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The rise of the private App

SMEs are rapidly getting on the tech train to create bespoke Apps for their business and workforce.


Fed-up with traditional workplace practices that repeatedly result in time-consuming mistakes and frustrated staff, more and more SMEs are developing private apps for their own use as internal solutions, circumventing expensive market software.

What is a private App?
Not private as in “dating” or “personal” but Apps that are totally private from the outside world. You won’t find them on Google Play or the AppStore; they exist on their own cloud-based, private network which means that they synch instantly with all users. There can be as many or as few users as desired and the Apps are tailored to meet the exact specifications of the client.

What does a private App do?
Essentially, exactly what you want it to do. Examples include: pre-work machine checks for H&S compliance, company-wide internal communication systems, monitoring of stock movements etc. In most cases, we build a custom solution to a problem which has been bothering you for a while and tends to involve large paper trails. Whilst there might be potential solutions already existing in the market, either they tend to be not suitable, very expensive or both.

Why are they so popular?
We all enjoy the sensation of being able to do our work productively, look forward to the next challenge and want to be confident that what is going on around us is being done correctly. When staff are constantly being asked to re-do a task or sort out a mess, it is soul-destroying and morale-sapping. It is not surprising that these tools are so popular with staff in general. Additionally, the cloud-storage means that all data is stored automatically, instantly recoverable and history can be recorded if desired.

What do they cost?
The great advantage of not going through a third-party distributor – like Apple who has a host of rules you have to follow – is that you can concentrate on the fundamentals of the tool rather than a glossy look and feel. That does not mean that it cannot have a professional look, but we tend to build for practical people who want practical solutions foremost. This strips out much of the cost and time from a project. On average our builds have cost around $10,000 and anecdotally we understand they pay for themselves within the first year.

An examples: Mobstar
A simple app designed to replace a traditional whiteboard schematic of a farm, that showed where Mobs and Feeders were located. An instant hit with farmhands as it removed paper notes and synched instantly and accurately over a large, high-country station. It has since grown to record stock movements, mergers and crops on the farm and will soon monitor Fertilizers and sprays.

Other requests include: the digital warehousing of over 3,000 boxes of onions in 2 warehouses, time-sheet entry apps for foreign staff with multiple languages, creating trail walks for high-country trampers to navigate farms correctly and even creating a family tree of the world’s captive gorillas.

Got an idea?
Then give Alexanders a call. We will be only too happy to walk you through the feasibility of your idea and give open and honest appraisals of its strengths and weaknesses as well as an indicative idea on costs.

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