Here’s a pop quiz for you: Which of the following is an example of application software?
A. Adobe Photoshop
B. Google Chrome
D. All of the above
If you answered "D," you'd be right! It just goes to show how versatile modern application software can be. Application software helps your business manage and complete tasks more efficiently. Some are used to create and organize files, while others streamline everyday processes and facilitate team communication and collaboration.
In this article, you’ll learn:
Application software performs specific tasks for personal, educational, or business use. Application software assists users in carrying out a wide range of tasks to either increase productivity, enhance creativity, or facilitate cross-team communication.
Application software allows businesses to run most business-related and personal-related tasks on their computing devices. How? The basic structure of all software applications is the same: they tell your computer what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. As mentioned above, some of the most well-known examples of application software include Microsoft Word, Firefox, and WhatsApp.
An app is a piece of software that performs one function. It's typically associated with mobile devices and is mainly utilized for personal use or entertainment. In contrast, application software performs functions vital to business operations. Typically, they can be used on mobile and desktop devices for personal and professional purposes.
On-premises, or on-prem application software is installed at the company's physical location. The company's IT department maintains the software and oversees routine support and maintenance. Popular examples of on-prem solutions are Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Suite.
Over the years, however, many companies have switched to cloud-based applications because of their cost-effectiveness and accessibility. In addition, many software providers are discontinuing on-prem software updates in favor of a hosted-only model.
Hosted application software, or Software As A Service (SaaS), is owned, distributed, monitored, and managed via cloud storage by a company separate from the purchasing organization. Many enterprises license these programs simultaneously, and organizations pay per user or via a subscription.
One of the main draws of using SaaS applications is that the scaling of data is handled not by the purchasing company but by the application software provider. As data usage increases, the cloud infrastructure allows for scaling up without negatively impacting application speed or performance.
Application software helps users perform specific tasks.
An application platform is a platform that allows application software to function and run. Application platforms typically comprise of an operating systems, execution services, data services, cloud services, and development tools.
Application software is an umbrella term for a program meant to execute various functions. The functions can vary depending on the needs of the users.
Business application software provides a wide range of functionality for optimizing team productivity, supporting cross-collaboration and team communication, and maximizing business growth.
The following are some essential functions of business application software:
Your business can benefit from application software in many ways. Among these perks are:
Many people use the same application software, so if you encounter a snag or technical difficulties, you can get help through the application's customer support chat, phone it in, or post your issue to the application's user forums.
Weak or nonexistent internal security measures can pose a threat to your business. Hackers can infiltrate your systems and introduce malware, putting company and employee information at risk of being exposed.
A reputable business application software can offer built-in layers of security to your day-to-day business operations. You can, for example, add safeguards like password protection, two-factor authentication systems, and more.
As an additional measure, you can impose a zero-trust policy restricting access to sensitive information to only those within your company who need it.
The use of application software allows your business to complete critical tasks with more speed and efficiency, resulting in increased productivity. For example, Grammarly detects typos and makes grammar and spell-checking within most word-processing applications a breeze.
Most application software allows users to securely store and access files with cloud storage. In other words, if your computer gets hacked or you accidentally delete a file, you can still access those files through the application's cloud storage.
Additionally, if you make any changes to your data, those changes will reflect on every device synced with the storage service. The cloud storage service does all the heavy lifting, so no technical skills are required on your end.
Here are some of the most common business application software categories:
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an application software that manages an organization's core operations and other business processes. ERPs can streamline time-consuming business processes like accounting, project management, order processing, compliance, data analysis, and supply chain management. Oracle NetSuite, Odoo, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are examples of ERP software.
Customer relationship management (CRM) application software provides a seamless experience bridging the gap between a company and its existing clients and prospects. A CRM collects, analyzes, and interprets customer data in various ways for a company's sales, marketing and operations team to utilize. Salesforce, Zoho CRM, and HubSpot are examples of CRM software.
Business Process Management (BPM) software map out a company's everyday processes to pinpoint and remove bottlenecks, manage expenses, optimize day-to-day operations, and maximize employee effectiveness. While ERPs excel in automating and streamlining existing processes, BPMs provide tools to address a company's future requirements. Kissflow, Zoho Creator, and Processmaker are examples of BPM software.
Time management application software makes it easier for a company's workforce to stay productive by helping them keep track of time spent on projects. Harvest, Everhour, and DeskTime are examples of time management application software.
Project management application software simplifies company resource allocation, scheduling, and project planning. These applications facilitate the flow of information and collaboration among project members. Additionally, it allows users to track project resources, budgets, and generate reports. Asana, Basecamp, and Trello are examples of project management application software.
Inventory management application software tracks your product inventory quantity and where it is. Most warehouse operations require inventory tracking software to keep tabs on where products are located, where they came from, and where they are supposed to go. ShipDudes, inFlow, and Orderhive are examples of inventory management application software.
ShipDudes is a third-party logistics company that warehouses and ships products for next-generation e-commerce brands. ShipDudes inventory management application software offers users a custom dashboard that displays their inventory levels for both products and components used for each product. Humble brag moment: ShipDudes used Blaze's no-code web app builder to create its user-friendly inventory management system. Learn how they did it here.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers ERP options geared toward a variety of business needs. The software uses AI to provide insight into optimizing business operations and nurture authentic customer relationships. Their application also integrates seamlessly with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is a big advantage for businesses that are already familiar with the tool, so they don't have to implement a separate ERP service.
HubSpot is the leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform for scaling product and service-based businesses. Hubspot's CRM platform includes marketing, sales, and service automation tools that help companies to attract website visitors, gain a deeper insight into their prospects, and nurture customers through their sales funnel. It does this through a unified codebase and intuitive UX to make interacting with its application smooth and seamless.
Harvest is a cloud-based time-tracking software made for businesses of all sizes. It combines timekeeping and invoicing features so users can be paid based on the tracked time entries without having to export data to another invoicing software. Harvest's intuitive interface works across all desktop and mobile operating systems.
Basecamp is a cloud-based project management application software to help companies, teams, and individuals organize tasks, locate relevant project information, and get real-time project progress updates. Collaboration is the main draw with Basecamp, with dedicated tools built in for project planning, sharing files, or team brainstorming sessions. The application can also be integrated with other products for enhanced reporting, analysis, and time tracking.
Forecast is a full-suite project and resource management software for businesses that offer professional services. AI technology helps in resource planning and fine-tuning operational processes to help predict the success and profitability of projects. The method of allocating and assigning projects is simplified with an application like Forecast.
The right application software will help you enhance your company's productivity and efficiency. As the need for customized solutions and integrated business solutions grow with time, business application software will also continue to evolve.
There's no shortage of application software to satisfy most of your business needs, but if you're looking for a more customized solution to meet your requirements, why not build your own application?
Blaze’s no-code application builder empowers organizations to create simple web applications, forms, workflows, and dashboards to supercharge their organizational processes and brand growth in minutes. Discover how to accelerate your company's growth today with Blaze!