Where To Invest Your Remaining 2018 Budget
With technology evolving rapidly, it’s hard to keep up with which solutions can best achieve your business goals. At Next Horizon, our clients continually benefit from our cutting-edge expertise and are being noticed for it. We’ve been recognized in 2018 as a Fast 50 company by the Orlando Business Journal and a GrowFL Company to Watch within the state of Florida.
Here are some technology trends that can help you make 2019 a great year for growing business. It’s not too early to start now!
Meet In The Middleware
Is your business bogged down with time-consuming tasks like workflow monitoring, inventory management or other tasks that take time away from revenue-generating activities? If so, your business could benefit from middleware solutions.
Middleware acts as a bridge between an operating system or database and other business applications. As technology continues to develop, customers and businesses are finding new ways to integrate information across cloud-based, traditional and mobile applications. As customers act, businesses must be prepared to manage that influx of activity and middleware solutions help.
Smart business leaders are being proactive by preparing their business for anticipated customers and are reaping the benefits in three key areas:
- Improved Efficiency – Automating business processes such as workflow monitoring or inventory management increases how efficiently individual employees work, how quickly customers are attended to and can lead to an increase in overall business volume.
- Improved Agility – When a business can update and manage applications across mobile, cloud-based and traditional applications efficiently, it allows the business to maneuver the ever-changing consumer landscape much more effectively.
- Innovation – In order to compete for consumer demand of new products/services, businesses are utilizing middleware technology. Middleware allows a company to tie proven software components together into an interconnected system instead of creating every piece of software from scratch, individually.
Video – Your Living Ambassador
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. If so, then video must be worth millions! Estimates show that video content will account for about 80% of all internet traffic by the end of 2019.
Utilizing video can increase your ranking on search engines, give customers an increased understanding of your business and provide a “living testimonial” for your brand as the content is shared across the internet. If you aren’t using video, you are losing out on a great opportunity to increase business exposure and increase revenue.
It’s not enough just to have video. It has to be the right style of video with the right message and runtime to connect with your audience as they’re experiencing it. That’s why organizations like YouTube and Fox Networks Group are focusing on shorter videos, referred to as Snack Ads, when developing additional programming.
As Pressure to Innovate Grows, So Can Your Agile Environment
Currently, 8 out of 10 organizations have committed to embracing agile for their software development (source CA Technologies). Agile methodology has supplanted the waterfall model due to its tendency to reduce cost and deliver consistent increments of business value to stakeholders.
Adopting agile is a fundamental organization shift, so whether your business already has fully transitioned to agile or in the process of transitioning, here are some helpful tips to keep your teams on track and sustain agile adoption.
- Educate, Train, Repeat
People are creatures of habit. Shifting their work paradigm significantly can frustrate staff members. Establish the motto of people over process and emphasize the general benefits of agile to your teams. Teams will undoubtedly revert back to old habits. Keep them on track with education and repetition. Developing a training curriculum designed and taught by an “Agile Expert” with seminars, blogs and other training materials will aid in sustained adoption.
- Communicate and Collaborate
In order to effectively transition to a fully agile model, teams that have typically been silo’d will struggle to collaborate with each other. Customers play an important role in the ongoing testing of the application during its development. Their feedback is critical to identifying pain points, finding solutions and delivering a quality end product. Successful agile teams develop quality internal and external lines of communication as quickly as possible to ensure seamless collaboration.
- Leverage Tools and Automation
Successful teams are prepared teams. Provide your team with automated tools to make their job easier. For example, quality assurance teams should be equipped with test management software for real-time collaboration. Integrate tools that have the functionality to support agile practices. Automating processes will generate consistent workflows, eliminate redundancies and reduce time to market- all keys to an agile process.
- Empower and Trust
You may notice that teams tend to hyper-focus on completing tasks without taking a look at the big picture or collaborating with other teams for problem solving. Encourage teams to work together and focus on the end product. Continuous communication and organized discipline are critical to the success of agile in your development. Empower your team leaders to take ownership of the project by outlining strategic initiatives, key issues and the expected outcomes for each project.
At Next Horizon, our talent is our strength. Our award-winning teams across our three practices — Digital Marketing, IT Solutions, and Custom Application Development- continually deliver the very best outcomes for our clients. Don’t let your competition get ahead. Count on Next Horizon to improve your profitability and efficiency in 2019. Contact us now to get started.