A Low Risk, High ROI Way to Deploy Mobile Applications

The demand for mobile solutions has grown quickly over the past few years as devices have improved, and network costs have decreased.  As a result, local governments and utilities – large and small – are systematically adopting mobile technology.

In many large organizations, the initial mobile deployments are associated with enterprise solutions that offer a proprietary mobile interface.

Smaller organizations have the same needs but often do not have the IT infrastructure or the technical skills to develop, deploy, and effectively utilize the data collected from mobile applications. These organizations need a low risk, high ROI option to evaluate and economically deploy mobile technology.

Mobile Solution Architecture Requirements

The requirements of a mobile solution architecture can be summarized as:

  1. Support for Apple, Android and Windows devices
  2. A wide selection of pre-built applications that users can select from and modify
  3. A user interface that permits non-programmers to easily create/modify applications
  4. A secure, hosted architecture to reduce the investment in hardware and software
  5. A monthly fee, no contract business model
  6. Automatic creation of a PDF file displaying captured data including:
    1. Text and numeric data
    2. Computed fields
    3. Photo graphs
    4. GPS data as either coordinates or as map in the PDF
    5. Bar codes
    6. Signatures
  7. Automatic creation of Excel and/or XML files that can be consolidated by date range
  8. Web Services and an API to allow direct integration with existing systems including the corporate GIS

Subject Matter Expertise is essential

Providing an effective architecture is necessary but is not sufficient.  Applications must be developed by those with:

  • A deep understanding of the subject matter (ie signs, sewer systems, construction etc)
  • Knowledge of the end user’s needs and working environment
  • Experience with how an organization may use the captured data in the short and long term

Mobile applications, developed by users with specific subject matter expertise will closely match the needs of most organizations.  Providing the ability to configure the application allows users to fine tune the application to their specific needs.

A Free Mobile Application Store

As cloud based services expand, a number of companies are offering hosted mobile applications.  Of these, Canvas is unique in that it offers free mobile applications to its users.  Users only pay for a monthly fee as low as $15.

With over 13,000 applications available, it is certainly worth taking a look.  ChasmTech has partnered with Canvas to develop and share mobile applications focused on the needs of local governments and utilities.

Check out ChasmTech’s Canvas Store and try as many applications as you like free for 30 days.


About Lance Maidlow

A professional engineer and solution architect with direct experience in a wide range of industries including GIS, water, sewer, power, transportation and oil and gas. Currently focusing on the optimization of design software and field data collection for utilities, local governments and their supporting organizations.
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