The Rise of Business Apps

Whether you’re a startup or firmly established, Business Apps are “where the real action is”

From Dropbox to Google Drive, QR coding to Evernote; there’s an app for everything these days and businesses are starting to take advantage of this fact.   Regardless of what industry your business services, what types of products you deal in, or the size of your customer base, there are specific apps out there which can help to improve your operation.

In all reality, we live in very exciting times.  With the advent of the internet came additional breakthroughs which have completely transformed our civilization into something entirely new.  Decades in, now there are literally hundreds if not thousands of apps / services that exist.  Naturally, most of these apps were constructed over long periods of time; trial and error as well as the innovations of individuals playing a role in their development.  Simply put, you might say that virtually every little technical advantage, no matter how seemingly unimportant, is a gift.  Likewise, there are always a large number of people working behind the scenes to ensure that these apps remain functional and are routinely improved upon.

But just why are businesses looking to business apps for solutions?   First off, it’s all about specialization.  The simple truth is that certain software development companies tend to specialize in specific areas of interest.  For example, some are fixated with storage and databases, while others are focused on other endeavors.  Although we don’t tend to think of it this way, it’s sort of akin to the “division of labor” approach that our early ancestors practiced.  The sheer diversity in the apps / mobile apps market seems to actually demonstrate that you can literally create an app for anything.  In fact, sometimes the users will actually begin finding new things to do with an app (which its designers might have not even considered).

Apps aren’t just used to help businesses run their operations however; they’re also used to reach out to customers.  Just check out these mobile app / marketing statistical factoids for 2012, courtesy of snaphop.com:

  • 75% of emails are opened, 60% of Facebook posts and 90% tweets are all conducted from a mobile device! @BillBoormanATC 2012
  • 64% of mobile phone time is spent on apps (Nielsen 2012)
  • QR code scans increased 300% in 2011 over 2010 (ScanLife)

These three stats seem to indicate that more people than ever before are connecting to the internet via hand-held devices (that they keep on their person at virtually all times) and their energy is largely focused toward social media.  Likewise, of the time they spend using their mobile device(s), app usage is fairly high.  The last stat simply shows that the technologies / apps certain businesses use (like QR codes) seems to be having an impact on the average citizen in an exponential manner.  In other words, given that most apps are deployed from businesses, it would seem that apps are playing a significant role both inside and outside of organizations.

The cost(s) associated with apps / services also obviously play a role with regard to whether or not a business will ultimately decide to use them.  As you are probably already aware, there are some great free apps out there for businesses; Google being one of the primary companies known for delivering quality gratis apps.  Arguably, these free apps/services offered by the larger institutions like Google, Microsoft, etc…are directly responsible for ‘jump-starting’ the app market(s).  Not only did the emergence of free services and packages for businesses create a drive on the part of those organizations to explore what was offered, it also stirred up the competition in such a way as to promote innovation.  Now there are startup apps everywhere you turn, each of them targeting a specific problem or business need.

What’s more, this “there’s an app for that” sort of approach to problem solving in the workplace is likely to continue driving business and commerce in general for many years to come.  With a significant portion of the population being more-or-less completely reliant on the apps and abilities of their smartphones its becoming much easier to reach larger numbers of people simultaneously.  In this way, apps are fueling viral trending and social media expansion as well as the capabilities of individual businesses.  By the same token, apps are helping businesses to accomplish more work in a shorter amount of time and with smaller overhead costs.

Furthermore, as technologies like cloud computing become more mainstream, apps will likely become increasingly integrated into the IT infrastructure of most businesses.  Clearly this indicates that most businesses should begin considering special training and/or certification for their IT workers that might allow them to not only work in the domain of cloud computing, but also with integrative approaches to app technology.

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