New era of apps

When you think of apps your mind is undoubtedly filled with consumer-facing applications that make life easier and more entertaining. But what we’ve yet to see, certainly in anger, is the use of apps for business-focused activities.


Taking apps into business

But it is starting to happen and the potential for it to impact greatly on the retail sector looks pretty strong. Certainly this is the view of one of the leading app developers in Europe – Chelsea Apps Factory.

It is working with one of the major supermarkets to develop an app store – containing possibly 50 apps – that will be used by the business to effectively mobilise its data platform. The idea is that all levels of employees via mobile devices can have access to the relevant data they need to be able to improve the way they work across the business.

What is currently on the desktop is being pulled out of the back-room and brought on to the shop floor. Mike Anderson, CEO of Chelsea Apps Factory – based in Chelsea by the way – reckons all businesses will one day operate in this way.

For it to work it requires the knitting together of the complex data networks and legacy infrastructures, which are hindering many retailers. Another big challenge of re-inventing operational processes this dramatically is that it can grate with the existing technology delivery methodologies of most large companies.

They are simply too slow at adopting new methods and working with innovative small players. It requires brave CTOs to work with the likes of Chelsea Apps Factory who can help them push mobilisation to the forefront of their developments.

For those brave enough to go down this route it could be truly transformational because this bringing together of data from across retailers’ businesses onto mobile devices could be the Trojan Horse that ultimately results in the death of data in silos and helps realise – among many other things – the much-vaunted single customer view.

Apps might never be seen in the same light again.