Why Mobile Apps?
There are a number of reasons your business might choose to create a mobile application:
- You want to expand your market share and offer your products and services to customers within a portable platform.
- You want to create a business application for your team members to leverage on the road or in the office using various types of devices.
- You want to retain existing customers by offering a way for them to access your products and services and providing consistent branding.
- To support a start-up business and gain visibility and reputation.
- To provide a one-stop environment for suppliers, vendors or stakeholders.
You can probably think of several other reasons to launch a mobile application, but this brief list should give you an idea of how mobile applications can be used to help your business.
Because every business user and consumer are likely to own at least one portable device (smart watch, smart phone or tablet), and because you want to serve as many clients as possible, considering mobile application development is a great way to ensure that you have good market coverage and that a client or business user can access your products and services on a smart phone on the road or on a desktop at home, or a tablet in the office.
Leveraging Mobile Apps for Your Industry or Business Function
Every type of business function and industry can benefit from a mobile application. The following list will give you an idea of what can be done and help you brainstorm what is possible for your business.
Healthcare – If you have been in a hospital or doctor’s office lately, you have likely seen that healthcare professionals have transitioned from paper files and desktop computers to tablets and they access patient’s health records and enter data while they are interacting with a patient. Mobile applications in healthcare can allow professionals to take pictures of the patient or an injury, to look up prescriptions and explore possible contraindications before prescribing, to contact another specialist to schedule a consultation, etc. By allowing nurses, doctors and technicians to access and use information on a mobile device, that information is entered and shared on a more timely basis, so tests can be ordered, patients can be treated and transferred or released in a more timely fashion.
Research – Whether a professional is doing medical research, research on climate change or research on learning and development, mobile applications can track and approve grants for research, integrate research databases and allow researchers to share and collaborate more easily.
Finance/Banking – Mobile applications for banking and finance can provide support and workflow for loan approval, communication with clients and other professionals and access to documents and project timelines for loans, statutory reporting, etc.
Manufacturing – Using tablets or smart phones on the floor of a manufacturing facility can put the team in touch with equipment and staff production, alert team members to equipment issues or staffing issues and allow team members to share shift and production data with management and with other team members.
Logistics and Transportation – Shipping and distribution apps can allow truck drivers and dispatchers to see data and to collaborate. This type of mobile app can help teams to schedule deliveries and track traffic and weather issues.
Retail – Mobile apps in retail allow for customers to shop and purchase online and, from the back-end, can be used to help team members schedule shipments, communicate in real time with customers if there is a question, and answer questions or complaints from customers to keep customer satisfaction high.
Food Service and Hospitality – Food ordering systems are commonly used today and these systems can also help restaurant managers to manage orders and to plan for peak occupancy and delivery times on any given day. Customers can order food in advance, reserve a table, etc. Hospitality workers and hoteliers can use mobile apps to manage everything from room entry to scheduling and monitoring room cleaning and availability. With analytics functionality, managers can use smart phones or tablets to anticipate and accommodate peak booking and to manage when and how third-party sites will have access to their room inventory.
These are just some of the examples of possible mobile applications for business functions and industry verticals. Perhaps they will give you a starting point for planning your own innovations.
Native or Cross-Platform: Which is Best?
In general, hybrid mobile application development (cross-platform) that will accommodate iOS and Android is the way a business can best achieve its goals and cover the greatest share of the market. By designing and developing a mobile application that will accommodate Apple and Android products, the business can use one code and ensure that upgrades and changes will be timely and cost-effective.
If your mobile application is graphics heavy or has very specific usage and support issues, you may be the exception to the hybrid mobile app rule. So, rather than making the assumption that hybrid mobile app development is best, you must first gain a comprehensive understanding of your requirements, your target market, etc. Engaging an expert IT consultant will ensure that you choose the right approach for your needs.
Whether you decide on a cross-platform mobile application, hybrid mobile app approach or a native app approach for iPhone, iPad, Smart Watch or Android, you will need a trusted IT consulting partner to help you conceive and develop your mobile application and improve results for your start-up organization. For more information about mobile application development, visit our Blog.