The growing mobile business apps market is such a crowded field it can be difficult to judge which could contribute to your business. Take advantage of free trials and soak up the information published in technology blogs, online reviews and user forums.
This is not a spending decision to keep you awake at night. No matter which apps you choose, your initial outlay will be reasonable and you won't be locked in to expensive plans.
Dr Richard Favero, CEO of Soprano Design (a leading development house for short message and multimedia message services), urges businesses to stop hesitating over app purchases.
"Unlike traditional software purchases where you have to invest thousands, or even tens of thousands, here the engagement costs are really quite low. Don't spend time doing complex evaluations, just get started and if you don't like the service, try something else," he encourages. "Know what best-of-breed is, choose a reputable one, and if it doesn't meet your requirements, turn it off and switch to something else."
Apps to ckeck out
> Safe storage
iPhones and iPads can be replaced, but losing all the information, settings and contacts you have stored on your mobile device can be a disaster. Something like the Get Backup Lite app (free) allows users to back up and restore iPhone content, including SMS messages, call logs and photos. The advanced option is Get Backup Pro (expect to pay around $9), which can be set for regular automated back-ups.
> Work Flow
Apps for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are immensely popular. In general, they make it easier to monitor or update sales activities and access customer information. One of the market leaders in the CRM field is Salesforce.com (the "lite" version is free; you'll pay up to $95 per month per user for the full version).
Microsoft Dynamics CRM (from $66 per month per user) can be used with any browser-enabled mobile device. DayLite CRM for Mac, iPhone and iPad is a great all-rounder, combining CRM services with project management, billing and time sheet functions (pay $50 per month).
> Where do you get them?
Apple iTunes store for iPhone Apple iTunes store for iPad