Editor’s note: Mobile apps should be of interest to O&M crews because they allow doing more detailed paperwork without paper and on the work site, which is probably in a nacelle.
A survey by developer of mobile apps for businesses, Canvas, found that 63% of businesses see value in integrating core business applications – such as Dropbox, Square, Salesforce, Evernote and Quickbooks – with mobile devices and tools, according to a survey of more than 1,100 business and IT decision makers.
The survey points to an increasingly mobile workforce that is looking to extend more day-to-day business processes to their mobile devices, and the fact that structured and unstructured data collection and collaboration apps are rising to the top of the business decision maker wish list.
The Canvas 2014 survey was completed by more than 1,100 decision makers from a broad range of company sizes and industries that have historically relied heavily on paper forms and manual processes, most prominently construction and contracting (24.4%), retail and distribution (11.7%), healthcare (9.4%), manufacturing (8.7%), transportation & logistics (2.9%), and government (2.3%).
When it comes to specific tasks businesses are using mobile apps for, respondents cited:
- Inspections, 46%
- Work orders, 31%
- Checklists, 28%
- Surveys, 19%
- Invoices, 15%
- Inventories, 8%
- Other, 34%
Additional key survey findings:
- File storage: More than half (57%) of businesses are using file storage applications, and of those businesses using file storage applications Dropbox is the dominant choice (51.3%), followed by Google Drive (16.4%), Box (8.2%) and SkyDrive (5.8%).
- Note taking software: 32% of businesses surveyed use note taking software or applications for their business. Of those businesses using this type of software or application, 45% use Evernote, 29% use Notepad, and 5% use Google Keep.
- Credit card processing: 12.7% are using mobile credit card processing applications in their business, with 43.7% using Square; 13.4% using Intuit GoPayment; 12% using PayPal mobile; and 31% using other services.
- CRM: 29.9% use a CRM system in their business, and of respondents using CRM tools, Salesforce commands nearly half (45%) of users.
- Accounting: 48% of businesses surveyed use an accounting application, with nearly half (48%) using Quickbooks, followed by 7.6% using Sage.
“That businesses are going mobile is not a surprise; what this survey demonstrates is that organizations of all shapes and sizes are looking to a broadening array of mobile services to improve their business processes,” said James Quigley, co-founder and CEO, Canvas. “Everyone from educational institutions and hospitals to large construction companies and service organizations are shifting core business processes to mobile; drawn to the ability of mobile apps to solve challenges associated with inefficient paper-based processes.”
The survey of Canvas customers, conducted February 2014, included companies from a broad range of industries and sizes. Of the respondents, 29% were from businesses with 500+ employees; 21% were from businesses with 101-500 employees; 17% worked at organizations with 26-100 employees; and 33% hailed from small businesses with 25 employees or less.
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