There is a very good reason for the BYOD trend in the enterprise. Employees recognised that they could get more done at work by using the smartphones in their pockets.
This realisation has driven the development of many apps which help improve efficiencies and simplify everyday tasks in the workplace. Just take the example of the app developed off the back of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Dr Andrew Bastawrous’ idea.
Dr Bastawrous had been going out to some of the worlds poorest countries with eye examination equipment, costing in excess of £100,000. The equipment would often fail or get damaged due to poor transport conditions in the countries that needed the eye exams. These countries are often in the most desperate need of help to prevent or treat eye disease, to avoid people going blind. Frustrated, Dr Bastawrous considered how much he used his smartphone apps for virtually everything in the UK; why couldn’t’ a smartphone be used for scanning patients’ eyes?
This led Dr Bastawrous to create Peek, an app with a 3D printed accessory which attaches to a smartphone camera, which helps with detecting eye health problems. Following trials in Kenya and other countries, Dr Bastawrous created a solution that costs just £300 (including the price of the phone.) Not only is it a cheaper, more portable and durable solution than the medical equipment he was using before; but because of the app, the solution delivered additional functionality. The app records the exact time and location the exam was carried out, which, when used in areas that don’t have fixed addresses, is key for getting help to remote locations where good medical care is most needed.
Whilst this is an extreme example, it shows that if a complicated problem can be solved with an app – surely simple work tasks can be made easier by thinking mobile too.
Indeed, if you check out our infographic below (or click for a larger version), you’ll see just how big a difference mobilising through apps can have on your organisation.
Of course, there are many off-the-shelf solutions that help people with basic tasks, such as completing expenses or time keeping. However, to actively help employees with their day-to-day jobs, often bespoke solutions are required. Bespoke apps, built around job roles, business operations and systems are where the real drive in productivity and efficiency often comes from.
Not only are they built to improve the way employees work, without trying to make all job types work in the same way, they also mean companies control the data being collected via the app.
The topic of enterprise apps was the recent focus of The Mobile App Minute podcast. The show is hosted by Gigaom mobile analyst, author of The Everything Guide to Mobile Apps and founder of MobileGroove, Peggy Anne Salz; who is joined by Rob Woodridge, founder of Untether.TV – a site focused on different aspects of mobile.
In the show (at around 3:09) Peggy and Rob discuss our infographic and talk about the themes raised. We encourage you to watch the whole show!
Alternatively, listen to the audio only on Soundcloud: