Micro apps: They’re rapidly becoming an essential component of enterprise applications. Thanks to their ability to provide individualized, targeted, task-based functionality, these little wonders treat users to a highly focused, interactive, and efficient workflow experience.

How micro apps work

We’ve heard the question over and over again:

What is a micro-app?

In a nutshell, micro apps are much like their larger cousins. But instead of delivering multiple options and a maze of functions that can lead to confusion and prevent efficiency, micro apps are built for single-purpose functionality. They exist on top of your company’s existing legacy systems, and they interact with the enterprise software that works best for your business.

Instead of requiring searches though, micro apps are designed to push essential information to users based on individual needs. If you use social media, you’re already familiar with this concept: Pull up your Facebook or Twitter feed, and you see a stream of information that has been automatically tailored to conform with your preferences and drive engagement.

Like many popular consumer apps that provide notifications without prompting, micro apps rely on push computing. Instead of requiring users to enter a query and receive a response, they deliver valuable, actionable data based on a known set of requirements. This might sound serious, but the end result is a personalized feed of work-related information that allows workers to interact in a deep, focused way.

Completing tasks feels rewarding, so employees are eager to begin the next task and receive another mental reward. Feelings of boredom and frustration that typically accompany old-fashioned “needle in a haystack” searches are largely eliminated, and engagement increases.

What’s wrong with standard apps?

Take a minute to pull up one a desktop or mobile app and then spend a little bit of time going through its features. A popular security app might have different sections for scanning, eliminating viruses, scheduling automatic system checks, Anti-theft, and more. While all of these are useful – and often essential – they make for a highly complex, multi-step user experience.

All those features seem great at first glance, but when users go to interact with the app, they discover that there are too many steps required to get to the feature they want to use. This leads to a reluctance to use the apps that your company has paid for, and in many cases, it leads to outright avoidance. The number of underused apps is astonishing: SAP notes that more than 78 percent of apps are abandoned after users try them just one time.

Besides the abandonment issue, there’s this: Apps can be costly to create, and development takes time. With the proper portal, micro apps can be built in as little as 15 minutes. Each micro-app is designed to address a specific issue, and thanks to simplified design, it’s very easy for employees to access and use those micro apps as intended.

Micro apps and workforce management

Companies create apps to streamline workflows, but when employees are required to dig for information, time is wasted, tasks are delayed, and ultimately, people stop using the apps as intended. Micro apps eliminate searching by delivering essential information to users who need it.

They’re completely secure since they run on-premises, inside your company’s cloud. Best of all, micro apps take the complexity out of common tasks. Less time per task means that each employee gets more work done over the course of a day, and increased productivity translates to greater profitability for your company.

From a workforce management standpoint, micro apps are a win-win proposition. Employees feel empowered, less frustrated, and more capable when employers to provide state-of-the-art technology, and they are most effective when they have access to high-tech solutions.

Proactive, consumer-grade experiences and simplified workflows make for effective task completion and highly engaged employees who enjoy having the ability to work from the device(s) of their choice. Remote and mobile work is enabled as well, so employees remain highly engaged even when offsite.

Employers benefit from a massive reduction in lost time. Micro apps help ensure that deadlines are met and that messages are received – and acted upon – in a timely manner. There’s more: Engaged, highly satisfied employees aren’t only highly productive. They feel a greater sense of investment in their work, and they are far more likely to deliver satisfactory or even exceptional customer experiences.

As micro apps make work more satisfying, management takes on a new sense of ease. Instead of stamping out little fires, there’s a new focus on growth: Expansion occurs naturally and exponentially, leading to greater success for all involved.