies are rapidly shifting over.

Consider making mobile devices a primary tool for your business rather than a novelty for browsing the Web.

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