Technology May 17, 2016 Last updated September 18th, 2018 578 Reads share

Is “Mobile-First” the Next Emerging Wave of Enterprise Mobile Apps?

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The mobile enterprise apps market is predicted at an astounding figure of $100 billion. Quite enormous, isn’t it? However, even today companies have not been able to take the fullest advantage of mobile enterprise apps. They consider only User Interface and User Experience as the epicenter of building aesthetic enterprise apps for mobile, overlooking the underlying features and functionalities. “Mobile-First” is what organizations talk about quite frequently, but do not fully leverage the term when it comes to implementation.

The next wave of “mobile-first” we will be encountering in this year talks about harnessing the optimum potential of unique offerings coming from your mobile app. If your app has no benefits to offer to the users whatsoever, it does not matter how good your app looks, the visitors will be more interested in checking out your competitor apps, which have far more relevant things to deliver. This will be in the form of automatic Geo-location data login, within the smartphone camera, converting your smartphone into a sensor source for delivering augmented reality.

Scenario of mobile-first in enterprises

Today, mobile-first can be represented in two different ways within an enterprise:

#1. The app is posing like a “companion”

Mobile-first is more popularly known as a ‘companion-app’ when employees asked within the same organization. Using productive business apps, make things a lot smoother, as it adds another screen to what people are doing already, by using desktops or laptops at work. Whether it be Evernote, Box, Dropbox, or more, there are several other apps, enhancing the overall work productivity hugely.

#2. App available “on-the-go”

How great is it when you can transfer your entire tasks, or even your business on your smartphone, and have access on the go, wherever and whenever you want. Another perspective of using mobile-first in enterprises is making use of ‘on-the-go’ apps, not dependent on any kind of network connection. With robust offline functionalities and features, an employee can get the job done, without actually depending on weak Internet, or power connections.

Impact of mobile first on verticals

As discussed earlier, the next wave of mobile-first is all about how to possibly bring every single micro or macro task, on to a smartphone. This can be possible only if the app is capable enough to fully utilize the inbuilt or default offerings, by working in sync with the smartphone. When we refer to “detailed” mobile first, it is how ‘deep’ smartphones can penetrate into the lives of users. When you look at different industries, you can have a glimpse of what mobile first is up to.

For our first example, let us take the construction industry. An app like Rhumbix collects Geo-local data, as soon as workers enter, or leave, a construction site. This is all done through real time Geo-location data, automatically generated on smartphones, and collected by the app. Such an app can prove extremely valuable to optimize the performance of the labor, by keeping a track of the exact work hours, delivering apt deserving payment, and differentiating between good as well as bad labor. This can even lead to appropriate decision making, when good workers are promoted due to extended work hours, and bad workers removed from the job due to a noticed lapse in their work timings.

Our second example refers to the agricultural industry. Farmlogs is a wonderful app composed of Geo-fencing algorithms, and Geo-local capabilities, automatically detecting the work in progress taking place on a field. Imagine, a farmer ploughing across thousands of acres, and the app taking logs of every piece of information, related to tractor movements.

And finally, let us look at the logistics industry. Looking at KeepTruckin app, you can understand how smoother things can be made in a complex logistics industry, with a range of features like an electronic logbook, electronic logging with the vehicle, GPS location tracking, and more. However, the most noteworthy functionality is automatic log auditing, as soon as the app tracks the driver’s real-time Geo-location. This includes current status, and receiving immediate notifications, in case there are problems connecting with the driver.

What is next in line?

We haven’t seen anything yet, regarding the mobile-first concept in enterprises. This is just a beginning, with a lot more advancements still to arrive. Let us see a few of them, to glance at the future of the mobile-first era.

#1. Historical data synchronizing with the situation based Geo-local data

Imagine the actual data getting correlated with the historical data, to extract the right outcome. This will be made possible through getting satellite data, with the help of sensors present in the smartphones. One classic example of a trend is an app that can match the historical images, as well as the Geo-local data, from the current daily workflows of farmers, to send real-time push notifications to farmers, depending on which part of the field located presently. As of now, farmers have to travel for miles within the field, to explore where the problem is. Farmlogs is a beautiful example to represent this.

#2. Augmented reality brought alive with smartphone camera in the lead

Herein, we will have a look at a couple of examples to understand how it works. Let us first look at the PlanGrid app, that helps an architect pull their plans, and then with the help of the augmented reality capability of the smartphone camera, develop a virtually live construction site right from the plans. Another example shows an app like RoomScan, involved in creating dynamic floor plans when the smartphone camera just taps against the wall.

#3. Smartphone devices as a sensor network tool

Smartphones can definitely act as an important part of a broader network. Especially with startups, Sense360 works as a wonderful example. The app pulls out extremely sensitive complex data, based on the Geo-location of users, and tells the startup enterprises where to find the right target audience.

Some final words to sum up…

As you can see, we have just talked about a few developments to expect with “deep” mobile first or the ‘detailed’ mobile-first era. However, the possibilities are endless, because creativity and innovation have no limits. It will be exciting to see how this trend experiences shifts or turns with the progressing smartphone and app related technologies. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure that this $100 billion industry has an endless underlying potential, that doesn’t seem to fade away for a long time.

Images: ”Mobile apps  /Shutterstock.com

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Ashesh Shah

Ashesh Shah

Mr. Ashesh Shah is the CEO of Fusion Informatics Ltd. and co-founder of Digital Infoware Pvt. Ltd., which are progressive enterprises in the field of web, software, and mobile application development services.

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