How To Create Better Software for Small and Medium Businesses
As COVID-19 continues to influence the modern workplace, which apps will small and medium businesses (SME) choose? Find out the results of our SME survey here.
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Enterprise software is the lifeblood of any business, helping employees work productively and hit new milestones. Even with the negative impact of COVID-19, global IT spending continues to grow and is expected to amount 601 billion in 2021, which is 13.6% more than the previous year.
As a company that believes in quality software, we strive to help people and companies find the best tools for productive work. Since Setapp (a subscription to 230+ Mac and iPhone apps) relies heavily on the success of developers, we’d love to help developers, too.
This year, we conducted our first-ever SME Tools survey to collect insights about the state of small and medium enterprise software and understand which types of apps will be on the rise in the upcoming years. Here’s what we found out.
Developers Should Pay Attention to Hybrid Work
Only a year ago, everyone was talking about how remote work is the future and companies should give up offices to focus on workplace digitalization. The reality turned out to be different. Today, 39% of the SME employees in the U.S. and 48% in the UK choose hybrid work (partly remote, partly in-office), and only 27% work completely remotely. According to the OECD report, enhancing SME resilience is one of the primary objectives that policymakers around the world should consider.
Since more and more companies will likely embrace hybrid work policies in the future, we expect an increasing demand for remote collaboration and productivity software.
Striving for the “Healthy” Number of Apps
We asked our survey participants how many apps they normally use and whether they are okay with this number. What we found out is that only 10% of SME employees use more than 10 apps every day, and almost all these people work remotely. The average number of apps used per day is 6, and 25% say they are overwhelmed with the number of apps they use.
What can we learn from this? When choosing the target audience for your software, take into account that remote workers are more likely to add new apps to their toolkits than those who work in the office. However, note that there’s a limit and people start feeling they have too many apps installed, so the utility of your software is paramount.
Enterprise App Stores Are on the Rise
One of the most surprising and pleasant findings for us is that more and more SMEs have their own sets of applications the employees can use freely. This includes apps purchased and distributed through MDM and even internal app stores.
39% of SME employees say they will first check their company’s internal set of apps when they need new apps, and 31% will search for new apps on the web.
We think this is great news. Having a curated collection of essential software can help SMEs save time and cut annual software spending. For developers, this means they should be on the lookout for integrating their software in enterprise app stores. This could help beginning devs enter the market and get exposure for their apps without having to spend money on marketing.
Desktop Apps Win the Game
72% of SME employees in the UK and 62% in the U.S. choose desktop apps over web apps. We wondered why there’s such a big gap between the two and asked our participants about the main reasons they use desktop apps. Interestingly, the insights differ by country. In the UK, people prefer desktop software because it’s accessible, easy to use, and fast. For SME workers in the U.S., security is the key argument.
The state of SME software has been heavily impacted by COVID-19. Mainly, we’re witnessing a massive switch to hybrid-style work, with more and more companies letting employees choose their workplace. Remote work drives the demand for high-quality collaboration and productivity software. Even more, small and medium companies start to embrace internal app stores to equip employees with the best tools so they can stay productive anywhere.
For software developers, the rapidly changing work landscape presents some great opportunities. There’s a rising demand for tools that can simplify remote work, and with the growth of internal app stores, it may become easier for developers to gain new revenue streams in the future.
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