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Is a smaller app better?

Of course some companies measure their app’s success by the amount of downloads and the visibility it enjoys in the market place. So big is good, but this can lead to apps that are too broad in scope and actually less effective. So should you aim smaller with your next mobile app?

US firm Apperian Inc recently analysed data gathered from more than 2 million app downloads and deployments on an enterprise level. As well as obvious 'discoveries', like the fact that tech companies are the biggest users of internal apps, it also found that some of the most successful apps came from companies that produced a handful of apps and restricted them to a small, core group of employees.

The findings are interesting because they show that apps don’t need to be for tens of thousands of employees, they are worthwhile and have achieved huge satisfaction ratings even when just a few people have access to them. That means we can take a fresh look at mobile app development and create them for smaller numbers, even just a handful of staff that need a specific set of functions that simply aren’t provided for with the systems you have in place.

Apperian discovered that some of the most successful apps, albeit ones judged on subjective criteria, were used by just 100 to 150 people.

The company also discovered that the average number of apps in the companies it surveyed was 35, with some companies having an app portfolio of more than 100. This is a vast number and the UK is some way behind the US when it comes to embracing apps completely.

We have woken up to B2C apps and Magento development has opened up e-commerce apps to the masses, but UK corporations still have a long way to go when it comes to focused, specialised apps for a variety of internal functions.

2016 is set to be an exciting year for mobile app developers and the future could well be tighter, smaller and more precise. Of course, big apps still have their place, but soon we could see a proliferation of apps both big and small to do niche jobs.

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