How do I find an app that really helps my business?

A customised app for internal use can be a valuable addition within your company. But how do you know what kind of app can actually help your company? In this article you will find some tips from SevenLab to identify the opportunities for your organisation.

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    1. The analysis

    To know what your company needs, you must first map out your current organisational structure and processes. How do information and products or services flow through the various departments? What actions must be carried out? Think not only about the service or product you provide, but also about any quality controls or actions from a legal or policy perspective, such as contracts. Also consider the perspective of the different employees within the organisation.

    2. Identify inefficient processes

    Your analysis will show which processes could be more efficient, and where exactly the bottlenecks are in each process. Describe these inefficiencies in as much detail as possible, including the operations, the costs in terms of time and money, and the teams and systems involved.

    3. Think digital

    Make a list of all the functions that a smartphone or tablet offers. You don't have to take the needs of your business into account yet. A few features of tablets and smartphones to get you started:

    • Fits in pocket or bag
    • Internet connection via wifi or 4G
    • Automatic registration of time and date
    • Watch, record and send videos
    • Listen to, record and transmit audio
    • Determine and record location
    • Access to files and storage in the cloud
    • Receive real time notifications and messages
    • Integration possible with other devices, systems and databases

    4. Creative brainstorming

    Now is the time to let your creativity run wild. Put a team together and brainstorm about possible solutions within an app. Involve a representative from the IT department or an external developer. Before the session, send everyone the list of inefficient processes and the list of digital possibilities, and ask them to write down some ideas themselves. During the brainstorming session, everyone presents his or her ideas. Discuss these in the group, but do not write anything down yet. The idea is to collect as many ideas as possible, and to see how they can be combined. Encourage your team members to build on the ideas of others. Keep a record of all ideas discussed.

    5. Testing ideas

    After the brainstorming session, evaluate each idea. See how realistic it is, and test whether this idea really solves the problem and saves time or money. If possible, combine ideas from the brainstorming session, or choose elements from different concepts to create a complete functionality.

    From idea to app

    With your top 3 ideas, you can start a discussion with your IT department or possibly an external party to further develop the concepts and start the building process. Here, you will look at the end-user experience, the interaction with existing software systems, and the possible applications. During this phase, you will also often discover new ways of using the software.