iPhone Apps – the Business Opportunities
Consumers love the iPhone. Sales numbers and growth statistics confirm this. Many have wrote about the adoption of the iPhone. Many developers have taken the plunge and took their place within the iPhone ecosystem, thus creating over 200,000 Apps that fill the App Store.
The iPhone is a powerful development environment, most people have the ability to create an iPhone App. The App store means that the distribution of an app is not anymore dependent on iTunes running on the typical Mac or PC. Application security and data security layers are there to use making development and deployment even more trivial. And above all users love iPhone Apps… users hardly need convincing to use iPhone Apps, they love them already.
What about business? Will apps matter to business? And the answer must be a loud “Yes”. One of the main strengths of the iOS (the operating system for iPhones and iPads) platform is that it is now open to developers but is still being managed by Apple. And what that means is that an iPhone App achieves the same quality one would expect of any apple product but can be developed by any Tom, Dick and Harry. Openness and accessibility translate into more innovation, as businesses and individual employees are allowed to try to get more productive with mobile business apps.
This openness and accessibility however can lead into chaos. As more business users create more new mobile business apps or download them from the App Store, things can get a bit messy. The data that was previously centralised and relatively easy to organise can now reside on a multitude of apps that focus solely on the function they serve with little consideration for integration with a central system. The information systems we’re used to control and manage the data across various applications. Information systems collate and distribute that information to the employees who need that data. This traditional system can now be jeopardised by the multitude of business apps that take over bits and pieces of information away from the central server.
At Lornit we’re currently exploring ways of using the iPhone as a mobile front end for our business intelligence platform. We believe the future of mobile apps for business is not in separate mobile apps but in business apps that complement each other and the traditional central information system. We believe that apps that converge will ultimately restore and maintain the order of mobile application use in the business market.