What The Heck Is An App Anyway?

The term “apps” has become both a household word and the latest buzz word in business.  The fact of the matter is, there’s nothing new about apps (short for applications) but there still seems to be some confusion about them and what they are.  But then again, when you look it up you do tend to get a whole lot of varying ideas on what an app is.

Let’s clear things up a bit by defining what it is and then we’ll go in to the various types of apps for your business.  An application, simply stated, is a program with a user interface.  We could go a step beyond that in saying that it’s a software solution that powers your business logic.  That’s it.

When we build an app of any kind (local, web based, mobile, etc…) we want to create a program that allows the end user to perform a specific task or call up specific information based on his/her needs.  The growth of web based technologies has taken us to a whole new place with applications to the point we don’t even need to host them on our own drives any more.  Life is good…

So, what about apps for your business?  Well, with our simple definition all we have to do now is define our end users and from there we can define the types of apps they might use.  I’ll provide a few examples here based on the user.

  • Internal : Applications that would be used to manage the infrastructure of your business and provide support to employees to perform tasks more efficiently.   Some basic categories are:
    • Communication
    • Collaboration
    • Organization
    • Data Management
    • Scheduling
    • Fleet Management
    • Employee accountability
    • And pretty much anything you can think of…

Companies like Google provide a suite of applications to meet the needs of businesses both large and small.  Adding in a few third party applications and you have yourself a full functioning cloud based business.

  • Client Based (Can be B2B): Applications that provide end user ability to interact with and purchase goods and services from your business.
    • Communication
    • Scheduling / Reservations
    • Purchasing
    • Navigation (finding you)
    • Purchase Tracking
    • Customer Service
    • Social Networking
    • Again, pretty much anything you can think of…

The bottom line is, that apps or software systems can make the difference between whether you’re running a busyness or business.  If you’re busy, busy, busy then most likely there are apps out there to help you streamline your approach, get more done and ultimately make more money.

When sitting down clients to discuss app development I find there are still many out there without a clear and streamlined vision of their market and what exactly they want their business to do.  If this is the case or if you’re in doubt, sign up for my 21 Days to a Focused Business free e-course.

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