It’s no secret that work as we know it is evolving. A major reason for this change is the deluge of new technologies that allow employees to work more flexibly than ever before. As more businesses allow employees to work from home and on the road, SaaS companies that plan to stay ahead need to consider how their products can accommodate and enhance these adaptive working arrangements.
One important investment that every SaaS company should consider is the development of mobile apps. Typically, SaaS companies are slow to reroute development resources from their primary offering to mobile apps because mobile apps can’t provide the same experience that users are accustomed to when using SaaS products on a desktop. Although these experiences will differ, we’re convinced that mobile apps are still a worthwhile investment. Let us convince you with three good reasons.
Speaking of mobile apps, Lucidchart has one!
Check it out!
1. Mobile devices are becoming more prevalent worldwide.
In October 2016, the market share of mobile phones surpassed the market share of desktop computers worldwide. This change is partly due to the fact that smartphones represent a more affordable alternative to desktop computers and are far more prevalent than desktops in developing regions like India and Africa. However, even in North America, the purchase of mobile phones and tablets continues to escalate, currently representing 47.6% of the market share, with desktops leading at 52.4%.
Not only are individuals buying more mobile devices, but consumers are increasingly using smartphones to make purchases previously reserved for desktop computers (up 41% year over year in 2016). Could it be because these consumers have no alternative? Research shows that 35% of transactions completed on a smartphone started on a desktop computer, indicating that consumers opted to use smartphones for one reason or another.
2. Employees and enterprises are integrating mobile apps and devices into their workflow.
It’s not just students and distraction seekers inflating mobile usage. Increasing numbers of employees also report using mobile devices as part of their standard workflow. In a recent study conducted by Workfront , 63% of employees said that mobile devices help them to increase productivity. Mobile users enjoy the advantage of constant and instant communication with clients and colleagues.
Many people are taking advantage of the constant communication provided by mobile devices. Consider the following statistics:
84% of employees said the ability to access work information from anywhere made them more productive.
82% of employees log into work or their work email after business hours during the week.
72% of employees log into work or their work email during the weekend.
Mobile purchases (indicating device usage) are more prevalent than desktop purchases after business hours and on the weekend.
The opportunity is enormous. Professionals are looking for a way to stay in contact during non-business hours when their mobile devices are more accessible than a desktop computer.
The mobile phenomenon is not solely driven by individuals looking for tools to increase personal productivity. According to Adobe, 96% of companies currently use two or more enterprise mobile apps (EMAs) as part of their IT stack, and most companies (66%) plan to invest further in EMAs in the next three years. Clearly, the push toward flexible, mobile solutions must be attributed to corporate level support in addition to grassroots initiative.
3. Enterprises are feeling the benefits of investing in mobile apps.
Businesses that incorporate mobile apps are seeing the benefits and spreading the news. On average, companies report a 35% ROI when they invest in EMAs, (Tweet this!) which may explain why 61% of companies believe that not using EMAs puts enterprises at a disadvantage. The reported benefits of using EMAs include increased productivity (51%), better communication (47%), and reduced costs (31%).
One study found that companies rated as “pioneers” in their support of mobile technology experienced an increase of 18% in creativity, 23% in employee satisfaction, and 21% increase in employee loyalty. There also seems to be an emotional benefit of using mobile technologies. Employees reported that using EMAs makes them feel up-to-date (90%), productive (88%), empowered (87%), flexible (86%), connected (86%), and excited (85%).
The list of benefits goes on and on, but the conclusion is clear: Using mobile apps and devices enhances the work experience for employees, increasing productivity and output for businesses. As businesses feel these effects more broadly across departments and industries, you can bet that the investment in mobile technologies will continue to increase.
What makes an effective enterprise mobile app?
Hopefully the importance of developing mobile apps is clear. Now, to inform your mobile strategy, let’s take a moment to consider the benefits consumers hope to derive from mobile apps.
Consider the following:
57% of companies believe that in two years, messaging and collaboration systems will be mission critical.
30% of employees feel that poor collaboration within their team results in decreased productivity.
One key benefit to target through mobile apps is the ability to collaborate across teams, especially teams that are geographically dispersed. This ability to collaborate will become increasingly important as remote, mobile-centric work becomes the new norm. By 2022, 42.5% of the global workforce is expected to be completely mobile. Time to light a fire under it!
Professionals look for a couple of key features in the enterprise mobile apps they choose to purchase. The most important include security (48%), integrations with other business systems (41%), ability to easily update and publish content (36%), and multiple platform support (34%). As stated earlier, it may not be possible for SaaS companies to duplicate the user experience available through their desktop offering, but they can still hone in on the most important elements of enterprise apps that are relevant to a mobile use case.
For example (and as a shameless plug), take Lucidchart. Although our most complete user experience is available via desktop, we have committed an entire development team to the creation of a Lucidchart mobile app. Our app allows users to access and edit all of their Lucidchart documents from anywhere in the world. They can respond to comments to provide instantaneous feedback to colleagues, even when they work in different time zones, countries, or continents. In essence, the Lucidchart app completes the collaborative experience diagrammers want by providing a way to communicate on the go.