How micro-apps could simplify business processes and optimise productivity

The UK’s workforce is currently the least productive of all the G7 economies at 20% below the average. Further research has shown that the average person in a large enterprise can spend up to two days a week completing inefficient admin tasks not associated with the job they are paid for.

Despite this, most employees will say that they just want to do a good job, so something needs to be done to help people work smarter. But what?

Currently enterprise applications and workflows are built in a way that buries individual tasks deep within thousands of small processes which are hard-coded, deep inside a complex system. For example, SAP flagship enterprise application, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) has over 16,500 processes and CRM has over 8,000 when delivered out of the box.

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Just learning how to use such systems is complex. A recent example of an inefficient process discovered in a large auto manufacturer involved employees from one department walking across the whole manufacturing plant to the department to order the parts they needed rather than completing the online order process from their desktops because it is quicker.

The underlying processes are often good but the individual tasks involved to get results can take far too long and are not people friendly. No wonder it is difficult for the average worker to be agile.

Solving the productivity puzzle

Now there is a quick and easy way to improve your organisation’s productivity by elevating the individual processes out of the system and turning them into simple mobile apps.

Micro-apps are built using the underlying infrastructure and process but with no coding and for a mobile environment. Each micro-app is built with a single specific outcome in mind, enabling employees to complete more and more tasks, often in less than a minute.

The result is a catalogue or library of ‘task based apps’ that automate the underlying business processes that are simple to use yet smart because now users can set personal KPI’s and alerts to remind or trigger activities whilst on the move. Mobile apps remove the barriers to work and provide employees with a personal, quick, anywhere, anytime solution.

By unleashing these sorts of apps, an organisation can get the best from existing applications to suit the individual needs of all employees, clients and partners.

This may be employees’ on-the-move who need to access systems and information as quickly as possible, or office workers who need the core processes to be speedy and straightforward so that they can get on with their day jobs.

Complexity shouldn’t hold employees back

Some 99% of businesses have expressed a desire to improve productivity through mobility but often the complexity of doing this prevents it from happening. More employees access work systems remotely by mobile but many struggle to use systems designed for a desktop computer on a mobile platform.

The aim is to reduce frustration levels amongst employees, by letting them easily access and complete the actions they need to focus on. Sounds simple, right? It can be.

One example of where micro-apps have increased productivity levels is in large insurance companies, the long established ones can have over 5,000 underlying systems that have been built out over years to support the complexity of the business.

Little wonder customers believe insurers can be difficult businesses to interact with, especially when compared to their digital native competitors. Simplifying their processes is, for some, a matter of survival.

Insurance employees looking to offer a quote to a new or existing customer, want to do so quickly and simply, wading through as few screens and processes as possible. Having micro-apps allow users to complete a task in as little as a minute, enabling them to quote quickly and move onto the next customer. A real ‘win win’.

Zapping through enterprise applications

Implementing such bite-sized apps is a straightforward process. Constructed from an enterprise’s existing platforms, micro-apps can be built in a fraction of the time of a typical application, often in under a week and without the need for coding, and with immediate deployment via the cloud.

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Existing infrastructure investments are protected as back-end systems have no downtime or disruption to services and zero risk.

Modern employers need to give employees the one thing they now expect – simple personalised business apps, in the palm of their hand that is also focused on the business need to optimise productivity.

The result, a smarter, happier and more productive workforce. We may not be able to keep Britain top of the G7, but we can help its organisations become more productive.

Sourced from Russell Acton, VP and General Manager, International, Capriza

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...