Can mobile apps replace traditional desktop apps

Mobile is revolutionizing our world today

Over the last few years, smartphones and mobile devices have become the lifeline of our society – they are being used for all types of things – hailing cabs, social networking, games, travel bookings – you name it and there’s an app for it! Multiple apps are launched on a daily basis and within no time they become indispensable to our existence!

It all started with Apple launching its Mac App Store in 2011 that took the world by storm and changed our perception of how our cellphones can and should be used. Now every web based service provider has their app stores – Microsoft launched a Windows Store with the Windows 8, Google has Google Play for Android devices, Roku has their own app store – the list can go on!

Are mobile devices the new desktops?

The emergence of mobile technology has to a large extent been at the expense of traditional desktop computing – various smartphone apps are quickly replacing desktop software, apps and features that were used on personal computing devices. Healy Jones, VP Marketing for Office Drop noted that apps are seeing more user engagement than traditional web browsers – the client base of Office Drop, a searchable cloud storage service, has expanded significantly after they introduced their apps, as reported by PC World.

Another point that proves the growing dominance of the mobile apps is the internet usage market share data. A report from Global Stats last year revealed that internet usage market share for Windows was 37.91%, while for Android it was 37.93% - this, according to many was a big milestone ending Microsoft’s decades long dominance in the OS market!

Even today, the main trend for apps is for PC based products and services providers to build apps which allow users to access the key features and functionalities of their desktop applications on mobile devices – but the underlying architecture of the products and services remains PC centric and users need to use computers for the full experience. A perfect example of this are the Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, and Power Point that have mobile apps that provide a limited functionality set.

However, the trend is fast changing and multiple products and services are being introduced that are purely intended for mobile use or else primarily for mobile access that also have a PC based interface – key examples include Instagram, Uber, Snapchat and a variety of game companies like Rovio, Supercell, and Natural Motion. This trend is only expected to grow with time as smartphones get more powerful with more processing power and storage capacity!

Why have corporates been slow in embracing mobile solutions

Mobile apps & treasury

Most of the advancement in mobile apps that we have spoken of so far has mostly been seen in the personal use space – usage of mobile apps by corporates as a primary means of doing business is still at a very nascent stage. One of the biggest drivers of this limited adoption by corporates has been the lack of mobile user interfaces that allow mobile users to get all their work done on their mobile devices without feeling the urge to use a keyboard or a mouse! Also, since mobile devices screens are relatively smaller, developers will need to get smarter to decide on what a user actually wants, without disturbing the users’ browsing experience. Big names like Microsoft and Samsung are recognizing this need and have and have come up with technologies like Microsoft's Continuum and Samsung's DeX which allow users to connect their smartphones to their computer screens, and use mouse and keyboard to navigate the apps!

Well architected mobile apps are more secure!

Another key deterrent for corporate entities around moving critical processes to be performed over mobile apps has been security concerns surrounding them – are mobile apps as secure as desktop apps?, can someone steal company data using near field protocols?, will corporate data be compromised if a senior executive with access to sensitive data loses his device? Since data privacy is always a big concern for all corporates, they have been slow to adopt mobile apps with open arms! The reality is that with the technology used to design mobile apps these days, they are capable of being as secure, if not more than any desktop based app (see blog How Secure are Mobile Apps)!

Legacy systems and mobile solutions

Besides, to be fair there is still a very limited selection of mobile centric corporate products and applications available in the market. Corporate platforms and ERP systems are generally quite complex and many legacy applications are built on ol

der platforms that are not as adaptable – this makes it difficult for traditional providers to offer seamless mobile access without a near total overhaul of their system. There are various new applications in areas like cash application, transaction banking, etc. that are gaining in popularity amongst corporates – besides there are also a host of applications that are evolving which enable access to legacy systems via custom built apps.

Treasury and Finance functions are ahead of the game!

Mobile Apps for Treasury - Boston Consulting GroupWithin the corporate space, corporate treasury and finance functions are probably a little ahead in the game…..though not by too much! Corporate and commercial banks were among the first service providers that rolled out apps to allow their clients to be able to perform certain transaction banking activities via mobile devices. U.S. Bank launched a mobile app for Treasury Management in 2014 – in a press statement, the bank said “In today’s world, managers have their mobile devices handy wherever they go, and U.S. Bank is committed to providing the latest innovative technologies to make completing these vital banking functions seamless”.

Some treasury systems providers are also coming out with apps to allow users to access certain functionalities over mobile devices. Kyriba Mobile is an example of a TMS service that has launched an iOS app that allows users to access components of their treasury platform. Additionally, market data providers like Bloomberg also have apps that allows users to access market updates over mobile devices. However, even within treasury and finance space, the availability and sophistication of available apps is quite rudimentary!

Seize the future today with LeanCash mobile solutions

As part of our LeanCash offering set intended to streamline treasury and finance function, we offer a fully integrated mobile app solution that enables treasurers and finance executives to manage all of their key day to day functions over their mobile devices. Some of the features of our solution includes:

• Seamless integration – our apps can integrate with all key treasury and finance apps to provide a comprehensive solution for users
• Multi-functional – our apps can provide a rich suite of functionality to provide a viable alternative to use of PCs – reports and dashboards, workflow management, approvals across systems and processes, alerts and notifications and much more!
• Secure and permissioned logins – multiple secure login options and access levels controlled via role member definition controls – also capable of integrating with organizations’ SSO protocols
• One stop shop – all systems and processes can be accessed in one place to enable users to perform all their functions within a single app – without the need to toggle between apps for managing different processes
• User experience – user friendly and efficient app design and “look and feel” ensures a delightful user experience
• Top notch security – our security features and protocols ensure that our mobile apps are as, if not more secure than any desktop based systems

 

 

 

 

Medullus LeanCash is a tried-and-tested solution that draws upon lean concepts to streamline Corporate Treasury by eliminating waste in processes and functions which helps to manage liquidity and risks in the most optimal way. 

Our products and services are geared towards making improvements in Treasury & Finance processes to bring big gains with minimal impact. The low hanging fruit is sometimes difficult to find in a large organization with myriad of processes and systems. Take the 1st step in identifying these high value/low risk improvements – get your LeanCash score, benchmark against other organizations that have obtained their score and improved them. It does not cost anything to find out where you are as compared to industry-best-practices! 

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Blog post by: Tejnain Singh. Reach Tej @ tsingh@medullus.com

Tej is a seasoned treasury and finance professional with over 17 years of extensive experience across organizations like GE, Deloitte, SABIC and Valeant Pharma. He has held senior positions in treasury operations and cash management and has led multiple strategic initiatives in the areas of payment automation, treasury system implementations, business process simplification and shared financial services among many others. Tej is a Chartered Accountant from India.