One-third of organizations used more than five mobile business apps in 2014, and 68 percent of organizations built a mobile business app in one day or less, according to a survey of 1,600 decision makers.
Canvas, a cloud-based software service provider conducted the survey.
Of those organizations tracking their cost savings, 17 percent saved between $25,000 and $100,000 annually by switching to mobile apps, while 81 percent indicated cost savings between $1,000 and $25,000.
Businesses are using mobile apps for inspections (52 percent); work orders (35 percent); checklists (20 percent), and surveys (20 percent).
In addition, 64 percent of businesses said they value integrating core business applications, such as Dropbox, Square, Salesforce, and Quickbooks, with mobile devices and tools.
"Through mobile apps businesses of all sizes are empowered to rapidly and easily collect and share information," James Quigley CEO of Canvas, told eWEEK. "With mobile apps, businesses are not only more effectively capturing available information, but are able to collect, share and learn from dynamic information that could not previously be accessed, all while eliminating manual processes and enabling this data to flow in real-time to the right people and systems for improved efficiency."
Quigley said security and control are the two primary drivers for businesses wanting to build their own custom apps or even enterprise app stores.
"Historically this might have led to some businesses shying away from cloud-based app builder tools or external app stores, he said. Today, however, cloud-based platforms are increasingly delivering an environment that builds in necessary controls to meet CXO requirements and often have tighter security controls and more robust data encryption than companies' own IT departments."
For example, controls can be created to make apps available to employees on BYOD smartphones and tablets, but also have those app permissions removed if an employee departs the organization.
He said an external app solution can also build in layers of permission-based control for employees at different levels and across units. Also, data can be encrypted at multiple points to satisfy requirements such as HIPAA compliance.
"As important as mobile app features and functionality will be in the future, equally critical, we believe, is the ability for these apps to integrate easily with core business software and platforms, such as cloud storage, CRM, financial software and credit card processing," Quigley said. "For example, data captured in an app can easily be pushed into a cloud storage solution for backup, a CRM tool for actionable insights and then a BI tool such as Tableau for greater overall insight."
He said this enhances the value of mobile apps significantly, by helping organizations learn more from their data and gain access to real-time intelligence that can improve efficiency and provide a real competitive advantage.