Gartner predicts that by 2019, companies around the world will spend more than $200 billion on enterprise application software, and that by 2020, 75 percent of those applications will be purpose built in some way, rather than purchased as an “out of the box” solution. As companies move toward creating and integrating more enterprise applications into their businesses, there’s one crucial question to ask: are those apps actionable?
Most enterprise mobile applications today have a purpose, whether that’s providing the latest customer data to a regional sales director, performance benchmarks to a store manager, or quarterly financial information to a CFO. But these enterprise apps can be much more than a source of information. By making them actionable, organizations can create moments where data actually drives decision-making.
Mobilizing workflows with transaction-enabled apps that provide native support and enable users to take action is very important. With actionable apps, user can change or input data, approve, submit or edit transactions, or upload images of product displays or business receipts to corporate systems. Mobile apps with transactions allow real-time communication with a database—no matter where the user is. Here’s what the difference looks like in real life:
- With an actionable app: A real estate agent can interact with a mobile transaction-enabled app to update listings and fill out applications on the go. The agent could also close deals by submitting signatures right from their mobile device.
- Without an actionable app: A real estate agent can view a dashboard or check on a graph, but they would not be able to leverage that data in real time or make changes to existing information.
No matter what industry you’re in, actionable apps can provide great benefits. If you want to build an app that helps the user make real-time, real-world decisions, here are four key ways to make your enterprise apps more actionable:
Support Offline Access
Life often takes people off the radar, especially in fields that involve significant travel or time at client sites. It’s important that apps allow users to approve, edit, or submit information without a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Transactions can then be queued for submission once an internet connection is established.
Enable Touch-Based Interactions
Today’s users are familiar with many different forms of touch-based interfaces. Build your app with flexible drag-and-drop design and user interface elements like swiping and zooming to create a native experience that’s easy to use.
Embed Multimedia Content
Whether it’s a training resource or customer-facing information, videos, PDFs, and brochures can be great resources for users on the go.
Allow Users to Add Images
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s true for businesses too. Empower users to take and upload images to your enterprise application—this will allow companies to document issues and ensure compliance during on-site inspections. For example, insurance agents can upload images related to claims, and retail managers can log photos of storefront displays.
Business today moves fast, and organizations need to keep up in order to succeed. Business applications are the future for many companies, and actionable apps are the best way to empower a workforce and enable them to take real-time action based on data.
If you want to learn more about making your enterprise apps actionable, check out our white paper, The Best Platform for Enterprise Mobile Apps.