Explore the Many Benefits of Business Apps
Modern businesses require a wide range of dedicated software to get things done. From payroll to customer relations, shipping, inventory, and bookkeeping, every organization has to perform a multitude of tasks every day to run smoothly. Whether it’s a small enterprise or an international corporation, most daily corporate tasks are completed using business apps.
Business apps allow organizations to maximize efficiency, analyze crucial data, and create a more connected and productive work environment. But you need to choose the right business apps for your company to really make the most out of what technology has to offer.
With literally thousands of business apps available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. How many apps do you need? In what ways can business apps help streamline your operations? Are some business apps just a waste of time and money? In this article, we’ll dig into the many benefits of business apps. Keep reading to learn just how to make business productivity software work really hard for your company.
What Are Business Apps Exactly?
Only a few decades ago, the working world was completely different. Typewriters, telephones, and paperwork were the order of the day. Now, if you look at any type of enterprise anywhere across the globe, you’re sure to find a wide variety of business productivity software.
Today’s business landscape is fast-paced and volatile. Businesses need to be ready to take on any challenge and be able to adapt to any situation at a moment’s notice. Workflows have to be streamlined and efficient. Employees must be able to stay connected and collaborate on projects at any time, from anywhere in the world.
To stay competitive, companies have to leverage business productivity software in the most productive ways they can. But what are business applications exactly? Does the term business apps cover any type of software used for business purposes? Does it cover both mobile and desktop applications?
A business app is any type of software that has been purposely designed to solve a particular corporate need. Any digital tool that was built to assist companies in any aspect of their day-to-day operations can be considered a business app. A business app can be designed and developed by a software company to meet the needs of corporate consumers, or it may have been developed by a specific company for its own internal use.
Normal consumer applications are usually for entertainment purposes, social interaction, or to encourage personal productivity. While some of these apps have features that can be adapted for professional use, they were not built specifically with corporate use in mind. Business apps are specifically tailored to address organizational needs, such as communication, collaboration, project management, and workflow optimization.
Are Business Apps Just for Mobile Devices?
When they hear the word ‘apps’, many people think of software purposely designed for mobile devices. While mobile business apps have become extremely popular and are highly useful, business apps are not always mobile-based.
The distinction between a mobile app and a desktop or web app depends on the function of the app and the platform it was developed and optimized for. Mobile-only apps or cross-platform apps have less processing power compared to desktop apps. This limits their ability to handle resource-intensive business tasks or complex computations. A desktop or web-based app is much better for any task that requires significant processing power, complex user interfaces, or extensive functionality.
What Are the Main Types of Business Apps?
Because every enterprise is different, business apps are purposely designed to play a variety of roles and often have highly customizable features. Some business apps are designed only for internal use among employees, such as a company intranet or dedicated internal project management tools. Other apps are solely for external B2B uses like procurement platforms. Some business apps are developed for B2C purposes, such as e-commerce apps.
It's an impossible task to list all the different types of business apps since software can be designed to meet highly specific business needs. However, there are some common types of business apps used by the majority of companies in almost every industry sector.
Communication and Collaboration Apps
These apps facilitate real-time internal and external communication and collaboration. They can be used for communication and collaboration between customers and businesses, businesses and suppliers, or between colleagues. Common examples of business communication apps include email and messaging apps and video conferencing tools.
Productivity apps are any type of software that has been designed to enhance efficiency and organization in work-related tasks. They can be tools for document creation, editing, and collaboration as well as workflow optimization apps and project management tools.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Apps
CRM software for businesses are specialized solutions designed to help businesses manage and optimize their interactions with customers. They can include sales and lead-tracking apps to manage customer interactions and facilitate sales processes as well as contact management apps that organize and maintain databases of customer information.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Apps
Software designed to integrate and streamline core business processes. The aim of ERP apps is to provide companies with a unified platform for efficient data management. These applications are typically used for finance and accounting purposes as well as in areas like supply chain management.
Human Resources (HR) Apps
Managing employees within an organization of any size requires specialized software. HR apps assist with tasks such as employee onboarding, performance tracking, payroll processing, and workforce planning.
File Storage and Sharing Apps
With ever-more resource-intensive computing and the rise of hybrid and remote working models, file storage and sharing apps are more important than ever. These apps allow companies to store, organize, and share digital files securely. Cloud-based business solutions are increasingly used as they can provide reliable storage and enable employees to share documents securely and work collaboratively regardless of where they are physically located.
Customer Support and Service Apps
While related to CRM apps, customer support and service apps are designed specifically for managing customer interactions and providing assistance. Examples include helpdesk and ticketing systems and live chat apps that provide real-time customer support.
Sales and Marketing Apps
Sales and marketing are crucial departments within any business ecosystem. The aim of sales and marketing apps is to automate workflows and optimize sales and marketing processes. Marketing software automates processes like email campaigns, lead scoring, and customer segmentation. Sales apps assist in managing the sales process by automating tasks such as lead tracking, contact management, and sales pipeline workflows.
Analytics and Business Intelligence Apps
Big Data is now big business. Organizations can leverage data collected from every aspect of their operations and gain actionable insights for informed decision-making. Data visualization tools transform data into visual insights. These apps can simplify complex datasets and make it easier for users to interpret and communicate meaningful information.
Business intelligence platforms provide in-depth analytics for decision-making. Using advanced AI algorithms and machine learning capabilities, these tools can analyze historical data and predict future trends.
Cybersecurity is a major concern for businesses. The ever-evolving nature of cyber threats poses a constant challenge and there are strict governmental regulations in place that companies must adhere to. Companies need to protect not only customer information but also sensitive corporate data from malicious third parties and comply with privacy laws.
Endpoint security apps focus on safeguarding devices such as computers and smartphones from cybersecurity threats. Identity and access management apps regulate access to critical information.
Expense Management Apps
In business, the bottom line means everything. Being able to track all expenditures is crucial for any enterprise. Expense management apps are designed to streamline and automate all processes associated with business expenses. They can help to set budgets, capture receipts, categorize expenses, generate reports, and streamline the process of submitting and approving expenses.
Time Tracking and Attendance Apps
Organizations must be able to accurately monitor employee work hours to ensure fair compensation and comply with labor regulations. Time management applications and attendance apps can streamline the process of recording employee work hours and attendance. They can also provide insights that assist with project management and resource allocation.
To be viable in the modern business environment, a company must be able to accept and process electronic transactions securely and reliably. Mobile wallets facilitate secure transactions and store payment information while payment processing apps enable businesses to accept electronic payments and manage transactions.
Content Creation Tools
Having an online presence is vital for modern business. Businesses need to continuously produce engaging and visually appealing content for effective digital marketing. Content creation tools enable businesses to produce websites, documents, graphic design elements, and video content that boost their brand and strengthens their online presence.
Marketing apps enhance various aspects of marketing, including social media management, email campaigns, and analytics. Contact list building apps assist in building and managing contact lists for marketing purposes. Social media management streamlines social media posting, scheduling, and analytics. Email marketing apps automate email campaigns and track engagement.
These tools enable targeted and data-driven marketing strategies that help companies analyze campaign performance and reach their audience more effectively, enhancing brand visibility and stimulating business growth.
How Can Business Apps Improve Productivity?
Business apps can help your organization to operate more efficiently and effectively. Whatever business sector you are in, how many employees you have, or how wide your customer base is, there are sure to be areas where a dedicated app can speed up workflows, remove obstacles, facilitate communication, and reduce or eliminate wasted time or repetitive actions.
Business apps can improve productivity by:
- Automating tasks
- Centralizing information
- Enhancing internal and external communications
- Provide mobile accessibility
- Enabling precise data analysis
- Optimizing workflows
- Boosting employee engagement
- Improving customer interactions
- Ensuring accurate financial processes
- Minimizing the risk of cybersecurity threats
What Are the Benefits of Cloud-Based Business Apps?
Businesses are increasingly moving away from on-premises software models and toward cloud-based applications. There are some surprising statistics on the adoption of cloud services. Recent figures show that 94% of companies are using cloud-based services with 67% of businesses using cloud-based infrastructure. 92% of businesses have a multi-cloud strategy. By the end of 2023, the US cloud market is projected to be worth $258.10 billion.1
So why have cloud-based business solutions become so popular? The main benefits of cloud-based business apps are increased security, better flexibility, access to more computing power, and reduced costs.
Cloud-Based Business Apps Can Lower Costs
Using cloud-based apps reduces the need for on-site storage, which lowers infrastructure and admin costs. Cloud apps also usually provide automatic updates, ensuring that businesses have access to the latest features and security patches without the need for manual installations.
Cloud-Based Business Apps Can Enhance Security
Keeping sensitive corporate data off-site protects companies from security breaches as most cloud servers use advanced security measures with various backup and recovery services. Cloud apps typically offer advanced encryption protocols, various user access authentication mechanisms, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and perform regular security audits. Data kept in multi-cloud servers also makes it harder for malicious cybercriminals to hack into.
Cloud-Based Business Apps Allow Remote Working
Cloud-based apps are crucial for hybrid working or remote work models. Cloud-based business apps can be accessed from any location, as long as the employee has a reliable and secure internet connection. This allows for easy collaboration among geographically dispersed teams. For modern companies that wish to draw from a global pool of talent and offer employees the most favorable working conditions, cloud-based tools are a necessity.
Cloud-Based Business Apps Enable Agility
Cloud-based business apps provide scalable resources on demand. Businesses can quickly adapt to changing workloads and scale their operations as needed. The flexibility of cloud infrastructure also facilitates faster deployment of new features and updates. Organizations can respond swiftly to market trends and evolving business requirements.
Cloud-Based Business Apps Provide More Computing Power
Continually having to upgrade physical computer systems takes a serious amount of time and resources. By leveraging the resources of an array of remote servers and data banks, businesses can get access to much more computing power for much less cost. Complex processes can be done in less time using cloud-based apps. Downtime caused by waiting for processes to finish or from updating software or hardware can be virtually eliminated.
How to Choose the Right App for Your Business
Choosing the wrong app for your business can have significant consequences for the long and short-term health of the company. Most business apps are designed to be used for a variety of essential tasks that are performed repeatedly throughout the day.
With the wrong app, your business is going to wind up wasting time, money, and resources. Inefficient apps can lead to productivity bottlenecks, hampering workflow optimization and hindering overall business operations. You need to make the right choice to avoid implementing, training, and maintaining a solution that doesn't align with the business's needs.
Additionally, if the app doesn’t have robust security measures, sensitive corporate data can be put at risk. An app with vulnerabilities can lead to data breaches causing significant reputational damage for a business.
Choosing the right business app requires you to take a methodical and involved strategy. Your decision should be based on a range of factors, each one should be considered and weighed against the others. Remember: the apps you choose will have major impacts on how you do business, so make your choice wisely!
When choosing a business app, follow the framework below to make sure you invest in an app that will work for your business, and not against it.
Evaluate Your Business Needs
Focus on your business needs. Consider exactly what you need to accomplish and seriously analyze your business processes and workflows. Make sure you choose a business app that meets the needs of your business.
Research and Compare Available Apps
Do intensive research. Don’t simply go with the first option you come across or make a decision based on what another competing business is using. Make sure you put the time and effort into carefully researching all your options. Compare prices, features, and support. Once you’ve got a short list, do an in-depth cost versus benefit comparison analysis of each business app.
Carefully Think About the Cost
Business apps can be expensive and accounting departments love to save money. But don’t save pennies now just to spend dollars later on. The process of switching from one app to another can be costly. If you start with an unsuitable app and have to make a change in the future, it could wind up costing you more than if you’d just purchased the more expensive option in the first place. An increased cost often provides more functionality, more power, and more versatility. Don’t pinch pennies when choosing a business app!
Consider the Need for Customization
An off-the-shelf business app might not be the best fit for your company. You may have to adapt an existing app to fit your needs or create an entirely new app from scratch. Many companies take business apps beyond what they were originally designed for. Other enterprises invest in developing their bespoke apps to fit unique business needs.
Make Software Integration a Priority
Organizations require an entire toolbox of apps, all of which have to be able to work together. There’s no point in spending time and resources in the process of choosing an application only to discover that it can’t be easily integrated into your existing workflows. Be sure your chosen app or suite of apps can integrate seamlessly with the digital tools you already use.
If you don’t focus on app integration, then the implementation process can take longer, cost significantly more, or may even fail altogether and you’ll be back where you started.
Be Sure the App Can Be Scaled
No one can truly know what the future holds. The volatility of the business world means that your company could be doing amazing business one month and then be facing a serious downturn the next. The software you choose must be able to grow alongside the changing needs of your organization. It should be able to be scaled up and down to meet requirements. There may be changing demands for data, more or fewer users, and fluctuating operational complexity.
Security and Compliance
An emphasis must be placed on the security features of the app. Make sure that it complies with all relevant industry regulations, internal policies, and national and international data protection standards. A business app must be equipped with robust security measures, such as encryption and access controls, to safeguard sensitive business information.
Get Your People Onboard
Having chosen an app, you should design an implementation plan. Rolling out new software requires more than just updating your technology. Change in any business can be met with resistance. If your teams are not using the app or misusing it, then you’re headed for trouble.
Take the time to communicate with your people to let them know the benefits of the app. Prioritize apps with intuitive interfaces to ensure quick adoption. Provide ongoing support and training.
The right software can seriously improve almost every aspect of an organization. Business apps can be used to streamline work processes, automate tasks, enhance efficiency, and improve internal and external communications.
Technology should work for your business, not against it. Be sure you use apps that will drive your business forward. Integrating your business apps with LumApps allows you to provide your people with a comprehensive digital workplace solution. LumApps enhances communication, encourages collaboration, and breaks down knowledge silos.