Many of our clients ask how they can best keep up with technology trends — and, more importantly, take advantage of the simplified, feature-rich services that are now more accessible.
In our experience, most small- to medium-sized organizations can benefit greatly from updating their enterprise solutions in the following four areas:
1. Move to Enterprise Mobile Apps
Kopis clients are increasingly engaging with their customers on mobile. As the years pass, the age range where people are tightly coupled to their mobile devices is growing. Consumers are increasingly dependent on mobile capabilities. If they can’t easily conduct business on their phone, they will try another company. An added benefit is companies can use push notifications to communicate directly with customers.
Mobile applications also greatly benefit companies internally, especially those with remote workforces. Mobile capabilities increase efficiency and productivity, even in simple ways such as helping employees organize their workflow each morning or provide progress updates in real-time. Making old-fashioned data entry more mobile-friendly means that enterprises can get their data much faster, which not only helps them invoice promptly but also creates a better customer experience.
One interesting facet of the move to mobile that benefits both consumer-facing and internal applications is the ever-increasing simplification of the user experience. We’re seeing companies who have complex applications or websites choose one or two core areas that are well-suited to a remote workforce or remote customer. This simplification, in turn, encourages companies to rethink their value propositions and focus on the 20% of their business that creates 80% of the results.
2. Move to Cloud-Based Infrastructure
The cloud is an incredibly hot topic in Information Technology as big companies have become big-time players in driving down costs and making cloud-based services more available for everyone. The numerous benefits of moving to the cloud include:
- Reduced Maintenance and Overhead Costs. Buying and maintaining on-premise servers is an expensive endeavor that is eliminated when switching to an environment that maintains everything for you.
- A Shift from Capital Expenses to Operating Costs. Cloud services become a monthly expense that companies can budget for rather than a huge, upfront cost.
- Agility to Scale Up and Down as Needed. Companies only pay for what they use and can scale up and back down quickly to meet demand. No need to maintain servers that can handle your peak times year-round.
- Microservices and Simplified Coding. Cloud services are building in a lot of microservices that make it faster to build and roll out what you need. Code can be deployed as a function in the cloud rather than writing everything from scratch.
Cloud services are making it easier than ever to use their applications and get to market, which frees small- to medium-sized businesses to try new things and fail or succeed faster.
3. Build New Apps in Modern Languages, Frameworks and Coding Standards
With the emergence of a user base accustomed to a mobile-type experience that’s simplified and quick, we’re seeing a trend toward desktop and fully-featured applications moving to the same clean, modern feel. Organizations often achieve this by taking their legacy applications and reskinning them to look more modern. But just as often they’re completely redoing them and even converting the backend to deliver a simplified experience.
In addition, there has been a boom of new development talent who lean toward more modern languages. Companies that don’t adapt to more modern tech sooner rather than later are going to have a difficult time finding people willing to work in an early 2000s language and may not have enough staff to support their applications.
Another benefit of converting is that modern languages and frameworks have evolved to become more fully featured and simplified at the same time. With common task libraries and common coding algorithms, most services are simple enough that junior developers can create and test something as complex as a machine learning or AI project. This means any company can reach a level of depth and feature enrichment that wasn’t possible 10 years ago.
4. Enhance Your Security
Technology security is going to be a primary area of focus for the foreseeable future. Data breaches and hacking issues have become highly visible, which has made many companies look harder at internal security measures. Consumer data continues to be an overall driving force in business, and it’s become easier to collect and mine for insights into consumer behavior. This is great for businesses, because they can more easily see how and why people are buying their products and respond by creating a better customer experience. However, with this privilege comes the responsibility to protect customer data.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to prevent and detect security breaches—from putting additional protective layers in place, such as multi-factor authentication, to using machine algorithms to detect suspicious behavior. Cloud services in particular include a lot of baked-in security measures and compliant infrastructures that are simple to deploy.
There are many ways your company can innovate and evolve—but most of the technology changes that have the biggest impact fit into one of these four categories.
By taking these steps, companies ensure that they are making the most of what modern development has to offer.
Note: Kopis is a Gold Medal Affinity Partner of the South Carolina Association of CPAs.