Virtually all of our modern industries here in Australia are experiencing a period of rapid digital transformation.
Whilst this period was initially brought about by the realities of COVID-19 lockdowns and an immediate need for businesses to design and implement digital alternatives to their traditionally face-to-face or in-office processes, the strides that Australian businesses have made over these past few years have continued to be necessary in our post-COVID economy.
One particular element of industrial digital transformation that was considered highly valuable to businesses during the pandemic was both the development and utilization of business mobile apps.
A record number of Australian businesses were simultaneously investing in mobile app design as well as using business management applications and communications software to support their altered working arrangements.
In essence, the role that mobile apps have played throughout this current period of digital transformation is truly dynamic and as such, market analysts have had to adopt a multidisciplinary approach in order to assess the impact that these technologies have held on the Australian economy as a whole.
We’ll be exploring some of the most prominent impacts that mobile apps have held on the digitalisation of a wide variety of Australian industries, ranging from financial institutions and retail industries to education.
Streaming organizational operations
One of the foremost impacts that COVID-19 lockdowns had on businesses was forcing professionals to shift from in-office work to an entirely remote work model, which we’ve now fondly come to call a working from home (or WFH) model.
WFH models came with their fair share of challenges, ranging from further complicating professionals attaining a healthy work/life balance to drastically limiting communications between coworkers throughout the workweek.
Reduced opportunities for communication and collaboration led to many businesses voicing concerns of stagnation with regards to organizational development, alongside negative impacts to productivity and a simultaneous increase in potentially costly mistakes.
After only a few short weeks of working from home in 2020, many Australian business owners recognised the need to invest in project management software as a means of facilitating communications when working remotely.
Project management and business communications software effectively allowed organizations to synchronise their workdays with one another, ensuring that coworkers were aware of what their peers would be prioritising on any given day of the week, alongside maintaining a solid understanding of just how a collaborative project would be progressing.
Whole-systems approach project management software with integrated communications features like Slack and Asana were reported to be more readily adopted by Australian businesses over apps that were solely for messaging or communications purposes alone.
Boosting customer retention and acquisition
Of course, business apps aren’t just developed by businesses for businesses. In fact, one of the most prominent forms of app development that we witnessed throughout the pandemic wasn’t innovations in project management software at all, but more so in customer-centric mobile app experiences.
As we mentioned earlier, Aussie businesses operating out of virtually every industry were prompted to develop their own digital alternatives to their traditionally in-person processes, with brick and mortar retail businesses and financial institutions being the most common organizations that Australian consumers found themselves interacting with through their mobile devices.
Although business owners acknowledged the theoretical benefits of developing and maintaining a mobile app business, the pandemic was what led a great majority of Aussie business owners to finally take the plunge and start investing in a mobile app and ensuring that their customer interactions were occurring over multiple platforms.
App offerings like games, interactive consumer experiences, or customer loyalty programs ensured that businesses could experience higher rates of customer engagement and, thus, customer retention and acquisition.
Continued convenience in a post-COVID economy
A huge offering provided by mobile apps and web pages alike that Australian consumers thoroughly utilized throughout the pandemic was the opportunity to click and collect their goods from brick and mortar retail stores over simply awaiting parcel delivery on its own.
As AusPost faced sums of package deliveries throughout the entirety of the pandemic, click and collect was a system that removed immense amounts of strain from both Aussie industries and its consumers alike.
Theses have continued to be a convenient offering alternative to shopping for many Australian households as well as businesses, with many stores establishing ‘click and collect’ bays both inside and outside of their store to accommodate customers who may not have the time to shop traditionally.
In this sense, business mobile apps have demonstrated an ability to improve on the convenience of any business’ consumer experience, but also the accessibility or inclusivity of that experience too.
Supporting sustainable practices in modern industries
Finally, digital alternatives to traditional processes has also inadvertently allowed many businesses across the Australian Australian carbon footprint a time where sustainability is implementing essential for businesses across the globe.
Mobile apps play a valuable role in weaning businesses off of their outdated pen-and-paper processes, both by replacing physical documents with greener, electronic copies, reducing the need for in-office correspondence, and thus also potentially minimizing overhead costs associated with office lighting, heating or cooling, and the consumption of office supplies and other resources, including the transportation emissions associated with procuring these resources.
There is also evidence to suggest that mobile apps for consumers have played a similar role, as businesses no longer need to invest as much into physical advertising in order to reach consumers outside of their storefronts or office spaces.
On a similar note, introducing mobile apps into other sectors like law, financial services, real estate and property management, and even education has drastically reduced industry demands for paper contracts, course materials, and other physical materials requiring customers and organizational representatives to interact face -to-face.
Decreased emissions throughout the pandemic have definitively revealed to us that the rise of business mobile apps and the digital transformation of industries that mobile apps inspire is just as positive for sustainable development as it is for economic growth as a whole.
Although the full extent of the impact that mobile apps have had on the digital transformation of Australian industries is still being measured, what market analysts have observed so far points to the fact that these digital alternatives will continue to play a major role in the future of not just our national, but also our global economy.