Big business scrambling to keep up with technology


"This app automatically synchronizes with our servers to pull down the latest presentation content," said Brad Weber, founder of Inspiringapps.

Weber is showing how to give a sales presentation using an iPad. Something that's been done with laptop computers for years. But sales people say they'd just rather use a tablet.

"It's easy for people to gather around the device and have a much more conversational, engaging interactive experience than they would through PowerPoint on a laptop for instance," Weber said.

And if your company has the right mobile app, that's great. But a new study suggests a lot of big corporations don't. They're struggling to catch up with a change in how their employees work.

"A trend called BYOD -- bring your own device -- where enterprises are enabling their employees to bring any sort of device, any sort of iPad or Android device or iPhone or anything else in there," said Michael King, enterprise strategy director for Appcelerator

Appcelerator sponsored the survey of almost 800 executives. Nearly 40 percent said their companies built zero or one mobile app over the past year. Partly to blame -- the daunting array of different devices. Apple, Android, and now Microsoft.

"So today what a developer has to do is develop three separate tool sets, three separate languages and three completely different environments to actually build and reach the users wherever they're at," Weber said.

So with all the headaches involved, why would a big business even want to build mobile apps? Well, the way the folks here tell it, the headaches could get even bigger if they don't.

"If you don't have a mobile expense management app, or a mobile time card app, they're gonna download one off the iTunes store, off of Google Play, and they're gonna use that," King said. "And that opens up all sorts of security holes, and usability holes and support issues for you."

But Appcelerator, which builds a kit to help speed up the process of developing an app for multiple platforms, says ultimately companies will build those apps, because it means employees will do more work.

"They're sitting there having their coffee in the morning and they're able to actually accomplish real work on their tablet computer," King said. "That's 30 minutes of that employee's time which you would not have had if you didn't have that mobile app."

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