When we think of mobile apps, applications that work on a smartphone or tablet, we think primarily of games or downloadable versions of social media programs. The few mobile business applications we see are generic programs for such things as tracking the stock market or sales force automation.
But that has started to change, and there is a huge shift in building customized mobile applications that connect to your specific business data. When you think about it, it is the natural evolution for business IT systems.
Over the years, we’ve moved from monolithic mainframe programs to networked computer applications to web-based systems, and with each move came a wellspring of new capabilities and functionality. In each of these cases, it took a while for “simple” apps to prove the concept, and then more complex enterprise applications took advantage of the new technology.
That is what is happening with mobile. If you can get the weather on your mobile device, why not your corporate data? Well you can, and you can do so in a secure, real-time environment. Moreover, if done correctly, these applications will run on any mobile device via its web browser, meaning only one version of the application needs to be maintained that will work on any mobile device. It also means that you don’t need to use the “app store”, you don’t need to download anything, and you don’t need to worry about having to reinstall updates whenever changes are made to the application.
What we are finding is that only parts of an overall application need to be mobile-enabled, typically those used by the workforce in the field. Examples of ones we’ve written at Nicom include an automated sales tool for sales consultants, electronic forms used by marine pilots when they are on assignment, and applications used by seaport representatives when they are travelling the world.
That latter one is a good example to demonstrate, as it is publicly usable. To see it, simply use your mobile browser to go to www.halifaxgetsitthere.com/m.
Think about all the ways you could use your corporate data when you are out of the office, and wouldn’t it be nice if you could do so without even having to use a laptop or having to find a WIFI network.
Well you can. It is here, now. I’d be happy to discuss this with anyone who is interested. Call me at (902) 454-5656, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.