After lagging in past years, new data reveals that Canadian companies are becoming more and more convinced on the value of mobile worker apps.
What are mobile worker apps? They’re also known as mobile Business-to-Employee (B2E) software applications. These apps allow employees real-time access to – and exchange of – business information, collaboration, and/or guidance via their smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other mobile devices.
These solutions can be as simple as an approved worker tracking app or as sophisticated as a mobilized field service management solution that automates and optimizes complex work processes.
Canadian businesses are craving and deploying these apps because they expect increased productivity and more efficient business processes as a result.
So far, they haven’t been disappointed, and their evolving expectations regarding product performance and provider expertise are instructive.
What is Driving Canadian Businesses to B2E Apps?
Employees are a key driver behind mobile B2E app usage. Workers are used to having mobile apps at their disposal off the job. Now, they’re demanding more digital support during working hours — both inside the company’s four walls and out in the field.
As a result, this market is on a clear growth trajectory in Canada, according to Frost & Sullivan’s 2018 Mobile Business Applications Survey, with over 80% of researched companies stating they’ve already deployed at least one authorized app and over 40% planning to introduce 1-5 new apps to their employees over the coming months.
The Canadian app customer has become more confident and more sophisticated in its choices. Today, the vast majority of Canadian companies believe their mobile worker app strategies are at least keeping even with those of their peers.
Most Valued Criteria for B2E Apps
Businesses that want to step up their mobile B2E app deployments are advised to benchmark their expectations against those of other Canadian firms. A recent Frost & Sullivan survey asked respondents to rate the importance of various criteria when deciding to purchase.
These are their top app selection criteria (in order):
- Offers a high level of data security
- Is easy for our employees to use
- Is priced affordably
- Is easy to administer
- Integrates easily with our back office systems
Price points are important, but data security and ease of use have highest priority. Companies are finally realizing that workers will reject a difficult-to-use solution, data vulnerability is a sure app-killer, and the solution’s value increases significantly when integrated with other backend systems such as inventory, payroll, CRM, etc.
Canadian businesses also consider multiple factors when evaluating a potential mobile apps partner and provider. Cost, industry-specific expertise, customization experience, and professional services capability receive top attention. Canadian businesses are also increasingly interested in new technologies including wearables, machine learning and its predictive service benefits, and integration with a larger EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) platform.
How can App Providers Leverage this Need?
Overall, Canadian businesses have become more market savvy, have high product expectations, and are comfortable considering a variety of mobile B2E app providers – including major corporate software vendors, systems integrators, wireless carriers, and small mobile-first app developers.
Mobile worker app providers that want to succeed in the Canadian market will leverage customer openness to alternative providers as an opportunity to consider new channel relationships and participate in new markets. They will also pay attention to the partner and app selection criteria uncovered in the survey, including recognizing and addressing voids in their current portfolios.