Mobile applications are key for Industry 4.0 and users are particularly keen on solutions for tablets (Photo: Fraunhofer IGD)

Mobile computing is becoming ever more important in manufacturing, but many so-called "Industry 4.0" apps aren't meeting the needs of their users. That's one of the conclusions from a study conducted by management consultants Bestgroup and Leuphana University in Lueneburg, Germany.

The study polled both users and developers and found that their priorities differed. Users in first instance wanted tablet solutions, while app developers were focused on smartphones.

"App developers are focused too much on mobile phones," said Frederik Barth, who co-authored the study. And he added that development is concentrated too much on the needs of bigger corporations, while smaller companies with fewer employees also have big mobile requirements.

The study found that users of mobile apps want them to help achieve more efficiency, better connectivity, higher flexibility and  increased productivity. Said Tristan Cors, another study author: "Users want standardized apps or apps that can be easily adapted."

Users also see as a priority that solutions are secure. Bestgroup Managing Director Torsten Becker said users are "extremely concerned" that their data fall into the wrong hands.