There is no question that the end-client computing landscape is changing dramatically. Annual sales of smartphones and tablets now outstrip sales of desktop PCs (Source: IDC) and every second person in the UK carries a smartphone (Source: comScore).
That has created an entirely new platform for software – or, rather, a new ecosystem of platforms – that presents fresh opportunities to improve customer engagement and employee collaboration.
Businesses now find themselves in a position akin to the dawn of the PC era, or the early days of the web. Mobile apps clearly present huge potential for innovation, but exactly what works, and in what circumstances, is still being discovered by the early adopters.
Below, we present five examples of organisations that have developed mobile in a variety of ways, and for a variety of use cases. Some are experimenting with mobile applications, while others are using them to drive business today.
The common thread is that they have all identified a genuine business need for mobile software, and that the growing sophistication of mobile devices is not a technological wave that they wish to let pass them by.
1. BT preps customer-facing app with in-house deployment
BT Voice, a cross-platform VoIP system that allows customers to use their home or office phone number across all their devices. Development kept in house to hone its mobile development skills
2. Self-built apps help Net-A-Porter capture growing mobile demand
Online clothes retailer recently built new iPhone and Android apps as mobile sales drive business growth
3. Drag-and-drop system lets nurses build mobile apps
In preparation for new patient data collection rules, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust adopted a system that allowed non-technical employees to design their own mobile applications
4. Carrentals.co.uk builds experimental app to test mobile waters
The UK’s largest car rental website used internal resources to build Android app, then looked externally for iOS conversion.
5. US insurer Chubb’s marketing-driven app play
The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies taps external development resources to build customer-facing apps, allowing IT to focus on infrastructure.