A survey of 600 companies by Vanson Bourne this year found that only about half are using mobile apps to enage their employees. A little less are using them to interact with their customers.
This is not good news, considering the fact the app developers are creating many new technological solutions and will continue to do so. The mobile market is also growing, thanks to increasingly more powerful devices such as smart phones and pads. Eventually, the workforce may not ever use anything as large and cumbersome as a desktop and even laptops may be on the way out.
Outdated operating systems that are slow and crash too often, in addition to having security issues need not be unreasonably supported in the coming years. Some of these new apps may eventually become indispensable, rather than auxilliary add-ons.
4 Apps for Better Business
If you haven't heard of any of these apps, your business may be suffering from an app gap. Depending on what kind of business it is, and how technology-dependent it is, employing more apps may or may not be of much signficance, but these apps actually have the potential to improve business operations.
StratPad allows you to do business planning by providing a step-by-step guide. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, it allows you to create strategic plans, share them and make progress reports. There is a basic version for free, and others with more features that range in price from $9.99 to $54.99
Workflowy is a little like StratPad in that it is used for documenting ideas, but it is a higher-level perspective meant also for brainstorming note taking, list making and project management. It has been used to write a book and even plan a wedding. The basic version is free and there is a Pro configuration for about $49 per year.
Business meetings are famous for being too long, unfocused, time-wasting and draining. Some might even some meeting style is one component of corporte culture that aggravates employees enough that they may consider quitting their jobs as a result, though meetings are not the only reason for this decision, obviously.
Enter Meeting Mapper and Meeting Mapper Fierce. The former is an app for iPads and the latter is for integration with Salesforce. The premise is simple enough: track your meetings so you can document how effective they are or are not. Meeting Mapper documents the role of each meeting participant and her or his opinions about the various characteristics of each meeting, such as if it was too long or too short, necessary in the first place, pointless, too boring, etc. Each meeting group is represented graphically and there is a place for adding notes about the meeting and participant profiles. Analytics are also part of the app. In short, it helps organizations decide how to run their meetings more efficiently. The cost is $6.99 on iTunes.
Asana is another collaboration app that documents projects and who is responsible for various tasks. It also allows online communication and project tracking.
For employees that telecommute even one day a week or spend time in the field some of these collaborative apps may prove critically important. They also typically have low prices and some are free for the basic services.