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4 Ways to Cut IT Costs by Making Your Own Apps

Regardless if your IT department is in-house or outsourced, technology is a vital part of any modern day business. If your website, computer network or apps go awry, your business will instantly come to a standstill. It’s no wonder that in a recent survey involving 1,121 IT pros across various sectors, it was reported that the average IT budget was $253,389. The average IT spending per employee ranged from $2,770 for small businesses with 19 or fewer employees to $698 for large companies with over 500 employees (average $1,526). As a business owner or manager, you know what a big investment good tech support is, but are there ways to decrease this large expense? After all, you may be restructuring your budget for the New Year with considerations like determining where money is possibly being wasted and if there are lower cost options for expensive services. Did you know that spreadsheet-based apps can help you to lower IT costs? 1. IT Efficiency A computer will crash. Programs will have bugs in them. There’s a good chance your network may get hacked. But like many things in life, time is money and time wasted is money wasted. An IT ticketing and issue tracking system app ensures that there is a protocol in place for the requests coming in and that the most urgent problems can rise to the forefront of IT’s attention. When a mobile form is constructed with the required information fields listed, excess emails or texts are eliminated and communication becomes more efficient. In fact, research from strategic advisory service Hackett Group showed that “the most efficiently run IT departments spend 21% less per user than typical companies and rely on 8% fewer staff.” 2. Track IT Expenses When projects are tracked and segmented, it makes finding those critical budget leaks much easier. The same thing applies to your IT department. Creating an app that tracks the time spent on specific assignments can help to pinpoint the inefficiencies in your network or program. For example, if a programmer keeps getting contacted by your employees to fix the same problem over and over, maybe it’s time to invest in new, updated software to save on overall long-term IT costs. 3. IT Manual Many times your IT department is probably overburdened with the same basic questions: Why can’t I connect to the Internet? Why is my computer running so slow? How do I do ____________ function? How do I backup my files in the cloud? While it may take a few hours to write answers to the most common questions, it can save you immeasurable time and money in the end by using a simple app creator to create an IT manual. You can list the issues by topic and then fill in step-by-step actions to take with screenshots to make the process easier. See AppSheet’s New Employee Set Up app as a good place to start. 4. Low Cost Customized Apps (Without an IT Department) According to Calcote Laramie, professional business advisor, these are the average costs to make an iOS or Android App from the top app development companies in the world: Hyperlink Infosystem: $7,000 to $30,000 Fueled: $100,000 to $300,000 Dom & Tom: $80,000 to $150,000 Softway Solutions: $100,000 to $250,000 Plastic mobile: $110,000 to $300,000 For just a fraction of these costs, anyone on your staff can create a customized app for the variety of purposes that your company needs. App builders are low cost, simplified and instead of complicated wire frames and coding, they can be uploaded using common cloud platform databases. Cutting costs doesn’t mean cutting functionality, quality or performance. Implementing the right apps can help you to manage your company, your budget, and your progress for the New Year.

How To Convince Your CIO That You Need A Mobile App

We are now in the midst of the mobile generation, with millennials taking the lead, and mobile apps can improve efficiency, speed up workflow, and boost profits by reducing costs. But sometimes it is not easy to convince a CIO that mobile apps are a necessary tool to achieve those goals. Here are a few approaches you can take. Millennials will spend approximately $200 billion dollars a year by 2017, and they are mobile-dependent. Where they spend those billions will very much depend on the experiences they have with the companies that court their business, so mobile strategies are crucial to the bottom line. Millennials have a very different set of requirements for evaluating potential purchases than their older peers. Beyond their purchasing preferences, however, Millennials also work differently than their older peers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that the number of Millennials employees will represent 75 percent of the workforce by 2030, which means that they will have a significant impact on the business world. Attracting and Retaining Millennial Worker with Mobile Apps Millennials function via tables and phones, not PCs or laptops, which means that mobile access is crucial to courting them as both consumers and employees. Desktop computer experiences have a significant impact on the workplace productivity, particularly for Millennials, according to the findings of the AppSense 2015 Desktop Experience Study.  The report found that logins that take longer than 30 seconds often encourage Millennials to turn to mobile devices and co-workers, which hurts overall productivity. “Millennials are accustomed to fast phones and even faster texting. When they come to work they are highly frustrated by a desktop experience that is slow and far less optimized than their typical mobile experience,” said Jed Ayres, Senior Vice President of Marketing, AppSense.  “We’re in a super-charged talent environment. Offering not only millennials but all workers the best user experience is simply a smart, competitive business strategy to attract and retain employees.” Millennials are driving the increase in app usage. ComScore found that Millennials spend more time on their smartphone apps, while older segments tend to skew toward tablet apps. Tablet app engagement is much lower on average but generally increases with age outside of the 18-24-year-old segment. CIOs Are Challenged To Boost Mobile App Availability For Enterprise Jobs CIOs are seeing even more pressure when it comes to mobile apps for internal use. Analysts and researchers said more and more companies are expecting their IT organizations to take the lead in developing mobile apps for employees. The 2015 Enterprise Mobile Application Report from 451 Research, found that demand for mobile apps for employees, customers and business partners will remain strong over the next two years. Additionally, the report finds that there will be an 18 percent increase at companies with more than 10 employee-focused mobile apps. But leaders want proof of results, and constantly question the real value of mobile apps. For CIOs interested in the bottom line and increasing sales and productivity, there are additional benefits to adopting mobile apps. Cutting processing time. One global leader in finance and leasing for businesses reported that its company’s dealers and salespeople met with various businesses to discuss their leasing needs and begin the 30-day process form application to funding. By adopting mobile apps that accepted applications, delivered quotes, and allowed digital signatures via tablet, that time was reduced to two days. And with 10,000 salespeople, a 28-day increase in employee productivity leads to significant cost reductions. Connecting employees with real-time communication. Mobile apps can give employees access to valuable real-time communication and information that help close deals and reduce inefficiencies. This could include the ability to download product information during a customer presentation; checking stock levels via the office network; interacting with colleagues while traveling; or collaborating on projects and bids. Aligning business activities with corporate strategy. Mobile apps also help ensure that your business is doing what it is supposed to be doing, as outlined by your corporate vision and strategy. Connecting your employees and making work processes more efficient can help  guarantee that your employees are focused on  the appropriate tasks and not distracted by extraneous activities. Viewing an app as more than a discreet tool or channel. Too often, business and IT leaders look to extend existing capabilities and business processes through apps. But this taps into only a small part of the potential of the technology and ignores the evolving state of digital business, and is dangerous thinking. Apps should be connected to the entire process or ecosystem of tools to accomplish the necessary jobs at hand. In order to move into the new age of doing business, CIOs must recognize the power of mobile apps to increase efficiency, connect with Millennials and other important customer bases, and to optimize the bottom line. CIOs must prove the ROI for each technology they approve, and clearly mobile apps are giving more than they are costing for most businesses today. Mobile apps are a logical investment since they drive results that are good for the company’s financial standing. An app audit can help  assess this ROI to  reveals gaps in current employee productivity trends and highlights areas where mobile apps could reduce costs and improve efficiency. So, if your company is looking for ways to optimize the bottom line, make your employees more efficient, and streamline your work processes, Let AppSheet help you develop a line of custom mobile-apps designed for your particular mission and customer base. 

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