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How apps extend business reach



Many new enterprise applications are built first for mobile and then for other devices. According to WESLEY LYNCH, CEO of RealmDigital, the reason for this is because mobility is a major growth area and mobile apps offer a far more streamlined experience, unlike many of their Internet counterparts.

Mobility enjoys such acceptance in the market that many new enterprise applications are now built for mobile access first and for other devices only as additional channels. In addition, there is large-scale mobile re-engineering of enterprise applications taking place.

In short, mobile is the major growth area of the moment: and the success of apps the reason for its popularity.

Unlike Internet-enabled enterprise mobility, apps offer a far more streamlined, tap-once experience. They also depend less on Internet bandwidth to function optimally as the application logic resides mostly on the device itself.

All sorts

Examples of the rise of apps can be seen everywhere in the market, and are of both the consumer-facing and internal varieties. This illustrates the appeal of mobile to companies of all sizes and industries, as well as the rich diversity of apps that have made mobile the next channel of business growth.

The most obvious call for enterprise mobility is from companies with field workers such as sales reps, work-from-home staff or roving employees.

In a sales situation mobility arms agents with more expansive catalogues than physical samples or print outs facilitating the buying decision, order placements and even transactions.

Beyond sales, opportunity exists for interfacing with enterprise systems in near proximity without the need for desk-bound presence. In this context, depot or warehouse staff can interface with online stock systems and release stock, triggering live status updates of the system with dispatches.

Mobile also offers much more opportunity for self-service, for instance flight check-ins, hotel room bookings or reservations. Airline ground staff can check online seating plans on tablet devices while on-board the aircraft.

Mobility also extends the reach of the enterprise deep into the market, with promise for field service delivery. In this way medical results become available wherever patients or insurance clients find themselves, and can be entered into patient medical records immediately.

The direct, deep and continuous enterprise integration of mobile has increased the pace of doing business and enabled a more distributed layout of computing infrastructure within the enterprise.

Getting ready

With mobility increasing its advance in the enterprise it is important to seriously consider the implications of issues like the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend and the demands it places on security and systems management.

BYOD is effectively a convergence between business and personal technology, and it poses significant security problems. BlackBerry 10 has taken a stab at solving the risks with an elegant solution to split personal and business personas. Whether it takes on remains to be seen, but it does make it easier to deactivate enterprise access under certain conditions, such as when an employee resigns.

To make sure security and device management and a range of other mobility issues are seen to, enterprises must adopt a mobile application strategy. Its success will depend on having the right technical architecture and skilled development partnerships to design, develop and deploy the applications.

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