Technalysis Research
Previous Blogs

December 9, 2014

December 2, 2014
The Next Performance Challenge: The Battle for the Burst

November 25, 2014
Rediscovering High Resolution AV

November 18, 2014
Making Makers Mainstream

November 11, 2014
Going Vertical

November 4, 2014
A New Wearables Forecast

October 28, 2014
The Next Evolution for Wearables: Business

October 21, 2014
Size Does Matter...When it Comes to Screens

October 14, 2014
Insider Extra: Does Windows Stand a Chance With Enterprise Mobile Apps?

October 14, 2014
Does Big Data Equal Big Brother?

October 7, 2014
Is Windows Still Relevant?

September 30, 2014
Tablet and Smartphone Futures: Specialization

September 23, 2014
Is the App Ecosystem Sustainable?

September 16, 2014
The Wearable-Identity Connection

September 9, 2014
The Password Dilemma

September 8, 2014
Insider Extra: SanDisk--Driving Flash Forward

September 2, 2014
Smart Connected Devices: A New Forecast

August 26, 2014
Phablets—aka Pocket Computers—Drive New World Order

August 19, 2014
Device Usage Diversity

August 12, 2014
New Life for the PC

August 5, 2014
Hot Items for the Holidays: Large Phones, Notebooks and Smart TVs

July 29, 2014
Smartphones: Life's Remote Control

July 22, 2014
The Joy of Vintage Tech

July 15, 2014
Digital Generation Gap

July 8, 2014
Virtualization Reborn

July 1, 2014
Portable Digital Identities

June 24, 2014
The Future of UI: Contextual Intelligence

June 17, 2014
Moving to Markets of One

June 16, 2014
Insider Extra: Dell and the Battle for Business

June 10, 2014
Screen Overload to Drive Screen-less Devices

June 3, 2014
Apple Drives Vision of Seamless Multi-Device Computing

May 27, 2014
Surface Pro 3: The Future of PCs?

May 22, 2014
Insider Extra: SanDisk: The Many Faces of Flash

May 20, 2014
The Technological Divining Rod

May 13, 2014
Computing in the Cloud

May 6, 2014
Device Usage a Question of Degree

April 29, 2014
The Next Smartphone Battleground: Durability

April 22, 2014
BYOD: A Work in Progress

April 18, 2014
Insider Extra: AMD Back in the Groove

April 15, 2014
The Mobility Myth

April 9, 2014
BYOD Dilemma: Devices vs. Data

April 8, 2014
Insider Extra: Qualcomm's Evolving Story

April 1, 2014
A Wearables Forecast

March 25, 2014
Measuring Success in Wearables? It's Thousands of Thousands

March 24, 2014
Insider Extra: Intel Strategy Moves Forward

March 18, 2014
IOT: Islands of Isolated Things?

March 11, 2014
Wearables Cautionary Tale

March 4, 2014
The New Platform Battle

February 25, 2014
Watch What Happens

February 18, 2014
Talkin' 'bout Touchpads

February 11, 2014
The MultiOS Conundrum

February 4, 2014
Computing Redefined

January 28, 2014
The Apple Problem

January 21, 2014
The 2-in-1s People Might Want

January 14, 2014
The Post Tablet Era

January 7, 2014
The Innovation Asymptote

December 31, 2013
Top 5 2014 Predictions

December 17, 2013
Holiday Shoppers Gifting Themselves

December 10, 2013
Companion Apps

December 3, 2013
Aisle Check

TECHnalysis Research Blog Extra

December 11, 2014
The Next Target for Enterprise Mobile Apps? Line of Business Field Workers

It’s a relatively well-known fact that most businesses have not built a great deal of custom mobile applications for their businesses yet. Sure, there are a number of pilots out there, but organizations of many sizes are finding that it’s relatively challenging to get high-quality apps out of development and into widespread deployments.

Not surprisingly, the few apps that are being deployed typically get built for mainstream office workers—those folks in headquarters or other main offices that are the most vocal about wanting to use their own BYOD smartphones and tablets at work. On the one hand, this makes sense. After all, they tend to be a large, influential group, and IT often feels the need to go out of their way to keep them happy.

In doing so, however, internal IT development organizations are potentially missing out on the workers in their companies who could actually get the most benefit from custom-built mobile applications: field workers and others out on the front line.

These types of workers—who are typically part of line of business (LOB) organizations—aren’t always as vocal to IT as their counterparts at HQ, and in some organizations, may represent a much smaller percentage of the overall worker population. However, you can build the most compelling custom application ROI story for exactly these types of workers. Reducing the amount of time it takes to do remote paperwork, or leveraging in-house analytics data to help drive field-based decisions regarding equipment repairs are just two of many compelling applications that can translate to real-world dollars and cents benefits to organizations of many types and sizes.

Part of the problem is, historically, many LOB divisions have gone off to purchase or create their own point solutions, independent of IT. The argument was that they had unique needs/requirements that internal app development teams couldn’t really understand or meet (or, at least, that’s what they thought). In many situations, this has led to solutions that might work OK for a particular LOB, but don’t really integrate well into the tools and/or processes created by IT that are being used at HQ.

With the extended reach and greatly enhanced computing and connectivity that mobile devices now provide these workers, it’s time to rethink this approach and figure out ways for IT to work with LOB mobile workers. Creating mobile apps that not only fit the unique needs of these folks, but also seamlessly connect to corporate data resources is clearly what needs to happen.

In the end, building mobile apps for mobile workers who really need them is likely to generate a better return on investment than making tools for office workers who have relatively easy access to all the information they need and don’t really need customized mobile apps as much. It’s time to start thinking outside the office box.

Here's a link to the original column:

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