One of the enduring promises of enterprise mobility is that it promises to affect everyone. That may seem daunting for chief information security officers and IT equipment procurers, but done right, mobile applications can vastly improve communication, analysis and host of other business-critical pursuits. High-performance mobile apps are now in wide use in a variety of industries, simplifying tasks and building analytical capacities. Of course, its future effectiveness depends on, well, everyone in the organization. 

The rise of the self-service end user corresponds neatly with the acceleration of mobility in the enterprise. It's part of a transition to more IT-focused business frameworks and quantitative, analytical approaches. This puts the pressure on developers to roll out applications that function seamlessly on mobile devices, are interoperable with applications in other environments and intuitive enough for even untrained self-service reporters to grasp almost immediately.

Where is mobile app use most prevalent?

Many of the top mobile apps have gained traction because they offer increased management potential in industries that sorely need it. They often combine productivity and communication with analysis and business intelligence. One recent survey of more than 1,100 decision makers in a wide range of sectors and organization sizes found that many industries previously awash in paper records have eagerly switched to mobile apps



Sectors such as construction and contracting, retail and distribution, healthcare, and manufacturing have been among the top investors in mobile apps for daily operational processes, according to the survey. They use both structured and unstructured data streams, as well as collaboration apps, to boost productivity, increase employee independence and make analytics-based decisions.

Inspections, work orders and inventory management are some of the top business concerns receiving the mobile app treatment. Note-taking software, productivity apps and accounting programs are also in high demand as organizations look to streamline reporting practices across supply chains. 

How to design for the new paradigm

Many of the processes listed above and targeted aggressively by former paper-pushing organizations overlap. This means that developers and implementation managers have to consider app environments as a whole, as well as the organizational context in which they will be expected to perform. Business logic will have to be part of the custom app development and report designer process from the beginning.

One way to accomplish this is to focus on the information end users will actually utilize to create reports. Taking the end-user environment into account from the beginning may be difficult at the outset, but looking to mobile first for problem solving can accelerate the process, observed Enterprise Apps Tech.

"Great enterprise mobile apps are designed to give the user immediate access to the primary record for which the action will be performed on, but also the ability to see related records and relevant information all within a swipe or tap of the finger," the source stated. "This relevant information may include both organizational (private) and social (public) data."

Concentrating on access, manipulation and integration are all actionable aspects of the mobile development process that can streamline the software development life cycle and reduce usability issues upon rollout.