Business operations have changed so much with the emergence of new tech that old-school manual tasks already seem like a vague dream of the uncivilized past.
Yet, these were a standard until only a decade ago or so, which means that technology is developing way faster than humans…. which is the core of many helpful business practices but also the bane of man as a social human being.
Thankfully, we’re not about to engage in discussing psychological and pathological aspects of digitalization. We’re going to consider some of the most helpful apps businesses can make do with.
Now, keeping in mind that some vocations are benefiting from new tech considerably more than others (specifically overlooked are frontline workers, hence the current global crisis), let’s take a look at the apps that can benefit literally everyone in an organization.
Before that, however, businesses should consider a couple of criteria to guide them when choosing the best apps, as “best” is a rather subjective category.
How to Go About Choosing Apps for Your Teams
There are businesses and businesses, and there are teams and teams. Certainly, small businesses can’t afford the expenditures large ones can, but that doesn’t mean costs should be the only, exclusive criterion.
For starters, think about your specific team needs. Which areas are (or are likely to become) problematic? What is the core of the issue? Is it poor management or poor communication? Poor engagement? Overwhelming deadlines? Something else?
Once you know the answer to this question, you’ll know which type of app to look up.
Generally speaking, all businesses will benefit from team management, project management, and communication apps, but not all will pick the same product.
That’s because not every team is the same as the other and each has its preferred special features. Obviously, this should be the second criterion when picking an app. What does one app have that another one addressing the same issue doesn’t?
Closely linked to the latter is the ease of use. Even the finest of apps will fall short of a business’ expectations if the employees don’t know how to use them or if it takes them too much time to use them.
Next on, consider the implementation and integration. Only consider the apps that combine well with the existing app your business is deploying. Apps must be compatible with every employee’s device, too.
Finally, consider your budget. How much can you spend on an app? How many apps do you need? Think in terms of an annual or monthly subscriptions. As a rule, annual subscription plans are cheaper than monthly plans but — believe it or not — some small businesses simply cannot afford too many paid apps all at once, especially when they’re just starting out on a tight budget.
Keeping all these criteria in mind, we’ll hereby recommend only the apps that are absolutely necessary for every business.
Time-tracking apps are always of great help. It is a complete mystery why so many businesses tend to overlook them. They allow employees to easily clock into work without wasting precious time on manual time-tracking.
Cloud-based software has, so far, proven to be a good choice in this regard. Employees clock in at the beginning f the working day and clock out when their shift ends from their devices (a software app, smartphones, tablets or computers).
Basically, there are three basic types of clocking-in systems: manual, digital and software (apps). Manual and digital time clocks may use biometrics, proximity clocks, swipe clock time cards, PIN clocks or punch clock time cards.
Cloud-based time-tracking apps record and store the data in the cloud on the business’ server. Cloud storage is accessible from anywhere, which is its main benefit.
Not one of the first choices for many businesses, this one!
However, for firms that aim to develop a culture of learning, apps that help employees deepen their knowledge and gradually reach their professional goals (advancement included) are an absolute must.
eLearning apps are numerous and diverse. That’s why no one can single out the best choice: businesses need to apply the abovementioned criteria to decide on which one to use.
3. Team Management and Project Management Apps
Team management and project management apps are what every business — regardless of its scope of operations — needs.
That’s why these apps are omnipresent, with so many variations available that it’s a real headache to pick the right one!
Here, in particular, businesses should consider ease of use, special features (particularly customization) and budget.
Many apps offer free and paid versions; at the very least, the finest offer a free trial period. If uncertain about which ones to choose, the latter may be the best option for starters.
Popular management tools range from Google Calendar (if you don’t mind Big Brother watching you) to Asana (which offers both free and paid membership) to Trello (a task assignment dashboard) to more expensive and more professional options.
Other apps may come to mind. Communications apps, in particular, should be well-chosen and easy to use. This category has been omitted here because there are so many popular free solutions (Skype, Zoom, Google Meet…) that everyone can get started in a matter of minutes.
As already specified, it is literally impossible to present a unique combination of apps that would suit every business on the planet.
The criteria listed above should be your starting point. Couple it with your own research and customer reviews for the best results.