Apps are the Future of Software

September 1, 2017

Technology drives everything we do, especially in business. As smart phones and tablets evolve, they are more like hand-held computers rather than a traditional phone. As a busy professional, utilizing the best apps for your business is critical to productivity. Tommy Stephens of K2 discussed some of the best apps for business at the 2017 Southeastern Accounting Show. 

So, what is an app? It’s an abbreviation of “application,” designed for a very focused, narrow, and specific purpose, typically, free to low cost in price. Three primary sources of apps are the iTunes Store, Google Play Store, and the Windows Store. The Amazon App Store is an additional resource for Android users. 

“Do not use any Android app stores other than Google Play, Amazon Appstore for Android, and Microsoft Apps,” cautions Stephens. “Apps from other sources are not always as secure to the Android open source operating system.”

In addition to operating system-specific apps, another genre of apps exists – apps developed to augment specific applications. For example, some software publishers – Intuit, Google, and Salesforce, for instance – have opened their own “app stores” where you can obtain add-on solutions that integrate with the software publisher’s tools. Those are considered private apps.

Depending on the device and operating system you use, each ecosystem operates a little differently regarding apps. Apple and Google have the most apps available to you. However, Mac OS does not have many key business applications and Google privacy raises concerns with how the data collected about you is used. Microsoft is the top market share for computers, laptops, and video game devices, as well as server operating systems are a part of many Cloud architectures and are the heart of most enterprise computing environments. Microsoft has a weak market share for phones and tablets, and they need to be more innovative and better, just to be considered against Apple.

"The app world is always evolving; this is definitely not the end," says Stephens. “Focus on apps that allow you to save time.”

He recommends considering some of the following apps for your business productivity. 

General Apps
• Puffin
• Venmo
• Waze

Microsoft Office Mobile
• Word, Excel, PowerPoint
• Outlook
• Skype for Business

Apps For Accounting Software
• AvaTax Sales Tax
• QuickBooks Online
• Sage One
• Sage View
• Xero Touch
• Microsoft PowerBI
• Concur Mobile
• Tallie

• One Drive
• Dropbox
• Hopper 
• Xero
• Dynamic 365