Is your company thinking long-term when it comes to Software and iOS App Development?

Early Internet

Obviously we can’t see into the future to see where innvoation and technology is going to take us or our businesses.  Think back to the early days of the internet…from the early signs back in the 1950’s to the creation of the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) which was standardized, and consequently, the concept of a world-wide network of interconnected TCP/IP networks, called the Internet, was introduced in 1982.  Talk about forward thinking and getting ahead of the curve.  As with almost anything, early adopters gets the worm.  Prodigy and Gateway computers notwithstanding.  Watch the video below from 1981 where a newscast discusses the possibility of putting newspapers in electronic form:

Obviously staying on top of trends and emulating the successful trends is a good way to stay in touch in today’s ever-changing tech world and find success where others have labored.  Equally as important is getting ahead of the trends and having people and businesses follow your lead.  No one person in any business can do this consistently on their own as in-house collaboration and lot’s of idea people can put their heads together to come up with something significant.  Or you can simply hire a software development company to come up with their own receommendations.  At InspireSmart, we do a combination of both when it comes to developing customized software products.  We generally help fill a need or create a solution to a problem.  For instance, to combat the high cost, fraudulent charges, and lack of auditing procedures we created a travel and expense app which has already saved several companies over $1 million annually.  It was spawned from an idea, and we used that idea to create a solution.  Sometimes a good place to start when trying to decide if a custom software solution is right, is to decide where issues lie, or if you have area that is losing cash.  If you’re still having trouble with new ideas, here are some of our favorite trends for 2014 in terms of custom software development:

HTML5 Growth (Courtesy Venture Beat)

It’s been around in the consumer space for quite some time, but businesses have started to truly understand the advantages (and limitations) of HTML5 in the enterprise. Now that every CIO/CMO/CXO has been clued into the value of native mobile applications for their respective workforces, we’re seeing a progression once again toward the ‘write once, play everywhere’ concept, ironically enough. What Java promised in the mid-1990s, HTML5 may actually be able to deliver to businesses making new IT investments. Browser acceptance of new standards such as offline file storage, drag and drop, advanced drawing tools, and multi-media playback without plugin support augment what it means to be a website.

Business Gamification (Courtesy Venture Beat)

Gamification is a hot topic for multiple reasons. Marketers love it because it can create stickier customers, or keeping them on their websites for longer periods of time. Consumers love it because there are very real rewards that can be gained by getting on leaderboards. But now, corporate managers are getting into the concept because it’s beginning to look like a Trojan horse into decreasing the universal hate for performance evaluations.  Creating metrics to judge employee efficiency and overall contribution to company growth is a hallmark of big business — and applications that plug into large ERPs or business operations systems are ripe for gamification to overthrow normal evaluation methods.

Mobile POS Software (Courtesy iConnectPOS)

There is a shift happening surrounding the point of sale. Operators are casting off the shackles of static POS terminals due mainly to an ever-increasing demand from mobiledevice-minded customers who want things when and how they desire.  This year’s results overwhelmingly indicate that restaurant operators retailers, and suppliers alike are focusing on mobile POS strategies, and are looking to add everything from mobile payment to tablet-based ordering to their repertoires.  Although it doesn’t always have to be a customized solution as many mobile point of sale software providers have great Out-of-the-box solutions such as

Cloud & Mobile ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) (Courtesy of  ERP Software Blog)

With executives satisfied that they can get a return on investment for low-level apps in the cloud, 2014 is going to be the year when enterprise mission-critical apps will take charge including ERP. The cloud has been advancing steadily into the enterprise for some time and those companies that were once reluctant to move to the cloud have gradually been shifting as the advantages of it are becoming more and more apparent. According to a recent report called “ERP – The Cuckoo in the Cloud Land”, more businesses are moving to the cloud for a number of reasons including lower cost of ownership, increased agility, improved productivity and less dependence on internal IT staff. The report also states that 2014 will be the year of the ERP cloud.
Mobility continues to be a big trend as everyone wants real-time access regardless of where they are. Gone are the days of accessing ERP systems from a single computer – now employees use phones and tablets just as much if not more. ERP vendors are providing secure ways for employees to access business information and decision-making tools no matter where they are. In 2014 we see that more and more businesses will quickly embrace mobile ERP, not just for reports and dashboards, but for conducting key business activities.

Of course trends are never set in stone, as some stick and some fizzle.  But these are a few of the trends we believe will stick in 2014.  Other trends like Web Design will also be emerging, but more the individual elements of web design like fonts, visual content, and simpler content and design methods.  If you and your company are struggling to find ways to become more efficient, add value to your customers and employees, or just need a refresh, do not hesitate to contact our amazing team of custom developers and consultants to find a solution for you and your business.  We offer a free consultation and continued support through the whole process.  We have a wide and varied list of SMBs and Fortune 500 companies we are proud to call our customers.

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