Applifying the world

Who doesn’t have one .. the man in the street with a smartphone has already been contaminated with the app virus. An app can be found for everything you can possibly think of. My son has informed me that there is even an app for the noise of wind being passed, which can lead to hilarious moments. But I’m drifting. This summer, during my trip in my camper van through France, I followed the precipitation radar, to be assured of good weather. I viewed the length of traffic jams on ‘the Traffic’ app, etc. etc. My phone was used extensively during the holiday, but I can’t remember actually having made one telephone call or having sent one text. Can you conclude from that that apps simplify our life? Why is that only in our private life? The simplicity and ease of use could also thrive perfectly in a business environment couldn’t it? You may perhaps think ‘absolutely(!)’, but a few things do need to be taken into account. Let’s assume that apps for personal use are mostly free of charge or can be obtained for a small fee. Because apps are used by a wide audience, these can be offered free of charge because of the revenue made from advertising and publicity. In addition, when used for private means, the app rarely has to process sensitive information, barring those used for banking. So why isn’t a commercial app free of charge? I am often asked this question, because if I want to install a CRM app on my phone (for example), I have to pay for this.

Why? A commercial app is of a totally different calibre. Often this is not produced for a wide audience and in many cases processes crucial/sensitive company information. This means that there is a greater need for security with these types of apps. And a secure connection would have to be made with the back office to, for example, an ERP or CRM system, so there are quite high demands. Have you ever asked The Precipitation Radar whether it can add some form of customisation for you? Because a second, perhaps even more interesting point, is ‘customisation’. From a traditional point of view, we are used to buying licences for a software solution. This simply runs on a server in your basement and when it is really necessary, you may need to have additional code added, or add this yourself in order to be able to model a process to your own needs. In other words, customisation. This isn’t possible with an app. Full stop. An app is standard software and is offered in one version through the cloud. Furthermore, you don’t own this software. You are allowed to use the application. That is the concept behind the app. The power of an app is quite simply to ensure it is easy to use. You also receive updates, without having to actually do anything. This wouldn’t be possible if there were different versions everywhere with customer-specific code. All in all, in a commercial environment, apps will raise many questions. I hope that I have clarified one or two things for you. First of all, the power of an app is that it is a standard tool. Secondly, that commercial use does place different demands on an app than personal use. I am curious to hear what you think …