Opinion

Could the 'app gap' be harming your business?

A common misconception is that businesses are keeping pace with the development of mobile applications for the workplace.

However, the reality is that the "App Gap” is widening as those welcoming the value and efficiency of specialised mobile applications continue to make steps ahead of their sceptical competition.

With the 4G spectrum auction on the horizon in the UK, it’s clear that there’s never been a more important time for businesses in this country to invest in getting these solutions right. Let’s not forget that 4G networks will offer British businesses much more that fast access to information.

It also provides an opportunity for independent software vendors (ISVs), who will become increasingly key players as high-speed mobile networks become the norm for businesses.

The ability to benefit from applications that can enable a rapid exchange of potentially large datasets seems destined to usher in a new age of mobility in this country, but it’s nonetheless true that only the most prepared will be able to benefit.

Regrettably, despite a great deal of focus over the last few years on how businesses are developing strategies to cope with the rise in mobile devices, it seems that few are prepared enough, and this attention is not being converted into practice.

Few seem to focus on maximising the reach and effect of their mobile applications

Very few seem to focus on maximising the reach and effect of their mobile applications, despite the encouragement of their staff, and are consequently falling foul of the “App Gap”.

This is borne out by a recent study conducted by Progress Software, in association with research firm Vanson Bourne, which found that, of 600 global organisations surveyed, as many as 92% believed that adopting mobile applications would give them a competitive edge.

However, only half (51%) of those surveyed admitted to currently using mobile applications to interact with employees, with even less (45%) using them to engage
with customers.

We should be asking ourselves why, when people are keen to embrace the benefits that mobile applications can provide, are surprisingly few actively looking at ways to make them a reality?

If businesses wish to embrace the future of mobility in this country, it’s clear that they need to embrace mobility strategies by building meaningful relationships with ISVs that place applications at the heart of business practice.

Failure to do so could not only make businesses appear less attractive to prospective employees, but also to potential partners and customers. One thing’s for sure: the successful businesses of tomorrow will be those that have managed to reduce the “App Gap”, and make refusal to encourage application-centric mobile strategies a thing of the past!


Gary Calcott is technical marketing manager at Progress Software

This was first published in April 2013

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