Why busi­nesses need (beau­ti­ful) apps

Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

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

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