Monday, September 19, 2011

The Benefit of Custom Mobile Applications

There are at least two kinds of mobile applications for large enterprises to consider:
  1. Me-too-apps
  2. Only-me-apps
Me-too-apps often provide efficiency gains and remove the friction from various workflows and processes.  These apps are often simple, easy to implement and off-the-shelf.  Soon all of your competitors will also recognize the value of these mobile apps and will implement.

Only-me-apps are customized applications that often take advantage of your unique processes, unique combinations of back office systems and unique products and services.  Many companies have dozens of different business solutions, ERPs, bespoke database applications, BI systems and other software applications in their inventory.  There can literally be hundreds and even thousands of different combinations of these systems that can be connected together to support mobile workers and applications, and to provide unique competitive advantages.

I have met with many very large companies that view their particular mobile application as a competitive advantage.  One large CPG company that I met with this summer said they have a mobile application that is over 10 years old, but it still provides them with a competitive advantage in their industry.

Mobile applications and mobile strategies that will truly transform a company are likely going to involve the following:
  1. Very smart people
  2. Very smart strategies
  3. Mobile technologies that support points 1 and 2.
In order to effectively support a customized mobile application environment that may have dozens of mobile solutions, you will require specific kinds of platforms, toolkits and mobile security systems to set it up and to manage it.

I will be speaking this week on the subject of "Delivering Competitive Advantages Through Custom Mobile Apps" in this upcoming webinar.

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.