Throw Your Laptop Out the Window

Jukka HarjunenZero Keyboard

When I joined Zero Keyboard, I started to commute to work after a 10-year break. This also means that I can start my workday long before I hit the office, on my mobile.

With my phone, I can check new user signups, website traffic – and of course Slack. But why can’t I do everything that I can do on my laptop?

We recently conducted a very non-scientific survey on our social media channels. We wanted to know what business apps people use and why.

It turned out that the question was simply too difficult to answer.

So, what Mobile Business Apps Others Are Using?

In no particular order, the most common answers were e.g. Slack, Dropbox, Hubspot, Google Analytics, Trello – and even Microsoft Outlook (I think I need to discuss about Outlook with the person who mentioned it).

There is a clear emphasis on apps that help you with communication, metrics and file sharing. But I bet this does not cover everything people work with each day.

If you could do everything on your smartphone, there would be fewer reasons to open your laptop. Or even own one.

What’s Slowing Down the Transition from Desktop to Mobile?

First, I think the majority of us business professionals acknowledge that our favorite software and tools also exist as mobile apps.

Another thing is, however, do we actually “realize” we could do a lot of our work with just using a mobile device? At the end of the day, the main benefit of a mobile device is indeed that it’s mobile. You are never bound to a place or time when you feel like working. Or, if you come from a meeting, you might want to take care of the follow-up immediately when the discussion is still fresh on your mind.

So, maybe what’s slowing down the transition to a similar pattern of using apps as we are using outside work, is that professionals are not demanding business apps. It’s probably still very much in our mindset that we use desktop when at work and that you always must have a large screen in front of you.

Or, perhaps, we are not expecting the same level of truly mobile user experience as we expect from the apps we use on our free time. Could you even think of using Uber or Instagram on desktop?

What Does the Future of Business Apps Look Like?

The future of business apps looks very bright. It will be just a matter of time when business apps are truly going to take over our smartphones and the way we work. The revolution needs a voice, though: it requires everyone of us to demand a better mobile user experience.

Everyone agrees that the era of transforming a desktop user interface to a mobile screen is long gone, yet it is still very much common.

The winning business apps will boost users’ productivity and working morale as these apps will truly exploit mobile’s benefits like the in-built camera, microphone and voice-to-text, navigation, touch screen – and that a smart mobile device is indeed the interface you can use anywhere.

PS. There’s nothing wrong with using Outlook on the phone, but do people still use e-mails somewhere?

Jukka Harjunen – CMO