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Why Custom Apps are Perfect for Business Process Automation

It is no secret that organizations are turning to mobile solutions for their enterprise needs. The world of enterprise software has no shortage of off-the-shelf and cloud-based offerings that are more or less ready-made to fit commercial needs. These include Oracle’s mobile solutions for work connectivity and Salesforce.com’s leading CRM “sales cloud.” That being said, custom development is actually the most popular route for businesses trying to tailor software to its needs. Of all mobile apps meant for enterprise, 27% are purchased directly, 24% are after-market extensions, 38% are developed in-house, and 25% are contracted out. The off-the-shelf apps available from large vendors that are on the market actually happen to be in a very nascent phase; most are limited forms of the vendor’s full web application s and their pricing models are not yet stable.

With custom mobile app development a burgeoning shift in enterprise, the most important value-added use for mobile apps is in business process automation. Let us examine a couple of examples:

In shipping, there is a well-developed process and set of protocols for handling a package that occurs in stages and involves many human hands. When a package reaches different points in the delivery chain, an employee can use a mobile device to scan a QR/barcode that not only updates the status of the package, it can also populate accompanying databases and legally-required documentation. Since every logistics chain has its own organization-specific needs, this is a perfect opportunity for custom mobile applications.

In the world of car rentals and reservations, mobile apps have tremendous value. Locations, times, availability, and the capability to update reservations all on the run are a tremendous positives in this realm for both the employees handling logistics and the customers needing to travel. The capabilities of apps in this area can be quite inventive, such as with Zipcar, which lets users lock and unlock the car and even honk the horn from the app.