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The growing ease of application development has empowered users, enabling them to create software that once required significant time and expense. More users are turning to cloud-based platforms to become developers, building their own business apps to support a growing range of business processes. Often, these apps are considered "disposable," meaning they're built for a specific process need and then tossed out, never to be used again.
What might seem like a waste of money is the byproduct of added efficiency in the workplace. So-called "disposable apps" are showing up across industries and at companies of all shapes and sizes. Even large-scale Fortune 100 companies like Kimberly-Clark and Wells Fargo have embraced the agility and hyper focus of disposable apps. These global companies can maintain the responsiveness and workflow efficiency of startups by building and running faster business applications -- even for core and mission-critical processes -- with minimal need for IT support or oversight.
We recently had a manufacturing client that wanted to involve its customers in reviewing the features of a new product it was launching. Instead of sending emails and asking for feedback -- a typical but often inefficient effort -- the company developed an app where customers could take pictures of the product with their phone to point out problems and provide feedback on features and product functionality. In just 10 days, they had about 1,000 people take part and were able to gain new insights into product features that needed changing. By making the changes deemed necessary by their customers, they ended up delivering a better, more useful product. At that point, the app was no longer needed and shelved. But after only 10 days it had done the job and its brief lifespan was more than justified by the speed and ease with which it was built.