Why businesses need (beautiful) apps
We l i ve i n a digita l l y addicted, app-obsessed society. Fuelled by the phenomenal popularity of iPhones and the App Store (where there are already more than 1m iPhone apps available), mobile apps have become an (almost) essential part of our daily lives. And although they are generally available either for free or for nominal amounts, the value of the ‘app economy’ is skyrocketing.
According to Vision Mobile, a market analysis and strategy f irm, the global app economy is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 28% (2012 to 2016), and is forecast to be worth $143bn (R1.72tr) in 2016. Drawing on data from the company’s Developer Economics resea rc h programme, t he f i ndings incorporate not just revenues generated directly through apps, but “economic activity generated via commissioned app development, mobile app e-commerce as an app monetisation model [i.e. not including e-commerce as core business], VC funding, services for app developers and several other income sources directly related to mobile apps”.
Unsur pr i s i ngly, c ompanies a r e l ook i ng to harness t he power a nd growing sophistication of mobile apps within t he enterprise environment. While analysts say that the adoption of apps in the enterprise market lags the adoption of apps in the consumer market by around t wo years, savvy businesses are starting to push the envelope by i nvesting more aggressively i n t heir mobile offerings. Consulting company Strategic Analytics has predicted that the young mobile enterprise app market will nearly double in value between 2012 and 2018 f rom $31bn ( R373.9bn) to $61bn (R735.7bn). Craig Terblanche, SA director of OutSystems, a n e nter pr i s e r apid application delivery (RAD) platform provider, notes that “there is sufficient evidence” that investing in mobile is worthwhile. He highlights a recent survey conducted by Forrester Research, which indicated that 75% of decisionmakers “found that deploying mobile apps had increased worker productivity, while 65% acknowledged that mobile apps increased employee responsiveness and decision-making speed”.
“Mobile is not a shot in the dark, it’s something that has already proven its benefits,” he says. “The way mobile apps achieve these benefits is by providing access to relevant information at the right time and place, in an easy-to-use, consumable and actionable form. This gives workers the insight and tools needed to accomplish more.”
According to Terblanche, local