Research has demonstrated that business organizations today are gaining quantifiable benefits from modern technology to the extent that their productivity and customer service is improved and their profitability is boosted. Increasingly, businesses are embracing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) philosophy, and employees are finding that mobile technology adds value to their work patterns, increasing flexibility and improving access to essential information.
The 2013 State of Mobility Survey indicates that, consistently, businesses that are mobile-aware are achieving higher revenues than organizations continuing to use more traditional methods. The benefits to business and finance companies are clear, and even in manufacturing operations, efficiency and accuracy have been increased and time savings have been made via the use of online information.
At the same time, BYOD can present a challenge to IT professionals, who are charged with keeping business data, networks, and assets secure. The number of mobile devices in business seems set to double during the next two years, and includes personal smartphones, notebook computers and tablets, increasing the need to ensure that there are management solutions in place for mobile devices and mobile applications. Although the majority of business enterprises have deployed basic security measures, the projected increase in use is likely to put a strain on their effectiveness, so more sophisticated measures will be needed to guarantee the safety of business networks, such as those provided by IT specialists. Read about Worry Free Labs for additional information.
Apps have revolutionized city transport; for example, CabSense NYC helps business executives with iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to locate the best and closest street corners from which to hail a cab, based on where they are, the time, and which day of the week it is. Embark NYC Subway and Embark Metro-North work without the need for a cellphone signal and can help with planning a trip, using contemporaneous information on service changes. Other apps for commuting to workplaces or navigating the city include HopStop (subway, bus, automobile, or on foot) iTrans NYC Subway, and MTA Subway Time.
The City of New York Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) are now accessible to businesses wishing to submit applications or make payments via an online account. Thus business permits and licenses can be applied for and renewed, inspections can be scheduled, and complaints can be filed using a mobile device.
Business apps for improved money management continue to be popular and are also finding favor for controlling personal as well as family finances. Expensify allows busy executives to track their business expenditure. It automatically scans receipts and keeps a photo log and can access most credit card and bank data from providers such as Bank of America, American Express, Chase, and Discover. For car trips, time spent on the road and mileage can also be recorded and calculated.
Tracking bank balances cross a number of accounts is possible via the Mint app, which will also send alerts if a project is going over budget. Mint has the facility to allow users to view graphs and charts of income and expenditure, and to provide a monthly overview in real time. MoneyWise is a terrific tool for creating and editing multiple budgets and programming recurring expenses. All the data can be exported into a spreadsheet or an HTML file, and also sent via email.
Previously known as Pageonce, Check is an app that is ideal for business employees and managers who want to pay bills from their cellphones. It links to a credit card or bank account and allows both automated and manually operated payments to be made.
One major breakthrough that is likely to help all businesses in the future is the development of Extensions by Apple. Currently, most apps are self-contained – one might be used for budgeting while another is used to find a NYC cab. Instead of switching from one app to another, Extensions allow users to work with an app within an app, saving time and the need to multitask. Most likely, soon businesses will require just a few apps, specially designed to contain other apps, on mobile devices, making it easier for employees to navigate and to change functions quickly.
Developers are beginning to experiment with the idea of creating Extensions, and it seems likely that the Android platforms will develop along the same lines as Apple. Google has developed the Intents platform, which shares some of the same technological functionality. Apps are already helping businesses become more efficient, and the new changes are likely to improve and amplify the positive effects.