Professional apps – what do users need right now?

Published: 11 Dec 2019
Author: Tapio Savunen

Public safety and other professionals have come a long way with mobile apps, with around two thirds now using apps in their day-to-day work. The landscape is very different from only five years ago. User organizations are no longer simply planning to use mobile apps, but are making growing use of the many advantages that apps have to offer. Yet, apps are still not being adopted in a professional way, a situation that needs to change.

These were just a few of the key findings of the fourth annual Airbus mobile apps survey in 2018-2019, when we asked over 200 people for their views. Looking ahead, which professional mobile app trends would you add to the list for 2020? Let’s find out.

Share your opinion on what's important in a professional app for 2020! Take our survey.


Each year, we ask professionals like yourself to share what's important in a professional mobile app for the year ahead. The findings show how your peers adopt apps, as well as their priorities, challenges and plans. We also discover what they’re thinking about emerging technologies – such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and drones – that are shaping the future of critical communications.

Some of the questions we’ll look to answer for the year ahead include:

  • How do professionals use mobile apps today?
  • What are the most potential use cases for new mobile apps?
  • What are the most important characteristics of mobile apps?
  • What do professionals think of cloud-based applications?
  • What are their expectations regarding AI, IoT, data analytics and/or 5G?

Take a few minutes (less than 10) to share your insights and, when the findings are released in early 2020, you’ll be among the first to see them. Simply subscribe at the end of the survey to receive a report to your mailbox once the results are in.


While waiting for the 2020 survey results, here are some highlights from the 2019 report.

2019 results in a nutshell

1. There is a need for structured apps adoption

Responses to the 2018-2019 survey show that professional users are more than ready for mobile apps to be part of their operations, with many expressing a growing interest in using apps to change the way they operate.

At the same time, data from two most recent surveys show that most users download their apps from generic app stores, with 75% of downloads carried out by individuals in this way in 2018-2019. In other words, the adoption of apps is not being organized and controlled centrally. Instead, people are making their own decisions and downloading apps as and when they can.

This trend of ad hoc downloading urgently needs to be reversed if apps are to bring real value to daily operations. Public safety and other professional organizations are advised to establish processes to enable them to plan, design and implement apps in a similar way to their other communication solutions.

2. The professional apps market is different from the consumer one

The importance of security, reliability, confidentiality and ownership of data is hard to overemphasize to app developers. People’s responses clearly show that security and reliability are more important to them than ease of use, for example.

The top three characteristics of professional apps – security and data confidentiality, reliability and ease of use – have remained constant throughout the history of the survey. Consumer apps are not generally held to the same standards, since consumers as a rule have not thought much about their ownership of data. This clearly sets the market for professional apps market apart from the consumer mass market.

Developers must also consider the special measures needed to ensure that data remains under the sole control of the organizations that generate it. This may not be easy in a world in which many apps routinely share data with big companies and platforms such as Apple, Facebook and Google.

3. Cooperation with users is key

The 2018-2019 survey revealed that professional users increasingly recognize the potential of related technological developments, such as virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. If that trend is continuing, it is possible that users have since begun to make use of apps that take advantage of these new technologies.

For developers, creating innovative and successful apps requires close cooperation with users, who are best placed to see how novel technologies can impact on their daily operations.

To discover insights into professional mobile apps for the year ahead, take the 2020 survey today! 


Your answers will help application developers create future solutions that meet real customer needs.

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