The world of business is changing, companies and employees need more flexibility, more mobile working, and greater functionality between work and home. Our guide to some of the best apps for business can help to achieve these goals.
By 2017, more than 300 million people will bring their own smartphones to work, according to a new report from Good Technology. So what are the implications for a small business of this mass migration?
First, it’s important for all companies to recognise the value of smartphone applications and how they can enhance business management.
Remote desktop apps
This technology means that you can access all the files and systems that you’ve stored on your work (or home) desktop from a remote location. So whatever project you’ve started at work can be completed, amended or added to later, for example.
There are a few low cost smartphone apps which allow you to do this, including Jump Desktop and Splash Remote Desktop. This function is less suitable for collaborative working, but is an excellent way to integrate office and remote working.
Mobile office suite software
This allows you to do word processing, access spreadsheets and use presentation software in one location, collaborating with others via cloud platforms from wherever you are. For example, a good way to achieve this level of file sharing and access is through Google Docs.
Remote access and file sharing sites
You’re likely to access images, videos and other file formats, so explore the options (both paid-for and free) that are available. Take a look at Log Me In, which allows you to access your desktop applications and files across all of your devices.
Beyond simply working as a notepad, the latest note taking apps such as EverNote (which can be downloaded for free) will enable you to collaborate with colleagues on future projects and share data such as diary entries.
Business card reader
Instead of keeping collections of business cards in various suit pockets, this app allows you to enter people’s details directly into your smartphone address book, including their phone number, saving time and reducing errors. One options to consider is CamCard.
Code reading apps
Using your smartphone’s integrated camera to photograph barcodes, QR codes or other documents can simplify financial transactions and allow you to create a helpful database. As mobile payment systems become more widespread, this is going to become a central application across all kinds of business.
Business social networks
Sites such as LinkedIn are very popular among smartphone users, used to share business data, contacts and other information. And the potential for this to expand in future is high.