Business Apps: Luxury or Necessity for Your Company?
Marco Bellof, VS-Apps MD, on identifying your company's potential need for a custom business application and when (not) to use one.
Medium-sized companies are under constant pressure to remain competitive and drive growth through creative and innovative ideas. This is where business apps can help. These are software applications that have been developed specifically for business purposes.
Medium-sized companies are under constant pressure to remain competitive and drive growth through creative and innovative ideas. This is where business apps can help.
These are software applications that have been developed specifically for business purposes. With them, companies can ensure processes, increase efficiency, and support communication. Business apps offer an effective way to digitize by simultaneously promoting employee motivation in addition to efficiency in many areas of the company. They facilitate the automation of business processes, mobilize employees and customers, and enable easy access to relevant information. But are they always the right choice and for which applications are they best suited?
In this article, we examine the opportunities proprietary business apps offer. We also highlight the pitfalls to avoid and show a method for companies to identify potential for using business apps themselves.
Areas of application for business apps
What are the actual areas of application for business apps? Here is an excerpt of concrete areas of application for business apps in the company:
- Knowledge management: A business app can improve knowledge management in the company by centralizing knowledge and giving employees access to relevant information. For example, an app can provide maintenance and repair instructions as well as information on spare parts to improve service and support. The benefit behind this is increased customer satisfaction, as customers can be supported faster and more effectively.
- Customer service: A business app can improve customer service by handling customer inquiries quickly and efficiently and supporting employees with relevant information. For example, customers can submit inquiries directly through the app and receive quick and automated responses. The fast response time improves customer satisfaction and increases customer loyalty, which can lead to higher customer loyalty and more revenue in the long run.
- Maintenance: A business app can optimize the maintenance of machines, equipment and facilities by automatically creating maintenance schedules and providing monitoring information. This helps manufacturers simplify and automate their maintenance. As a result, users are able to solve many problems themselves, which in turn reduces downtime and increases productivity.
When not to use business apps
But beware! The use of business apps does not always make sense. In the following cases, it is not advisable to use them:
- Insufficient process coverage: For companies with very specific and frequently changing business processes, developing a business app that meets all requirements can be a challenge. In such situations, it is advisable to structure workflows in a targeted manner and optimize them using process-supporting software solutions.
- Uncertain Return on Investment (ROI): If the potential ROI of a business app is uncertain or the costs for development, implementation, and maintenance exceed the potential benefits, the use of the app should be carefully considered.
- Replicating existing solutions: Companies should leverage existing solutions that work well rather than developing their own apps that serve the same purpose. In-house app development only makes sense if it is based on a clear business strategy and offers added value compared to existing solutions.
How to identify the potential need for a custom business app
As a decision maker, it is important to actively think about possible applications of business apps for your company and identify their potential. To do this systematically, here is a step-by-step guide to identifying the potential need for a custom business app in your company:
- Identify business processes that can be automated: Analyze your workflows and identify areas where automation, efficiency and productivity can be increased.
- Isolate mobile-completable tasks: Look at tasks that employees can complete on the go or from different locations and consider how a business app could support these processes.
- Consider the customer experience: Think about how business apps can improve customer interactions and streamline customer service.
- Consult your employees: Solicit feedback from employees who are directly involved in the business processes in question. They can offer valuable insights and ideas for potential business app applications.
- Competitive analysis: Compare your business processes and technology use with those of industry leaders and successful companies in your sector to gather ideas and best practices for business app adoption.
By following these steps, you can identify and leverage the potential for using business apps in your organization.
In summary, business apps offer manufacturers numerous benefits to optimize productivity, improve customer experience, increase customer loyalty, and collect and analyze data. The use of business apps can facilitate the automation of business processes, mobilize employees and customers, optimize access to relevant information, and thus promote the long-term success of companies.
Marco Bellof is the founder and managing director of VS-Apps GmbH. After studying electrical engineering, information technology and technical computer science at RWTH Aachen University, he previously managed various major digitization projects at Deutsche Post AG. With VS-Apps GmbH, he develops and markets digital business models in the form of business apps.
The opinions expressed in Industry Insights published by dotmagazine are the author’s or interview partner’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the publisher, eco – Association of the Internet Industry.