August 29th, 2018
You’d be hard-pressed to find an organisation today that hasn’t considered, planned or implemented a digital transformation of some kind. Research shows that 85 percent of enterprise decision makers believe they have just two years to implement digital initiatives before their companies fall behind their competitors. The same number plan to allocate up to a quarter of their total budget to digital transformation this year.
Whether it’s upgrading employee devices and technologies, automating business processes or shifting IT to the cloud, companies have no choice but to work more efficiently and cost-effectively.
There’s one significant – but less widely talked about – shift that companies can make to significantly improve user experience, business agility and cost-effectiveness: Moving to modern apps.
In a nutshell, modern apps are newer versions of legacy applications that are purpose-built for the digital age. The hallmark characteristics of modern apps are:
Whether employees are working from a desktop PC, smartphone or laptop, users can expect to have a relatively consistent experience. If you use Outlook as part of Office 365, you’ll be familiar with this concept – accessing work emails is a similar experience regardless of what device you use, or whether you’re checking in at home or on the train.
Modern apps work across platforms including Windows, Android, iOS, HTML5 and more. Unlike older applications, these apps are not locked to an operating system, platform or network. Using a Windows computer at work and a MacBook at home doesn’t have the same limitations as in the past.
Modern apps support keyboards, mouses and touch screens equally well.
Modern apps can support and integrate with existing enterprise systems, whether they are hosted on cloud-based or local infrastructure.
Modern apps require some significant upfront effort to design and develop. They generally require high involvement from user experience (UX) design experts to ensure apps are suited to users’ needs. Deep integration with existing legacy systems is often also required.
Modern apps have obvious benefits in terms of offering a better user experience that translates across devices – but this is far from being the only reason to take the leap. Modern apps are also key for enabling organisations to successfully undertake (and complete) digital transformation initiatives with speed and precision. Here’s how:
Put simply, the use of modern apps increases the range of existing legacy systems that can be accessed on other devices.
Shifting to modern apps can generate substantial cost savings in the IT budget as they allow for expanding and contracting of activity without having to manage capacity planning
This flexibility makes them easier to upgrade and customise in response to user and customer needs. In the era of personalisation, there are substantial rewards for those organisations that can be most responsive to the changing needs and preferences of their customers
Modern apps are highly conducive to short and rapid testing cycles. As your team comes up with new ideas for business processes or approaches, modern apps make it easy to test, iterate, improve on and launch the required functionality.
In addition, modern apps allow organisations to leverage microservices, serverless architecture and containers so that products can exist as independent components, rather than as parts of a complex and interdependent whole. This enables rapid development and evolution of ideas.
With 17+ years of Australian and international experience, Aaron is a seasoned digital executive, leader, and strategist. Known for his positive attitude, generosity, and sense of humour.