We are a nation of smartphone users: recent studies show that more than two-thirds of all Americans own a phone with internet capability. The rest of us rely on our tablets to access the internet, with a small contingent that remains loyal to desktop computers. What experts are starting to find is that younger Americans tend to access the internet solely via their smart phones, but that Millennials are more likely to search for custom Windows applications to meet their entertainment needs.
There are more than 2 million applications — more commonly known as “apps” — that we can choose from, but software development experts say that when we download new apps we often do not end up using them more than a few times. One software giant offered just 500 apps in 2008, up to more than 1.5 million today. Custom Windows applications are relatively easy to develop, but American business owners are sticking to professional database and design development.
In order to determine the best web application for business purposes, you need to evaluate your staff’s needs. Are you a business that is comprised of telecommuters? Then you will want to rely on a platform that offers unlimited communication: nobody wants to have a business deal fall through because a data plan ran out. Looking at custom Windows applications? Make sure that you’re consulting with a professional about database design and development: homemade apps can be buggy and you don’t need a virus backloading into your system.
Is your staff mostly in-house? You want to find custom Windows applications that allow your staff to communicate freely – but not too freely. Employment studies show that, if allowed onto the internet, most people will put their work responsibilities on hold in order to “surf” the internet. Unauthorized internet usage can put a big dent in employee productivity and can also be an unwanted source of viruses. A rough estimate of how much money is lost due to employee use of the internet? $8,000 per week, per employee. Larger companies could stand to lose much more money due to internet abuse.
When you’re thinking about building out custom mobile applications, you will want to make sure that you can monitor their use. Smaller companies may have dozens of intra-office communications daily, but larger firms may have hundreds or even thousands of work-related communications via email, message board, and custom platforms. How do you keep track of what your employees are writing about? How do you design a mobile application that is usable out of the office but that does not encourage fraternization? How can you keep everyone in the office on track? Only a handful of new businesses survive the first five years.
Web experts recommend talking to a professional software development expert. You can describe your needs for web application development and they can make sure that you are positioning your apps correctly for the needs of your business. Smaller companies may have less of a need to protect proprietary information, while larger businesses may wish to devote more energy to cybersecurity. Once a custom application is designed, plan on having several employees test it for several weeks to a month. This is referred to as “beta testing” and is an essential part of bringing in new applications.
However you approach your software upgrades, it remains vitally important to engage with professional website and database design and development experts. Custom applications, if developed and deployed correctly, could save your company thousands of dollars every fiscal quarter. You just want to make sure that you are taking enough time in the development and testing stages: a failed application is much worse than no application at all. With thousands of popular apps available for business use, you should be able to find a way to maximize employee productivity and to keep your entire office on track.