The iPhone was launched just over ten years ago and I bought my first tablet (Samsung, running Android Froyo) around the same time. App stores already had some very useful mobile apps but our expectations, and the availability of apps – taxi hailing, delivery tracking, product configuration, medical AI and more – has changed and grown beyond recognition.
Statista, a global statistics portal, estimates that mobile apps will generate nearly USD 189 billion in 2020. Note – that figure excludes the value of increased productivity and revenue growth that business or enterprise mobile apps aim to achieve. The debate, for most businesses, has moved beyond whether they should invest in mobile apps for their business to how they should do so. Specifically, the focus is on which technology to adopt.
WHY BUILD ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPLICATIONS?
We all rely on our smartphones and most new businesses see mobile apps as an important technology investment that will deliver ROI and support business growth. Enterprise mobile applications are designed to perform tasks, increase worker productivity, give workers tools and information, and connect with customers and stakeholders.
According to Adobe, companies that invest in enterprise mobile apps see an average 35% ROI, 51% increase in productivity, 47% better communication and 31% cost reduction. Ten years after the first iPhone, in terms of mobile app adoption across businesses, we are touching the tip of the iceberg.
TECHNOLOGY AGNOSTIC AGENCIES AND UNICORNS
Even though most businesses want to build mobile apps there is still much confusion about the most appropriate technology. Our general advice is to never let the technology dictate business strategy. Always seek an objective view and shortlist of the most appropriate technologies that can support your business requirements. Being technology agnostic and objective can be difficult. Agencies make significant investments in their developers’ training but the technology itself is constantly changing and suitable technologies are often overlooked because a single agency may not have all of the required technology skills.
WHAT SHOULD BUSINESSES DO?
Do the research, compare solutions from a good number of agencies and/or development teams. In one of our earlier blog articles we reviewed this in greater detail. We spend a significant amount of time – on behalf of our clients, prior to engagement – comparing and reviewing technology options from dozens of development teams. The opinions of diverse development teams, with first-hand experience of the benefits and pitfalls of various technologies, are critical to the decision making process.
Ten years ago we never imagined that our phones would help us shop, monitor our health, provide real-time translations, make and/or accept payments, and more.
The next decade promises much more, with Distributed Ledger Technology, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Internet of Things and the power of Artificial Intelligence, all driving and supporting significant transformation. As our dependency on mobile devices grows, businesses will need to focus even more resources on selecting the right technology.