We see it everywhere — headlines affirming the growth of mobile apps while proclaiming the myriad benefits a business can achieve by developing a killer custom app. Many businesses, especially startups or small businesses, may not understand the true scope of this movement and what it can actually mean for their businesses, though.

I present some statistics you should be paying attention to:

The Yankee Group, in its “Anywhere Enterprise” survey, concluded that custom productivity/sales apps:
• Increased field selling time by 28%
• Eliminated redundant activities by 27%
• Increased win rates by 26%
• Reduced sales call costs by 25%
• Increased forecast accuracy by 25%
• Decreased administrative time by 24%
• Decreased the sales cycle by 23%

Basically, if you’re not developing or implementing a custom productivity app solution for your enterprise operation, you’re leaving a significant amount of revenue on the table for no reason. This is particularly true for organizations that rely on outside sales — you want your field staff armed with the most recent information (like pricing, inventory, etc.), standardized sales collateral, the ability to create proposals on the run, etc. Custom productivity apps present the best and most cost-efficient way to do this, by far. The increase in revenue and decrease in expenditures will pay for any custom app development costs many times over.

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Taken another step further, Gartner predicted that by 2017, 25 percent of all enterprises will have their own enterprise app store, meaning that they can build specific app suites for individual business units, titles, and responsibilities; each will have a set of apps designed for them specifically. Your employees have access to the tools they need without being weighed down by the tools that they do not. Your IT has more control over both network and networked device security and your employees have greater access to beneficial productivity tools and services specified for their job level, title, and responsibility.

Some other stats to heed:

The North American market for mobile office applications is expected to nearly quadruple by 2015.

Over 40% of businesses using mobile apps cite increased productivity as one of the primary driving factors behind their app development and/or deployment.
• That number balloons to nearly 60% for small businesses
• Furthermore, over 70% of small businesses use apps in their operations

The verdict? Productivity apps are used widely and usage will continue to grow at a prodigious rate. They represent real business gains when well conceptualized and implemented. If your operations team is not all over this, you need a new operations team.