Business and Productivity Apps

Marina Astapchik
IT Trends Research Specialist
August 28, 2014

Apps have a tremendous effect on our lives. That is why apps have already become a huge industry that caters users' needs. Business and productivity apps market is forecasted to reach $58 billion by 2016. Under these circumstances, it is vital to grasp an "untapped developer opportunity" for each IT services company. The information below is our vision regarding modern and challenging trends in the business and productivity apps sphere.

To begin with, one should acknowledge that traditional PCs are sliding away from the apps arena. Let us call this phenomenon "apps diversification". Phones, tablets, e-readers empower users to set a "proper-mobile-application-for-iPhone/iPad-requirement". Elinext Group experiences this trend as well. As an intrinsic task to take up we get "to develop an application for iPhone", the phrase you can read in the majority of our cases connected with apps development. In other words, business apps get extended to mobile services. That is why in order to get revenue IT developers should make apps functional across smartphones and tablets and offer their clients a web application development strategy that ensures all these devices going forward with applications. According to Siemer & Associates, an investment firm, tablet adoption will rise by 50% annually over the next few years.

On a larger scale, businesses prefer cloud technologies or desktop-like web apps rather than traditional hardware. The same thing as in the previous point: your work is no longer location dependent. Plus such advantages as apps functionality and intelligence that are integrated in a cloud while reliance on the server slows down the apps' performance.

Apart from this, at present, business and productivity apps get “consumerized”. It means "tailor-made". No one is interested in general options. No one wants to pay for what they do not need. Businesses set clear tasks for developers. Clients are expecting a certain type of applications while IT developers make no decisions. The BYOD-principle is of much importance here as well. More and more enterprises adopt such policies, as a result of which business demands a tailor-made app for employees to be in the workplace. The consumer experience has taught them to do it. This is a usual phenomenon currently. In Elinext Group a customized app is declared to be a clear guide that is the basis for our projects.

The consumerization of business apps and IT, in general, has highlighted the need for bring-your-own-device policy development. Employees use their own PCs and mobile devices for business tasks; moreover, this development is especially seen on the tablet front and gives an impetus to business apps development simultaneously with implementation of BYOD (Bring your own device) Policies within companies. While a BYOD-policy takes many different forms, from cutting back on corporate laptops up to granting employees money to buy and use technology of their choice, IT developers have a challenging task to combine the best functionality of apps to make them more comfortable for private and work use. But why one should stress it once again as a separate point? It makes sense.

Today applications cross the border between private ones and work-use ones. Within companies, these productivity apps are spreading rapidly and turning into a booming sector for IT developers. Each of us uses calendars and lists, for instance, at home and in the workplace, don't we? For example, recently we have developed a mobile application nPassword that can store passwords, accounts and other information, both for private and work purposes.

Actually, many consumer apps have been transformed into business and productivity ones. However, business apps market is smaller than the consumer market, but business apps still have great opportunities for making profit.

Apart from the things above-mentioned, one should pay attention to platforms that pick up pace due to BYOD-policies. That is the factor worth bearing in mind for IT developers to gain income. Android and iOS-based business apps are the most popular ones. According to some figures, Android and iOS are equally prioritized (by appr. 30% of IT developers each), while HTML 5 is preferred by 25 % of IT developers. Therefore, it makes sense to head for the figures that make profit at the market.

Dwelling on more specific trends in the sphere of business and productivity apps, we have to throw light on the fact that IT developers are opening up new markets and, let us put it as sales channels in this direction. The thing is that IT companies diffuse their apps in every single sphere of economy. As for the newest developments, we should concentrate on the so-called vertical business apps. The item concerns real estate, finances, and healthcare sectors.

IT developers are eager to catch their niche in developing apps for the spheres mentioned. More and more specific applications emerge within healthcare. PCA Skin was one of our first projects in this field. Elinext Group has created an iPad-application for PCA Skin, a company specializing on skin treatment products. The app includes such functions as differentiation of roles (users, administrators, etc), registration for trainings, shipping/reviewing customer orders, digital signature.

Having succeeded in one project, Elinext Group took up another one in the field of "app vertical specialization" — Body Tan Scan. The customer wanted Elinext team to develop an application which will help users to make a picture of his or her skin, publish it online via Social Networks and have a reference guide on tan processes at hand. The mobile application had to read skin code, be capable to send to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace pictures of skin and comments to pictures.

Let us move on to the next much promising business and productivity app trend, at least we do think this trend can be expected to be profitable, judging by our own experience. Some time ago, Elinext Group received a challenge to develop a SaaS application that could track the life of foreign exchange derivatives from inception up to realization. At the output, we got a robust SaaS solution with a completely new architecture. The app includes global availability, cross-platform and cross-browser compatibility, improved security, back compatibility, effective maintenance with fix delivery guarantee.

Thus, mobile SaaS delivers CRM, HR, ERP and BI services and seems to become a source of revenue for IT developers.

In the next few years, users will require more sophisticated apps, MAM will be a hot topic here. MAM-based apps are "promoted" by BYOD-policies, in other words, that is the factor behind MAM. When an employee brings a device into the workplace, easy maintenance, lack of security problems, no complexity are the factors that make MAM — based apps preferable.

Summing it all up, one comes to a simple conclusion: to generate revenue IT developers should absorb the latest trends like any service providers in any other sphere. Not the strongest one survives, but the most adaptable one.

Elinext Group mobile apps projects:

UPC Real Estate Data Management Tool
CRYPTOCARD for One Time Passwords
nPassword for Storing Secure Data
METANeconomics fill in a specific documents
LingJob App to create technical texts
SUCCESSplanner

Industries and Technology Areas

Industries: IT

Technology Areas: mobile application development, software development, iOS, Android

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