Mobile devices are having a large impact on how business operate. All across the landscape, companies are using smartphones and tablets with different software combinations to improve operations and streamline tasks.
Recently, FileMaker conducted a survey of mobile strategies used by businesses. It is compiled of respondents from 499 customers who have deployed FileMaker solutions.
The study found that 59 percent of FileMaker iPad and iPhone users connect to on-premise servers via their LANs, 35 percent through the internet and 21 percent through a VPN. On top of that, 51 percent said they are replacing paper-based processes with a custom iOS database solution.
This approach is affecting departments across the entire business. Operations is on top of the list with 31 percent of companies saying that their department is using this approach to increase productivity. Rounding out the top five departments are information systems (28 percent), sales (23 percent), customer service (21 percent) and finance/accounting (17 percent).
"The next wave of business mobility, fueled by iPads and iPhone-equipped 'productivity warriors,' is delivering real ROI by automating processes in the building and on the company campus," Ryan Rosenberg, the vice president of marketing and services for FileMaker, said in the report.
The study also found the top 10 mobile tasks that companies are using. They include:
- Contact and customer management
- Field data collection
- Project management
- General data tracking and logging
- Reports and analysis
- Work tickets and scheduling
- Medical records
In a recent guest column for Macworld, Willem Meyer, the Regional Manager of APAC at FileMaker, covered the survey and spoke about how the need to create custom business solutions is becoming more important. Early adopters to tablet applications have already achieved tremendous boosts in productivity including streamlined processes, cost savings, reduction in paper and improved customer service.
"With the push to get tablet applications to market as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, many smaller businesses and entrepreneurs are opting for a DIY route, as are workgroups within larger businesses," Meyer wrote. "They're taking advantage of low-cost or no-cost software and DIY application development tools that help them build professional-quality, highly customized business solutions for tablets and have their solutions ready to go in a matter of weeks, not months."
He added that with what has been learned from the survey there are several things that companies need to keep in mind during the development process. These include:
- The goal is data – Tablet solutions are predominantly used to mobilize data. Companies need to make sure that solutions picked help push this idea further and should avoid having a dedicated database administration to manage your application once it's up and running.
- Think good design – Applications that do not work well fundamentally will be rejected by employees. right out of the gate. Organizations need to make sure that strong design is always taken into account.
- Security – Mobile security is an ongoing challenge and it must remain a top priority at every turn.
- Don't stop building – Good mobile applications are never completely finished. Upgrades and troubleshooting should always be part of the process.
- Know what other businesses have done – It is never a bad idea to know what the competition is doing as there is a lot that can be learned from this.
FileMaker and FileMaker Go have become main systems to help push mobile businesses to the next level. A custom database software developer can help any organization embrace this solution.