As our world becomes an increasingly mobile one, we are constantly searching for technology tools to help increase our efficiency and productivity. In fact, innovations are emerging every day that can take business mobile apps to places they never knew were possible just a few years ago.
As the business and productivity app market explodes – with some experts projecting sales to top $58 billion by the end of 2015 -- a number of new innovations are driving their expanded use. These apps can help users with tasks from managing email to making deliveries more efficient. They can also help users maximize profits or get the job done faster to get home for some R&R.
Today’s productivity apps make new capabilities possible. They go far beyond the old-school definition of office suites like Microsoft Office or business applications. We have compiled a list of some of the latest innovations you can try to boost productivity.
1. GPS Monitoring
One of the most recent innovations is the integration of GPS system monitoring. It is being used in apps like Xpense Tracker which allows users to chronicle expenditures and mileage on the fly. GPS technology is also used in AppSheet’s Delivery App, which provides location and driving direction services for the delivery driver and helps the driver keep track of which locations have received or have yet to receive their deliveries.
GPS also lets businesses track the location of field workers using iPhones or iPads in real-time. The technology also can be integrated with a combination of enterprise workforce tracking features to plug field workers into the Internet of Things (IoT) as Electric Compass has done. Deploying GPS tracking can increase field worker productivity by up to 12 percent while reducing fuels costs by almost one third.
2. Voice Recognition Software
Integration of voice recognition software into business and productivity apps can also help increase efficiency for users on the go. Whether it’s a dictation program like Dragon Naturally Speaking or a program that allows you to control your computer/device with your voice, the use of gesture and voice recognition can give a boost to workflow and cut operating costs. Voice recognition app technology can transform your mobile device into a powerful writing tool without lifting a finger.
Biometric technology can help make operations, transactions, and everyday life both safer and more convenient. That makes biometrics a great option for apps. Like something out of science fiction, one of the latest developments in biometric identification includes capturing and analyzing the vein patterns in the white part of the eye to confirm identity.
Another innovative use for biometrics is myris, a consumer-oriented handheld USB device that uses iris authentication to provide secure access to devices, apps and websites. Users can create strong passwords which are securely stored and entered using an iris scan. Tighter security allows for more efficient business, helping to stave off breaches and other cyberattacks before they can bring operations to an expensive halt.
And enterprises will look to large-scale adoption of biometrics in the future, not just for traditional physical access control, but also for logical access to information or systems, according to Derek Northrope, the Associate Director and Head of Biometrics at Fujitsu Consulting (Canada) Inc. The wave of recent, high-profile breaches, will keep the biometric trend continuing, he says, and the cost of adoption for Biometrics-as-a-Service (BIOaaS) offerings will likely drop significantly, improving the return on investment from reductions in fraud, theft, or reputational damage.
4. Digital Signature Technology.
Better e-signatures are also coming to productivity apps, with new digital signature technology that integrates into business processes and apps. The advanced tech also meets regulatory compliance requirements, and offers more analytics. For example, enterprise-ready Kofax SignDoc allows users to add e-signature to any business process, providing a fully secure, digital process that boosts productivity.
"Enterprises that recognize the value of digitizing processes need e-signature capabilities that provide a richer customer experience, while streamlining operations, improving compliance and delivering assurance that a digital signature is trustworthy. New innovations coming with e-signatures will completely integrate into enterprise systems of records, provide analytics to monitor process performance and become an integral part of enhancing customer service," explained Grant Johnson, a spokesperson for Kofax.
Business technology innovations are emerging at a rate that is almost faster than they can be integrated into productivity apps, but the future of the marketplace is assuredly positive. As our workforce becomes increasingly mobile and diversified, these innovations will come to life in a new line of apps that can maximize productivity and efficiency for the best possible results.