Over years companies have invested heavily in building up their IT applications to serve the needs of their workforce. But still then most of this investment has not resulted into wide ranging effects as a substantial part of the workforce is still not connected directly with these IT applications. For example mobile sales force, technicians in plants, executives on move are not able to exploit these hidden resources. The result is process inefficiencies and breakdown. Mobile applications are extending the reach of backend IT applications to the periphery of corporate world.
Today, world is moving towards mobile applications, which allows users to leverage the more accessible devices to access information in an easy and less time. Mobile applications are truly extending reach of corporate network to remote worker, which has resulted into improved productivity with easy connectivity for mission critical activities.
Some of the extended benefits of mobile applications are:-
1. Mobility: Mobility is the basis for the value of mobile applications. The ability to be used anywhere and any place has been the main reason to adopt mobile applications. It is also the main advantage mobile applications have over traditional personal computers. In a way, it is a 'necessary condition' for mobile applications.
2. Convenience and Efficiency: Convenience and efficiency are the advantages of mobile applications both for customers and company’s employees. They are the two primary fundamental objectives that end-users expect mobile applications to provide.
3. Reduced Administration: Workers in the field can generate new work orders or assign outstanding work orders directly. Work-order processing is simplified because transactions are electronic and can be routed automatically through the workflow to the appropriate backend.
4. Real Time Information: Information is made available with real time accuracy and has greater management control. This can be used to enable a bi-directional control of processes in real time.
5. Effective Business Decisions: Mobile applications lead to effective business decisions as management drives the results from real time information in more efficient and productive environment.
There are of course some disadvantages as follows:
1. Mobile Devices Restrictions: Considering mobile devices smaller screens input interface is more complicated than PC. Also resolution of mobile screen is relatively low. The limited battery life also posed a few challenges for end-users.
2. Security Concern: Security is a major concern for mobile applications. Wireless transmission, in a way, biases end-users to perceive mobile applications to be more vulnerable and unsecured. Thus, more security enhancements and options must be provided to ensure the security of data and business transactions.
One needs to carefully weigh the advantages of mobile applications to derive the most beneficial use cases in a given operating environment and design the solution in such a manner that the disadvantages of mobile devices (as mentioned above) do not hinder the effective usage of enable mobile applications.