Today’s businesses aren’t just relying on work-based apps — they’re creating their own. Despite the initial cost of development, a well-designed mobile enterprise app will ultimately create a more cost-effective and productive workplace.

There’s no question that we’re living in the Age of the Consumer — what buyers want and expect takes top priority. And in the past few years, one of buyers’ biggest fascinations has been the mobile app, putting pressure on even the smallest mom-and-pop stores to get an app on the market. But in the race to please as many consumers as possible, businesses tend to overlook the most effective client advocate there is: the employee.

Every employee’s ultimate goal is to optimize for customer satisfaction. Whether this means keeping other employees happy and productive, or building the infrastructure for a more efficient company, every member of a business ultimately serves the customer. That means that there isn’t a single company out there where it isn’t vitally important that employees have everything they need to be productive, and these days, that includes an enterprise app.

Mobile apps aren’t just a quick fad — they’re changing entire industries and empowering users, and there’s no reason that companies shouldn’t be using them to empower their employees.

Mobile Enterprise Apps and Industry Leaders

Companies have only recently stopped thinking of mobile tech in the workplace as anything but a distraction. Goldman Sachs only allowed its employees to join the digital world in 2013, when it permitted a small test group to use iPhones for work purposes. In just two years, the investment firm has gone from a tentative trial period to developing its own enterprise app for iOS called Orbit, along with the 13 other apps available for B2C consumption.

But Goldman isn’t alone — Delta has also thrown its hat into the enterprise app ring. After issuing Lumia Phablets to 22,000 of its employees last year, the airline recently released an app for employees to make passenger boarding more efficient. Originally, each flight required a 500 page manual filled with passenger data — now, each attendant can access passenger information like frequent flyer status, beverage orders, and even birthdays right from their phone. Delta’s new digital initiative will also reduce its carbon footprint by 1800 tonnes annually.

The Centric Digital Perspective

Centric Digital utilizes a full suite of enterprise apps to facilitate our day-to-day tasks, whether we’re designing product prototypes or tracking the time being invested in specific projects. By streamlining operations, eliminating clutter, and keeping communication channels open and transparent, apps are creating more efficient, productive offices across the country.

One key advantage of a more app-based work environment is the ability to shed messy, more analog forms of data transfer. Company information is too valuable to keep on loose-leaf documents, which can be easily damaged or lost. That’s why traditional companies are moving away from more manual forms of documentation, like the print-outs that Delta was using previously to check-in passengers, and moving towards digital apps.

But you can’t reap these digital benefits until you actually start developing a mobile app, which is rarely an easy process. You need to identify the needs of your employees, then decide which ones could be most effectively served by an app. Since those needs will inevitably involve massive amounts of data, you’ll need to approach the intimidating task of cleaning all of it. While this last step in particular can be expensive, the ROI is potentially endless — it’s a single fix that will replace multiple processes, along with all the documentation that came with them.