Improve your business with Internet of Things (IoT)

Improve your business with Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT evolution

The past two decades saw a tremendous change the way we interact with each other and our devices through the internet. The Internet of Things (IoT) technology is going through a similar revolution at a much faster pace.
The number of intelligent systems and embedded devices will reach 25 billion by 2020. The global IoT market is expected to reach more than $4 trillion in the next 10 years.
This enormous growth was guided by a wide range of developments across other technologies. Apart from this, cheap computing power and data storage along with wide-bandwidth and mobility helped exploring the endless possibilities of applications.
The outcome of the recent IoT evolution is that every company regardless of industry, needs to consider applying IoT technologies. From efficiency improvement to cost avoidance there are many models how the IoT can be harnessed. Further to cost savings a properly set up IoT strategy can attract and engage new customers.

Internet of Things illustration

A typical IoT solution allows hardware to collect and exchange data while sensing, sharing and controlling can be done remotely from a mobile device or a computer.

Potential of IoT

The possibilities of adopting IoT technology are endless. A typical mass consumer product in the market today are smart-watches. From monitoring your heart rate to reading emails they can do a lot of things. These tiny, internet-enabled, powerful computing devices are ground breaking and we have barely seen the potential of them.
The applications in manufacturing can be anything from a simple level-sensor in an oil tank to a complex system of computers where decision making is done without human interaction. Sensors track and share data of all kinds of applications which is used for optimisation and maintenance.
In health care there are large number of IoT devices monitoring clinical data and consumer health data. Consumer level devices are either stationary or wearable while clinical level technologies can be implantable as well. Proper data collection can make the doctors make better decisions and helps the patients to reduce of progression of their disease.
All these examples point out that the information creates value. Decisions based on tracking and analysing the data can lead businesses to understand how and where they can improve.

Creating an IoT Strategy

IoT with its information-based value creation requires an understanding of the marketplace and possible technologies. Plan your strategy in line with desired customer relationships, service/product quality. Address possible risks such as privacy, handling sensitive data or malicious modification. Implementing IoT strategy requires insight from all departments in the company. For example a complex IoT solution may affect the IT department in such a way that some of the systems needs to be re-structured. Before committing to a large scale IoT solution find a low risk area where the new technology can be tweaked and tested.

Conclusion

IoT is growing rapidly and falling behind the competition by ignoring the technologies can put your company at risk. IoT impacts customer behaviour and re-evaluates the value of information. Almost every company can capitalise from IoT solutions as we are entering a new level of the data world.

Things to know before outsourcing app development projects

Things to know before outsourcing app development projects

Introduction

Outsourcing app development job seems a good idea as programmers, project managers and other professionals earn much less overseas so you can get the same value for much less compared to local devs. Along with the low costs they are highly skilled and can speak English.
There are however negative aspects that needs to be considered before you decide to get an overseas team to develop your software.

Communication

Level of spoken English and work ethics vary wildly across companies and countries. You have to be prepared to spend more time getting your point made because of the language barrier and misunderstandings.

Costs

While initial daily fees look promising it’s very easy to end up having a very high bill. Constant delays due to misunderstandings, low efficiency level and sometimes incompetency means burning the budget which leads to an unexpectedly high final bill.
It’s worth to note that if you go to an established, large, well known overseas software development company, then chances are the final bill will be very similar to a local developer team’s fee but without the benefit of easy communication and personal meetings.

Buy cheap, buy twice

There are many instances where you can burn yourself. For example your overseas development team may use PhoneGap / Cordova / Ionic which are great tools in expert’s hands but generally better to avoid. The advantage of these technologies that it’s fairly easy to put together an app, however once a little bit of complexity is introduced, these apps may fail to scale.
At best you have a working app with a hard (means expensive) to maintain code base, at worst you have to find a new team and swallow the costs of the unsuccessful venture.
As you can’t meet with the team personally and the language barrier is present, it’s hard to judge the professionalism of the team.

Conclusion

Outsourcing your development job is an uncertain business. Before you commit to invest money in your app development project make sure to do your research. Get quotes from a number of companies and talk to different developers. Do the same with local and overseas companies and once you have a clear understanding of potential risks and rewards it’s much easier to make a well-thought-out decision.

 

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Thoughts on Enterprise Mobile Strategy

Thoughts on Enterprise Mobile Strategy

Objective

The main reason for getting custom enterprise mobile apps is to increase efficiency and productivity which helps you to achieve your business goals. Examining further the territory from a business owner’s side many other aspects come into play such as: security, costs and managing devices.
By carefully assessing and prioritising these features you can save money and get more opportunities to implement mobile technology in your processes.

Device policy

Employees and clients constantly adopting new devices and technologies. It’s important to decide if you would like to offer devices to them or you prefer employees to bring their own devices.

In case you have a complex infrastructure and your business relies on mobile technology heavily it’s better to use a standard platform across the organisation. From deployment through updates to new developments it’s enormously simpler than dealing with a wide range of devices and operating systems.

A businesses with simple infrastructure can get away with multiplatform / hybrid applications easily. In this case the employees can bring their own devices which saves the ongoing costs of buying and maintaining devices.

Manage applications

Even if you offer a custom made application for the employees to complete specific tasks you might find they keep using their mobile phones to finish completely different work-related tasks. It’s a sensitive territory as you would not want them to share business related data through a third-party app which does not necessarily provide a high level of security.

It is important to create a custom mobile application which covers all work-related tasks and using a third-party app is not necessary. There are cases when a third party app works well and is secure, however allowing these apps in business environment should come from the management and not from employees themselves.

Mobile App Monitoring Systems are widely available and should be your tool to monitor if you suspect your employees use an unapproved application for work.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the right solution for enterprises and larger businesses where almost everything regarding the phones are controlled remotely through a cloud based service.

Manage Data

As mentioned employees may use applications which are not approved by the management. File-sharing apps such as Dropbox are a security concern and you should consider using an enterprise solution to share files or providing an in-house solution for the specific task.
It’s possible to set up a solution which makes safe document sharing available across a range of devices while limiting other applications from transmitting those files.

In conclusion enterprise mobile technology should be an integral part of the operations. It should be built up from the ground by considering business goals and protocols and also it should be used in such way that it becomes a strategic asset.

How to improve your company’s efficiency with business applications?

How to improve your company’s efficiency with business applications?

A business application is a software that helps business tasks and procedures operate efficiently. This could be a customer relationship management, inventory management, accounting or any other system which is related to business operations.

These applications run on both mobile phones and tablets and employees can access/enter information anywhere, anytime. A business application is constantly synchronising data with the company server. It doesn’t matter if the employee is on the field, in the office or overseas as all necessary information is accessible through the mobile app.

To give an example of an application, imagine your business is represented in an expo and you would like to add potential customers to your CRM. Using a tailored mobile app you can take photos of the customer’s business card, can enter details and notes on the spot and once you are back at the office, all the data has already been uploaded automatically.
This is just a simple example and the potential in using mobile technology for your business is tremendous.

The application described above is a typical solution for a small-mid sized business. Large businesses however require scalable and robust systems. These powerful softwares are called Enterprise apps. Their main goal to serve a particular business procedure. These apps are powerful and may come with a dedicated hardware.

As mobile technology is growing rapidly and more opportunities become available, all kinds of businesses can take advantage of the innovation.