Business intelligence allows employees to focus on the most crucial tasks for maximum success. Imagine for a moment that your sales team could look at a map that shows all existing customers within a 5 mile radius. Then, they can overlay a calendar showing the last point of contact for those customers. In just moments, out on the road, your team can take care of the days assignments and fit in some customer retention activities that will build long-term success. All of this is made possible because of the availability of mobile business intelligence.
Where is the Downside?
There is no true downside to developing mobile applications for the enterprise, but there are challenges. In recent years, many companies have moved toward a BYOD (Bring your own device) policy. This saves a bit of money on operating costs, but it’s going to add dollars to the development side. The variety of devices in use leaves companies struggling to duplicate development activities across iOS, Android and Windows platforms.
Wearable computing is also on the horizon with the addition of products from the Galaxy Wear line, Google Glass and rumors of the iWatch. Creating integrated enterprise applications that work on all platforms becomes more and more challenging. It may ultimately push businesses back into the decision to provide devices to employees, to reduce development and device management costs.
Platforms to Watch
Although iOS has an established market share and Android currently owns a significant part of the industry, for enterprise-level applications, Windows is the platform to watch. Linking between existing Microsoft Enterprise platforms like Sharepoint and the ability to use platform-independent development software makes Windows Phone 8 an ideal option for creating mobile access points to existing corporate hubs. Windows already develops with security issues at the forefront, so businesses can take advantage of already developed protocols that minimize their exposure. Android and iOS are new to the enterprise market, so their existing dominance of the mobile market does not come into play when considering where and how to approach the task of enterprise application mobile development.