Apps form a large part of the technological landscape in your business. Apps are how you interact with the devices that now form a general part of our life. Be it a full blow app on your PC and network down to an App on your phone.
Apps place a greater focus on ease of use as opposed to traditional software of the past. In fact, you can see desktop software and operating systems going for this approach now. Unfortunately, as with any new approach that changes the traditional way of doing things, this brings up issues that need to be considered.
If you are not careful about how you are structuring those tools within the business, you are going to get to a point where they become a handbrake. And that is where a lot of businesses really start to struggle. What we see is around that 10-15 staff in your business is where a multitude of “apps” just become unusable.
Internally you’ll have people doing a task in one tool, and then need to offload to do the second part of the process in another tool. There is that data entry component, and then you start getting issues and errors, so you are not getting consistency across your systems and data. One reason is that you may not have factored in the fact the apps may have been designed to handle a certain volume of data which has now changed due to the increase in size of the business.
You now have to deal with either switching over to a new set of apps that is more designed to handle process or introduce extra steps to offload the data onto these new apps as part of a new workflow. Both solutions are not ideal as they represent extra money and time spent; training staff and purchasing new apps. Other than the time and money issue, the more complicated challenge becomes the workflow and data movement.
Look at your business process, where you want to be and look at keeping things simple and streamlined. This requires not only looking at your business process but how you are leveraging apps. As your business grows (or even shrinks) you need to have a system set up that keeps up with those changes and causes minimum disruption and cost to the business.
Each business is different, and will have different requirements but using systems that scale, have flexibility and tools that can interact will make life much easier as your business grows. The number 1 tip is look for a platform… a suite of apps and systems that can scale up and out as you do.