by John Waters
Mobile apps continue to represent the most era-defining technology for the vast majority of business brands across niches and sizes. A simple brick and mortar retail store can now reach out to a global audience through a mobile app instead of catering to only local customers. A large retail chain thanks to an omnichannel mobile app can now have a consolidated business bringing together multiple stores and online stores and ensure smooth operation and seamless customer experience across various stores and touch-points.
If this révolution brought by mobile apps to businesses is just one part of the story, then the other part obviously relates to the increasingly digitised and connected world around us. Now a business can track its transport in real-time through GPS and remote sensors. The connected ecosystem of gadgets presented by the Internet of Things (IoT) technology opened up new vistas of opportunities for businesses to operate more efficiently than ever before.
IoT with its connected world of devices relies heavily on mobile apps. The first generation of smart home appliances and gadgets found remote control mechanisms in mobile apps. When it comes to connected gadgets at workplaces or transport or public places, they mostly communicate through mobile apps. From health and fitness tracker wristbands to the smart coffee machine to the connected thermometers to the remote location sensors to the industrial IoT systems, connected gadgets and systems most of the times stay tuned through a collection of mobile apps. We call them IoT apps.
IoT enabled automation in many countries
In many parts of the world, IoT enabled automation is playing a great role in making people’s lives and their business endeavours smarter. From supply chain and logistics to healthcare applications corresponding to medical diagnosis and telemedicine, from inventory management to industrial automation, from real-time monitoring of equipment and devices to fleet management, a connected ecosystem of devices powered by IoT apps is enabling the fast-paced transformation of businesses.
In many countries, where the IT revolution started late but took significant upturns in recent years thanks to the increasing adoption of small business and startup apps, IoT solutions created revolutionary possibilities. For example in Ireland, many small businesses found the scope offered by IoT apps really groundbreaking to push growth. When it comes to mobile app development Ireland is far ahead of many small countries in respect of IoT app adoption by small businesses. From connected coffee shops to smart shopping carts at supermarkets, IoT adoption by businesses and business premises is booming.
In recent years more mobile app development companies are helping with the integration of device functions with connected mobile apps for smarter business interactions than ever before. The number of companies engaged in IoT app development is steadily increasing. According to a McKinsey University report, by the year 2025, the contribution of IoT solutions and apps in the global economy will be around $3.9 to $11.1 trillion.
Three ways the Internet of Things (IoT) is impacting mobile apps
Internet of Things (IoT) technology has contributed to mobile app development in three crucial ways. Let’s have a look at them one by one.
Most enterprises across all niches and sizes these days rely on mobile apps for operational ease, business branding, customer support and growth hacking measures. Modern enterprises also rely on connected gadgets for business process automation.
The IoT gadgets simplify their business processes and ensure an improved customer experience. When these connected IoT gadgets and their output can be monitored through mobile apps, this adds further to the operational ease.
With the IoT apps connecting smart gadgets and mobile apps to deliver a more robust operational efficiency and customer experience, they are going to play key roles for businesses of all types.
App Design with Maximum Connectivity Options
While today’s mobile apps deserve to be extremely lightweight and fluid in design to accommodate different device constraints, they also need to be versatile to facilitate interactions with various connected devices and systems.
For instance, when it comes to retail apps addressing both in-store shoppers and online customers, the app must allow smooth connectivity with NFC terminals, Point of Sales (PoS) systems, Beacons and Bluetooth sensors, Wi-Fi network devices, etc. Because of these connectivity requirements, mobile app design needs to be more versatile in accommodating such gadget and network interactions.
Ease of Use
Finally, the biggest impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on mobile apps focuses on the ease of use for the end-users. While it has always been a focus for app developers to build apps facilitating interactions and automation, it is the connected ecosystem of devices that brought this opportunity to mobile apps in the most effective manner.
Thanks to the adoption of IoT devices, mobile apps are more interactive allowing a whole array of smart manoeuvres for businesses and individuals. Mobile apps allowing interactions with multiple devices ensured more efficiency and ease of use than ever imagined.
A quick recap of the benefits of IoT apps
We are already aware of how IoT devices fused with mobile apps brought us a smart and interactive environment. While there is no limit to these innovations, let us have a quick recap of the benefits of IoT apps that stand out.
Bringing the operational cost down
IoT ecosystem enabled by connected mobile app helps organizations to drive business process automation resulting in faster time to market, prompt customer service and better resource utilisation. All these results in reduced operational cost and more ease of doing business.
Understanding Customer Behavior
Since businesses thrive and grow by understanding customer preferences and fulfilling them, IoT apps getting customer data from multiple touchpoints and channels can deliver more accurate customer insights resulting in higher business conversion.
Boost in Productivity
Thanks to the IoT apps real-time data and variables across various device touchpoints can be accessed and processed in quick time. Apart from this IoT based apps help companies in tracking and controlling their field staff more efficiently resulting in higher output and productivity.
Enhanced Customer Experience
The connected IoT apps combined with network devices such as beacons, GPS sensors, NFC terminals, PoS systems and many others can ensure smooth transactions, sales process and merchandise.
Connected security gadgets and camera systems coupled up with mobile apps can ensure faster tracking of security threats in workplaces and homes. IoT apps enabled by modern connected security gadgets can do wonders in ensuring better security.
Data analytics and research
Powerful IoT gadgets capable to collect and analyze data and process them through detailed reports that can be monitored through mobile apps provides a revolutionary approach to data analysis and management. Apart from making data management and analysis easier, the data collected through the IoT ecosystem of gadgets can also be utilised for relevant research across different fields.
The revolution brought by the connected ecosystem of gadgets to mobile apps is too big and pathbreaking to ignore. The transformation offered by the IoT apps is so big for businesses and individuals that the future seems unthinkable without taking these gadgets and apps into consideration.