Mobile Apps in 2020’s: Growth, Threats, and Prospects

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Mobile apps are an integral part of a digital workplace and our daily life. In this article, Mikhail Korotkov, Head of Custom Software Development Department, will talk about how the pandemic has affected the mobile development, what direction Digital Design is headed for, and what IT threats we saw in 2020.

Global trends

Over the past two years, mobile app development has been a primal way to survive the COVID-19 pandemic for many companies. The need to reduce the number of social contacts has given a strong impetus to the development of mobile systems that bring all activities online. Mobile solutions have gained a significant increase in the number of users and entered new areas and industries.

If we take a look at the top of AppStore and Google Play, we’ll see apps that help people maintain mental health and social bonds: it has become truly important for remote work.

Here’s a list of popular apps:

  • Zoom, a video-conferencing system we all know, which skyrocketed in 2020 and became very popular. Not so many people know that Zoom has existed since 2011, and it hasn’t made waves for 9 years. Now it’s in top 1 at AppStore and in top 4 at Google Play;
  • Among Us, a multiplayer social game that is very similar to the good old Mafia. Top 1 free game at AppStore;
  • Loona, an app that helps you fall asleep and sleep better. Top 1 app at Google Play;
  • Norbu, an app for managing emotions and controlling stress. Ranks #2 at Google Play among all apps.

These apps help people stay connected and maintain psychological well-being in the current circumstances, and their high ratings show the demand for social projects in B2C market.

Further development of mobile apps during pandemic

We assume that the demand for applications with a high social and motivational value will be just as high for B2C market. But I would like to talk about a few ideas that we think will be relevant in the next years in the market of mobile app development for businesses.

Corporate social media

A tool to organize corporate communications will be relevant for companies with established corporate culture and a need to motivate the employees working from home. It can be flexibly customized for any company and cover many needs at once. Employees will be able to use the mobile and web application, which is installed on personal devices.

Potential modules:

  • Planning and holding online events;
  • Conducting polls;
  • Corporate news;
  • Requesting documents, business trips, certificates;
  • A map of the office with employee’s workstations (maybe even a real-time position);
  • Maintaining employee profiles with their interests, professional skills, notes on online workshops/meetups, articles with a rating assessment by other users;
  • Automation of the process of personnel adaptation and training based on their profile data;
  • Motivation system basing on the company’s program.

Such an application will accelerate the company’s internal business processes within the HR department and increase the personnel loyalty.

Management of Residential Complex

Many services switch to mobile devices or to cloud, and during pandemic, the ability to solve everyday problems remotely is especially valuable. More and more real estate developers and management companies (MC) will build systems to manage the house, minimizing face-to-face communication. For an apartment owner, the system is presented as a mobile and web application and can be used for the following functions:

  • Request and review of real estate documentation;
  • Paying for housing services and utilities;
  • Analysis of utility bills and water/energy consumption;
  • Filing of meter indications;
  • Filing of request forms and appeals to MC (service call, complaint, etc.);
  • Payment reminders and feedback alerts from MC.

For an MC employee, the web application can be used for the following functions:

  • Creating reporting documents;
  • Management of a residential complex fund and expenditure items;
  • Receiving and processing requests;
  • Planning and conducting meetings of owners;
  • Conducting absentee voting on residential complex issues;
  • Communication with residents;
  • Marketplace.

Many companies are already using similar solutions, but they are mostly based on web versions of portals. In the future the mobile version will be more relevant. Such an application will help to optimize the residential complex management process, and make the communication easier for the owner as all issues can be resolved without a personal visit to MC.

User requirements and expectations

The combined requirements and expectations of a mobile app divide a mobile device into two areas: corporate and private. Employees of the company need to be sure that valuable corporate data will not be lost or transferred to third parties via the application. For example, if we use EDMS (electronic document management system), a commercial classified document will not be sent in Telegram or WhatsApp. Employees who are responsible for information security have separate requirements: from certification to tracking user activities and integration with data leak prevention systems.

On our part, we help users to solve this problem on mobile devices. We frame solutions using cryptographic information protection services and create a protected container – a closed space in the mobile phone, where data can be placed and encrypted. The main idea of a protected container is that data cannot be transferred to a private area, which greatly reduces the risk of data leak.

Soon mobile solutions will continue to grow actively in both social and corporate environments. At the same time, it is important that the basic user’s needs are covered, both in terms of application scope and usability, and while development we pay a lot of attention to these two aspects.