6 Top Tips on why Investing In Technology Should Be the Number 1 Priority for Growing SMEs
This article is the final part of my series of blogs which have looked at how investing in technology should be a key priority for SME businesses. My final tip looks at how enterprise applications can be developed to ensure your employees can enjoy the benefits of mobility whilst still carrying out their day to day tasks.
Tip 6: Consider investing in mobile applications for your SME business.
The huge rise in mobile and communications technology is transforming how companies operate. Employees are increasingly demanding the ability to work wherever and whenever they need to. Even on workplace premises, mobile devices such as smartphones, Android tablets and iPads are starting to replace the traditional enterprise desktop. As employees are increasingly relying on their mobile devices for business purposes, ensuring they have access to the information they need to carry out their day to day tasks is of paramount importance.
As mobile devices are now commonplace in the office environment, businesses are investing in enterprise applications to offer more flexible working. Employees want to be able to do more while they are on the go, without having to be confined to the office or unable to carry out important tasks on the move.
Research carried out by mobile company EE suggested that 37% of small business employees, amounting to around 5 million people, believe they would be more productive if they had access to business apps on mobile devices, yet only 22% of small businesses actually offer their employees mobile apps. The importance of developing apps for your business is something companies should not under estimate. A business that fails to invest in mobility will fall behind their competitors.
The term "enterprise apps" is daunting and gives the illusion of something which is only for large organisations. In reality, SMEs can also benefit from developing business apps. Such applications can help SME employees accomplish a wide range of work-related activities, covering areas such as HR, finance, sales, time and attendance, data capture and reporting. Key tasks can be carried out from out with the office with the same ease as sitting at a desktop. For SMEs, enterprise apps will save time, lower costs, streamline business processes and increase productivity.
The cost of app development can be perceived as a barrier to entry for small businesses. However, if a business thinks carefully about the processes they want to improve and works with a specialist to develop an app which contains the features necessary to carry out these processes, development costs can be kept under control and within reach.
At Cooper Software, we offer a range of off the shelf applications which work with major system solutions, such as IFS, NetSuite, SAP, Qlik and other SaaS offerings. While these apps are perfect for some organisations, in so far as they can be deployed almost immediately, they are usually fairly technical to activate and often do not perform all of the specific functions required as there is no way to tweak the user interface to meet the needs of an individual business. To counter this, Cooper Software also specialise in developing bespoke mobile applications which work with the enterprise solutions noted above, including Qlik and IFS. The apps we develop bridge functionality gaps and enhance these systems so they more closely meet the needs of a particular business. These applications have covered a diverse range of processes and industry sectors and have resulted in time and cost saving benefits for the businesses who use them.
To find out more about how Cooper Software can help your SME business select the right technology solutions to drive growth, contact me on 01383 840 700.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog series. If you have missed any previous articles they can be found here.