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The Future is Apps

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the importance of mobile applications over the past few weeks. I find myself writing this at the airport after a busy week on the road. I’ve got my laptop, my iPhone and my iPad at my side. And what’s the first thing I do?  Turn on my iPad and check in with a few apps. Before leaving my hotel this morning I checked in for my flight with my airline’s mobile app. Then, the consumer in me goes directly to FaceBook to check in at the airport. The mother in me checks the status of the Smurf’s game (I promised the kids I’d harvest Smurfberries while on the road – I know it’s ridiculous!), then the employee in me checks in to my SAP Streamworks app to see the status of the many projects that I am working on.  And finally, I spend the better part of an hour checking email.  This is when I realize that everything I have done today has been through a mobile app.

Mobile apps have changed the way I work. They change the way we all engage with information. They transform the way we do business.  And the good news (and why I love my job) is that mobile apps are the future of SAP’s mobility strategy. 

As I think about how apps have changed my work and personal life, I decided to take a look at what you have to say about this topic.  And so I turned to some research around mobile apps. The recent Kelton research study dives into this topic. In fact, 56% of survey respondents stated that using mobile apps on the job makes them more productive.  Of that 56 percent, over eight in ten (82%) of those who use more than three mobile applications for work feel this way. Those of you who are like me and use mobile apps regularly agree – apps significantly improve productivity.

But why aren’t more people using mobile apps in the workplace today? 

I think the answer comes down to a few things.  First, companies are just starting to crack the nut and develop their own mobile application strategies. Many of you already have an apps strategy in place – you are investing in buying mobile apps from vendors (like SAP and our partners) or you are building your own apps 9perhaps relying on our mobile app dev platform). Many of you are just getting started and looking at publically available App Store apps to enable simple employee productivity.  

Whatever your strategy is, keep in mind that it needs to be very easy for employees to get their hands on applications.  The Kelton report found that many workers would be quicker to adopt more apps if they were easier to get. Often people just don’t know what apps would add value to their day. Almost half of survey respondents (45%) said that they would use an employer-provided online marketplace for downloading company-approved mobile applications – and another 40 percent believe their coworkers would do the same. If you provide an easy way for your employees to gain access to apps (and even subsidize some public ones) then they’ll use them – and you’ll reap the benefits.

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  • The world has really become a very small place . Atleast virtually. You just answered to by blog I wrote few hours back. And after reading your blog, I am sure everyone is thinking on the same lines.
    Please read my blog and let us know is SAP coming up with anything like mentioned in it 🙂

    PS:I am posting this from my mobile. 🙂

  • I work for a manufacturing firm.  SAP has been our big white elephant.  Really no mobile apps have been developed for it.  Unless you call our RF system mobile app?  It really isn't.  We are using simple technologies. 

    We do use mobile apps for our sales people.  Just not SAP mobile apps.

    It should be interesting what happens in the future!


  • Milja,
    Thanks for posting this on SCN. Personal mobile use is easier to adopt because it requires less infrastructure change than a large org. Company IT departments are not simply being laggareds - they have much to consider in this ever changing mobile landscape. Can we have the link to the Kelton report you mention here?