Business Oriented Mobile App Development On The Rise

Many seasoned mobile application developers are realizing that the consumer app market is getting very saturated. They also understand that the cloud and its many permutations are creating new opportunities for more business-oriented mobile application development.

Virtually every business cloud, from customer relationship management to business collaboration to field operations control, are finding motivating user productivity and adoption means providing mobility on devices users are familiar with. Soon we will all be less interested in apps that simulate us drinking a beer and more interested in accessing useful information and data when, where and on whatever device we need it to run on.

Mobile Business Apps

Cisco thinks so. That’s why they entered the software development arena as part of its new Enterprise Mobility Services Platform (EMSP). Although best known for networking hardware and the infrastructure components that create Internet’s fabric, they announced this month their launch of their own set of mobile app development tools as the cornerstone for EMSP. This is part of their new emphasis to blend mobile app development with marketing.

According to Hari Harikrishnan, Senior Director of Cisco’s Services Platforms Group, “up to 50 percent of all marketing hires in 2014 will have a technical background. The shift is happening,” Harihrishnan said, “and successful mobility vendors will need to align to [line-of-business] requirements to be successful.” The EMSP will be released in late May, he said, “to meet the next wave of mobility.”

In his blog he writes about how this effort will aid businesses to build “hyper-context aware” mobile applications. He explains that, “Context aware mobile applications leverage information about ‘where’ the user is. In contrast, Hyper-context aware applications move beyond just location and include ‘who’ the user is, and ‘what’ interest or past behavior the user has exhibited. It provides pinpoint context precision, using mobile apps to enable ‘connected people.’ This information becomes the foundation for tailoring a personalized mobile application experience to the employee or customer, based on their wants and needs.”

But Cisco’s plans are the extreme and there are a number of mobile business applications out there already contributing to business mobility. However, very nearly every form of CRM, ERP and even many HR oriented on-premise platforms have increasingly become more mobile accessible.

It will be important for enterprises and SMBs alike to evaluate existing investments in CRM or ERP platforms and determine if a mobile application could increase the ROI of these systems. Doing so may well reveal your organization’s next winning move.

There will always be a market for consumer apps but the opportunities for mobile applications built to meet specific business needs are growing. Better to examine your options now than to be eating a competitors dust in the near future.