An organization’s website has gradually become the face of its branding. In the current mobile technology boom, it is crucial to integrate the website for mobile use. Mobile is only going to grow from here in terms of technology and hence web and mobile integrations are going to be all what it takes to justify digital investments. The mobile has allowed people to build their own customizable and personalized space. People use mobile devices for variety of reasons from finding jobs, to searching for colleges, to making banking transactions, to locating the nearest ATM.
Web and Mobile Integrations are Saving the Day but What is Making this Integration Possible?
Web services or API is the key to such developments. Let us try to understand how enterprises are making the most through their webservice development:
Coming to the importance of Webservices Development / API development for your Business applications, it is a fact that the largest user base of the Web APIs belongs to the web development space. Yet, end users can also benefit from them. Let’s take a look how:
- Integration : APIs enable the web developer to integrate the applications with advanced functions.
- Interactivity: End users find it easier to interact with the application.
- Creates value for providers: A well coded API can become the brand of a provider.
- Adapts the mobile interface: Lightweight APIs make it possible for faster downloads, upgrades in case of mobile.
- Expandable: APIs that are expandable make it possible for OS upgrades in phones and tables
Different enterprises are using web-mobile integrations in their own customized ways. We need to understand how these integrations are being effective in increasing their visibility as well as their sales. Lets quickly go through the various forms of enterprises and the different integrations they are going through:
These are enterprises which directly face the end user. An integrated app for such enterprises becomes indispensable. This can allow tapping of the festive seasons for more ROI. The integration needs to concentrate on performance of the mobile application. e.g. Facebook after launching a hybrid app got a head start in the initial days of the smartphone market. Once the smartphone market grew out of bounds, Facebook released its native version for iOS and Android and chucked out the previous hybrid app.
This way Facebook didn’t have compromise on its performance and also could go launch themselves before the peak time had arrived. B2C enterprises are making using of these integrations to respond to customer instantly whenever an opportunity knocks. Native versions shall be required when there’s too much traffic. This shall only make the application more scalable and will give the users a better experience.
These enterprises deal with other enterprises. The web-mobile integration will have to be thus used a little differently for the benefit of such enterprises. Usually such enterprises have a range of applications with its own set of functionality designed for its respective partners and stakeholders.
These companies use a mobile framework or API alongside another reference application. This reference sometimes serves to integrate backend processes for big partners to collaborate or also can be used as a mobile application for clients without the basic IT teams or third party vendors.
Technology and product enterprises use these integrations to add value to their old customers. Software product companies get started by enabling the existing customers to write their own mobile applications via APIs. Examples include SAP, Salesforce; among others
What Makes These Integrations Great?
Let’s try to understand by a simple example of how these integrations are actually so useful. Let’s take into consideration the example of recruitments that are now integrated on the mobile. Ultimate Recruiter’s Guide to Mobile for 2015 notes that 3 in 5 job seekers are now using mobile devices for jobs and 51 % of applications submitted on Indeed.com are via mobile. With the use of ATS (Application Tracking System) and the right integration, even recruitment methods will undergo a makeover. Responsive designs have enabled better rankings of mobile friendly pages.
Web mobile integrations have created new scope for customer interaction, retention and means of communication. Enterprises no longer need to depend on a website but have more customizable means to establish relationships with their customers. API development has made these integrations possible. They also are great time savers. Sharing is made possible because of these integrations. Sometimes it has to be agreed that third party webservices meet a sudden death when companies decide to intentionally block, limit or shut down APIs. Take for example: Shutting down Google Health led to an end of all the applications that had its APIs. Nevertheless, integrations have made it possible for more interconnectedness. There is more interlinking and the internet has become more navigable. So let’s quickly outline how the internet has become friendlier.
|The Advantages of Integration
|- Easy navigation
|- Responsive design
|- Convenient sharing
|- Easier to create new apps
|- Renders the modern web possible
Any guesses as to what has been named as the ‘sexiest job of the twenty-first century’? According to the Harvard Business Review, it is the job of a data scientist. Surprised? With the amount of data we are generating coupled with the rapid increase in technology, it is no surprise that we need an expert to make sense of all this data and do much more. A data scientist is soon going to become a basic need for most companies. So what exactly does a data scientist do?
Who is a Data Scientist?
The basic job of a data scientist is to analyse data. He does this himself, but he also builds automated systems that do so. Statistics and machines play a big part in the process. A data scientist needs to needs to be good with numbers, but also needs to have a scientific bent of mind.
The job of a data scientist is required today than ever before. Think of the Internet – think how much data is generated there. The number of YouTube videos uploaded each minute, the number of Facebook posts liked every minute, the number of products bought online every minute; and this does not even cover a tenth of the activity that is conducted on the Internet. This kind of data can give invaluable insight and information to a company, depending on what they are looking for. But how do you look for what you want in such a complicated maze and so much sheer volume? This is what a data scientist does.
Data scientists can also make predictions. These predictions are based on science and statistics, and recent trends. For example, Jonathan Goldman revolutionised the click rate on LinkedIn by introducing the ‘People you may know’ feature. At the time, LinkedIn had just begun recently and the problem was that people were not connecting with the people already on the site, the growth was restricted to people inviting their friends and family. Goldman was intrigued by the different connections on the site and the threads between people. Undoubtedly there were people who knew others in their field of work, but how could you connect them? Based on his instincts and some sound statistical study, he refined and implemented the feature. He further added other ways of guessing and predicting connections, and there was a sudden boom in the interactions between visitors and the click throughs.
Such is the effect proper data analysis can have.
Big data and its increasing importance
Big data simply implies data that is ‘big’ – i.e., too huge to process through traditional methods. The modern data scientist makes sense of big data and with the help of recent trends can help a company develop features that can make it extremely useful and customized to a user or a consumer. He can also give insights about almost any stage of the company’s growth, or the impact of a major change or shift in policy or outlook.
Take any application today – almost all of them involve data. Take the example of any shopping portal. It benefits from knowing what you have been looking for, the kind of products you like and which categories you shop most in. Not only does data analysis make it easier for a company to do what encompasses their regular job in a better manner, but it also allows you the possibility to build new and exciting things which were not possible before. Google is a master at this game. Ever typed a wrong spelling into a Google search and noticed Google correct it automatically? It is not just spelling errors that it corrects, Google has a huge database of contexts and phrases which make the search engine top notch and so effective to use.
Look at Amazon. When you look at a product on the website, they show you products that you may like. This feature correlates the product that you are looking at with the browsing or purchase habits of other consumers who looked at other products after this one, and offers you similar recommendations.
Big data is taking over the Internet, and in a big way.
Why do you need a data scientist?
There will be a point in the future when every business will require a data scientist. As every business and every company is getting involved with the Internet in some way or the other, the demand for data scientists will rise exponentially. As of now, however, you may or may not need a data scientist. The question you have to ask yourself is, am I making a product right now that requires a scientist specifically focusing on the data? You need to figure out whether you use conventional data or big data. A key point to remember is that any business that is associated with the consumer directly will benefit greatly from a data scientist.
The last few years have been a whirlwind period for enterprises, as work cultures ruffled up and finally settled for new ways of doing business with enterprise mobility. It has made businesses realise the potential of mobile devices supplied by them to their employees and how it can create a positive impact on their business in terms of enhanced communication, increased productivity and improved efficiency.
According to a study by Salesforce, 60% of British workers use mobile apps for work-related productivity and around 21% use department-specific enterprise apps. It has also been found that enterprise apps boost employee productivity by 34%!
While enterprise mobility is focused on solving the business needs, normal mobile apps are mostly fun-orientated and specifically focused on the consumers.
Additionally, developing enterprise mobile apps is much more complex and expensive, demands reliable security features to prevent any breaches of confidential business transactions and requires highly-skilled resources.
So, what lies ahead for enterprise mobility? Is it going to evolve more this year? Although half of 2015 is already gone, we can expect to see more improvements in the remaining months.
So let’s see what’s in store.
More Devices for Greater Enterprise Mobility
Forrester states that about 20% of all tablets sold today are used in enterprise mobility. This all started with the Blackberry in 2000 and the pace increased with smartphones in 2007 and again with tablets in 2010.
Besides this, a heterogeneous world of devices is emerging as “internet of things,” connecting all possible devices together.
You need to keep up with the pace of the ever-changing world of digital devices where the success mantra is to provide an outstanding user experience by adopting new technology and engaging the customers through the variety of devices.
This caused a paradigm shift in workplaces with the deployment of enterprise-focused apps being on the rise. According to Forrester, 65% of enterprises view customer engagement as their primary mobile priority.
So, we will certainly witness more devices used by businesses to maximise the usage of enterprise mobility to improve efficiency.
Interactive Apps on Multiple Devices
You have tested the agility and efficiency of enterprise mobility with services delivered in your hands on your smartphones and you do business and personal transactions with a whole range of smart devices, resulting in higher expectations for better services in your terms.
But now you want a consistent experience through resourceful apps on all your communication channels. Isn’t it?
To handle such mounting client anticipation, the IT industry is gearing up to meet the ever growing demands of enterprise and customer mobility.
One way of doing this is by an overhaul of the backend architecture to provide SOA-based apps running on a variety of digital devices. Enterprises are shifting to provide a perfect customer experience on all possible devices through interactive apps that aptly represent their business processes.
Such architectures will need a common code-base for all devices. It’s like a single application wearing various masks for multiple channels of interaction.
Versatile, Scalable and Robust Customer Apps
As this trend is catching up, a need to provide versatile, scalable and robust apps is being felt. These apps can be off the shelf or customisable to handle various user demands. They should be instantly deployable or vertically or horizontally configurable to adapt to your business processes.
The coming years will see a major growth of control systems to integrate the apps with the back-end functioning of the enterprises to give proficient and expert guidance to customers for profitable business deals at both ends.
Another new mobility trend is shaping up in enterprises is “bring your own device” (BYOD). Organisations have visualised huge savings by using smart devices brought by employees to their workplace. Internal business processes are now mobile-enabled through apps for employees in manufacturing, human resources, sales and marketing, and many more.
According to Forrester, by the end of 2015, 60% of the enterprises will employ higher investments in their IT departments in mobile apps. The fast invasion of smartphones, encouraged by low-cost Android phones, is driving the rapid growth of app development and downloads.
Providing Good Customer Experience
Enterprise apps are bridging the gaps between designers and IT professionals. Designers are being encouraged to create appealing designs to provide a unique experience to the customers. This collaboration of designers with IT professionals and the adoption of development standards across organisations will help create apps which give an excellent and beneficial customer experience.
This will allow experts and professionals to present the business and its processes to customers. To hit the bull’s eye, a single interconnected technology stack is needed to cater to all the development needs, such as device management, design, development and testing processes for multi-channel applications.
As per Forrester, 226 billion apps will be downloaded in 2015 and this number will grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2%. By the end of 2017, 45% of the cloud services will be SaaS based. The world of mobility is being redefined and so are the enterprise processes. So with bigwigs forecasting a bright future for mobility, enterprises would not want to miss this opportunity.
“The global market for enterprise mobility is expected to grow from $72 billion to $284 billion by 2019, nearly quadrupling in size,” said the president of Products and Marketing of Kony Inc.
Enterprises are growing with mobility by redefining, reshaping, refining and refreshing their internal as well as external business communications and collaborations.
Apps for communication, office productivity, sales force automation, human resources, supply chain logistics, mobile commerce and customers are opening a new avenue of enterprise mobile applications for any imaginable and conceivable business process.
So we can expect to witness much more advancements in this space in the coming years.
What’s your view about enterprise apps? Have you implemented it yet? Do you have any points to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!
While browsing through a website with an extremely easy user interface (UI), our mind inadvertently goes back to the times when just loading a web page was an enduring task.
Moving from the mouse-driven computers to smartphones and tablets, web pages have adapted themselves seamlessly over the years.
The year 2015 and beyond will witness some benchmark transformations in front-end technologies. Internet users will traverse this wave of change, enjoying speedier and more appealing web pages.
Moving along this technological wave, we are hooked on providing the best web solutions today. Based on our expertise, here is an in-depth view of the current and future trends in front-end development.
The User’s Perspective
Front-end development is the face of the application. As users, we want web pages to be friendly and appealing.
Here are some aspects of front-end technologies which users are most interested in:
- Compatibility: The ability to adapt to different internet browsers.
- Usability: This attribute signifies the easy-to-use aspect of the website.
- Complexity: This specifies the back-end of the web application, which controls the speed and security of the data.
Whatever the style and time may be, engaging these aspects remains unchanged.
Recent Trends in Web Development
Web technologies have taken a major leap with the changing requirements. The applications that go well on a laptop screen are now also compatible with mobile phones.
There are some important parameters that have implemented these changes, so let’s take a look of these:
Responsive Web Design
For any website, the response of users is the most imperative factor. A responsive web design (RWD) allows users to browse the website from any appliance, including mobile phones and tablets. The most recent and famous RWD frameworks are Twitter Bootstrap and Zurb.
The above figure shows the compatibility of a webpage towards a screen of any size. Some features of RWD are that it:
- Makes websites compatible with web and mobile; and
- Minimises user efforts, such as updating data.
Hence, a web application with the best RWD is required to streamline the user’s interactions.
The architecture of a web application is currently being controlled by the mobile-first strategy. It’s an obvious move, as we all have turned into frequent mobile users. The most recent is the Representational State Transfer (RESTful) architecture for server-side coding.
Note: The RESTful architecture style provides a uniform interface. Properties such as performance, scalability and modifiability to work on the web are induced in the application.
Image credits: www.smartinsights.com
The bar diagram above shows the growth of smartphone users till 2018 and shows that meeting the demand of the use of adaptable architecture is important.
Features of mobile-first architecture are that it:
- Supports mobile platform and enterprise integration;
- Streamlines end-to-end procurement for the organisations; and
- Streamlines web development.
Rise of API Driven Development
It is difficult to find someone who cannot operate a smartphone since the “touch factor” has made this possible. The Application Program Interface (API) is, therefore, the strength of these devices. The architectural design, especially RESTful architecture, has an important role to play.
Features of API-driven development, especially RESTful, are that:
- It is compatible with both mobile and web applications;
- Its server side is restricted to data and security only;
- It is compatible with operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows and TV; and
- It is adaptable to the changing technological landscape.
Mobile Back-End as a Service
Mobile Back-End as a Service (MBaaS) is the cloud technology facet of front-end technologies. The back-end services for Parse and Azure Mobile Services have already adapted MBaaS.
Image credits www.appspanel.com
The figure above explains how MBaaS can enhance the shaping of the enterprise.
Some of the strongest features in favour of MBaaS are that:
- These platforms provide automatic Restful services;
- It supports mobility-specific back-end services; and
Hence, MBaaS will take over the pages for mobile as well as the web. It can induce a dramatic growth in front-end technologies.
Single Page Application
A Single Page Application (SPA) loads a single page and dynamically updates the page as per the user’s interaction. With the RESTful services, the web pages on our desktop act like the UI of the web browser. The server side is, therefore, limited to data and security.
Some of the strong features of SPA are that it is:
- Powered with hybrid mobile containers for multiple mobile platforms;
- Best for small-sized to medium-sized mobile apps;
- Recommended for UIs based on data forms; and
- Single code base for both web apps and mobile apps.
ReactJS Front-End Frameworks
Some important features of ReactJS are that it:
- Can work as a face of the Model View Controller (MVC) framework;
- Introduced the concept of virtual DOM;
- Has a high performance while rendering the UI; and
- Provides data flow in a single direction when used with FLUX architecture.
The six aspects mentioned above are an integral part of today’s web development.
With our years of experience and expertise in the field, we have comprehensively ventured into every aspect.
Predictions for 2015 and Beyond
Though the recent revolution in web technology is astounding, the next era will bring about a massive vertical leap.
Currently, the technologies that rule the brains of web developers are facing challenges with the changing requirements and landscapes.
- Dynamic languages will gradually come to an end;
- Technologies like Node.JS can become obsolete for maintainability reasons;
- The emergence of GO technology will occupy all the work done on Node.JS; and
- Java and .Net will survive the medium-sized and larger enterprise apps.
The GO Technology Era
GO (i.e. golang) is a static, open source programming language that supports building simple and efficient software solutions.
Developed by Google, GO is predicted to be the next generation language. GO has already been implemented in systems like Docker, Packer:IO and websocketed. Some reasons that stand strong in favour of GO are that:
- It is static with the flexibility of dynamic languages;
- There are no JIT compilation needed and, hence, concurrency is its strength;
- It is the most recommended for building an HTTP server using RESTful services;
- It is flexible for use in system programming and large distributed apps; and
- It will be known as the language of the cloud era.
Ace the Race with the Masters
Trends are dynamic and so are the technologies associated with them. The introduction of cloud and platform independent technologies has brought new languages to instruct digital devices.
RESTful services have taken over control and static languages, such as GO, are immersed as languages for cloud technologies. To ace this race of huge turnover, associating with the best maven would be the first and most important step.
So what’s your prediction about front-end development? Please share your comments below and thanks for reading!
By the end of 2015, the U.K IT and Services market is expected to be worth £43 billion. SaaS model will play a pivotal role in this mammoth growth
Traditional on-premise applications are passé. We have been in the industry for quite a few years and never before has the gap between SaaS and other software delivery models been so wide. Companies that are looking to increase security and drive in productivity aiming to get access to enterprise grade applications.
From helping employees collaborate better with the help of Cloud to coming out with applications to interact with customers, these apps can help increase efficiency and better sales targets.
Having delivered many SaaS and B2B apps in the recent past ourselves, we know that it’s an exciting world out there.
Predicting the trends
So, what does 2015 have in store for us? Going by the current trends, we will see a lot more of Software-as-a-Service this year. Some of the major trends are visible.
For instance, since last year there is a growing demand for vertical SaaS, or solutions to particular industries that mainly include healthcare and financial services. This goes against the traditional norm of growth of horizontal SaaS that were mainly solutions used by sales and HR.
The ACG report corroborates this. The report also states how SaaS models are targeting individual users to form enterprise-wide deals. Here is what happens – SaaS vendors woo in a few employees with what they offer. This in turn leads to potential enterprise deals as employees understand how productivity is affected. The tactic, similar to the freemium model, will see a significant rise this year.
Gartner on its part states that cloud-integration would be a $1.5 billion business soon. SaaS, a type of cloud integration is among them. What works for SaaS is that there are too many avenues still left to be explored. This means that these vendors will be up trying up new tricks up their sleeves, from offering free SaaS to a plethora of on-demand services catered to the audience needs, innovations will be many. SaaS services will be made to focus on specific geographic regions also, to address specific needs of a company. A company in the U.K. can do with a SaaS system that takes into account the U.K. tax structure. You can use the services of a good SaaS app/product development team to design your own SaaS software as well.
There is an increasing need to have these services on mobile devices and that’s what exactly will be happening, with more vendors keen to bring their services to tablets and mobiles. A good app/product team of developers can help you develop your own application that’s available in major app stores too.
The Different Benefits
Most of us have used SalesForce. SalesForce is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and one of the more popular applications out there. SaaS adoption has slowly been picking up, and companies are exploring new avenues to tap into it. Here is why.
Many of these solutions are available on a subscription basis, meaning that you do not have to worry about huge deployment costs. You already have a working API, and do not have to think about creating a website from scratch. You can implement enterprise grade applications as well, that are unique to your organization. There are no costs involved when it comes to installing and maintaining a sales app.
Reduced time to build
The solutions can be built easily and are tailored to suit your organizations’ needs. You can build a site to interact with parents if you’re running a school. You can build a SaaS app to help people book cabs. You can even build apps that can help share thoughts anonymously by users. The possibilities are endless.
Subscription based model
Most SaaS vendors like SalesForce offer a subscription-based model, where you use their services for a particular amount of time. This helps you only to use the services when you need it and adopt newer business strategies quickly, when needed. It doesn’t matter if you create your own SaaS application. Just ensure that you’ve a good SaaS app/product team of developers to help you with issues related to uptime and security and upgrades.
Easy integration and high scalability
Where Software-as-a-Service scores is its easy integration with your company’s systems. Whether it be putting up the company logo or integrating the SaaS software with company systems and company data. Vendors offer API’s that can integrate easily with your company ERP or CRM and even with other providers.
Work on the go
This is perhaps the biggest advantage when it comes to working with a SaaS solution – your employees aren’t restrained by premises and can work when they want, where they want. Is there any urgent project coming up? You can just log the details into the system. Is there a client’s feedback that you need your colleague to check? You can just put it into the system.
If it’s cost effectiveness services that you’re looking for to leverage in business productivity, 2015 can be a great year. Hire a SaaS app development team who can ensure a smooth transition to the SaaS system, without the hiccups.
It is no secret that the online space is competitive and changes quickly. With customers in nearly three dozen different countries, nobody knows that better than our talented team of web designers.
Whether your focus is on UX or UI, the end goal of designing any online platform is to attract more users, keep those users on your platform longer, and motivate them to take meaningful action.
If you want to remain competitive, have a look at this list of 10 of the biggest web design trends you can expect to see in 2015.
1. Large Background Images
Full-width background images and videos have emerged recently, and their popularity does not show any signs of slowing. Paired with large, bold, and rich typography and parallax effects, these background images create a visually impressive experience.
2. Responsive Designs
Responsive design most certainly is not a new trend. In fact, designing websites to load beautifully on devices of every size has been happening for several years now.
What you can expect to see are new iterations of responsive designs, with a mobile-first approach to all web layouts. It is important for branding purposes for any web-based platform to provide a consistent experience regardless of device type.
3. Vibrant Colors
Colors that make a bold, vibrant and often unexpected statement are rising in popularity. This is especially true when contrasted against muted background colors.
This type of bright color usage is very effective when combined with significant transitions, animations, and large typography.
4. SVG Elements
Scalable vector graphics, often shorted to SVG, allow images to look sharp on any screen size. They can be easily animated and go a long way to reducing overall load time.
The prevalence of SVG usage will rise heavily in 2015.
5. Interactive Elements
Studies repeatedly show that users who enjoy an engaging and interactive online experience are more likely to emotionally identify with a brand.
Most importantly, users who are able to create a memorable experience online tend to spend a longer time on your website.
You can expect to see an increased level of interactivity between users and websites this year.
6. Large Typography
We have already alluded to this point, but the trend continues that large and bold fonts are being favored in all areas of web design – not just when used as headlines.
This means the emphasis is now on saying more with less, and improved readability.
7. Ghost Buttons
In case you are not familiar, a ghost button is similar to a standard button on a website – except it is completely transparent. Ghost buttons are often implemented with hover animations, and look excellent when contrasted against a full-width background image.
Although this could be considered a fairly small trend, the use of ghost buttons is increasing and we will definitely see more of them in 2015.
8. Plenty of Scrolling
Largely due to the prevalence of mobile web browsing, scrolling will be favored this year over clicking. This is the main reason that one-page web designs were first introduced. In most cases, users would prefer to scroll the length of one longer page than navigate to multiple different pages.
Another scrolling trend will be the use of horizontal scrolling functionality. This allows all the website content to appear above the fold in a slideshow format instead of navigating to additional pages.
Both executed as mixture of branding and user engagement, storytelling is now a prominent aspect of many popular web designs.
Storytelling focuses on a minimalist web design, such that each carefully placed element serves a purpose in directing the user to what he or she should be doing next.
10. Remove Distractions
As touched upon in the previous point, minimalist web designs are favored over cluttered content with multiple calls to action – aka distractions.
Everything that is non-essential will be removed in 2015.
This may include removing large headers, unnecessary navigational menus, multiple images, sidebars, and more. In most cases, it also means sticking to a fairly simple color scheme.
While this list certainly represents some significant trends to keep an eye on, it is not exhaustive.
The online world changes every day, and we want to hear your input.
Did we miss a web design trend you think is worth noting?
Let us know with a comment below.