Are you planning for a brighter future?

Find how out how using new technologies can help to drive your business forward.

Are you planning for a brighter future?

Do you have a technology roadmap? If not, have you even thought about one? Spending as little as 10 minutes to identify where you'd like to see your business grow over the coming years could prove instrumental. It may be impossible to plan technology way off in the distant future, but having a short plan can really help.

Are you a pro-active or reactive company? Do you strive to improve by listening to your customer and analysing trends or do you wait for someone to tell you something is wrong before you change? If it's the latter I strongly suggest that you change your ways as soon as. Pro-active and reactive doesn't just relate to customers; competitors, technical debt and innovation are also relative. From my experience most companies think they know best without having any metrics to back up their new products. They generally spend about 6 - 9 months developing new features/products behind closed doors, then hit their customers with a surprise and expect them to love what they have worked on. Only to realise that their customers aren't exactly thrilled. Sound familiar? Well it's time to change.

Customers aren't the biggest fans of change. They become accustomed to how something works, even if it's buggy they will general have a workaround. This is mostly true for products that have an annual update release cycle but also relates to any update. Small frequent changes are best alternative. The mobile applications industry have really taken on-board this concept. There is no reason why your company can't either. Instagram and Github deploy their latest releases into production multiple times a day, and many of us don't even notice.

Continuous Integration is process of automating your development infrastructure. Once a developer check-ins their code, a cycle in started where the code is built, tested (automation) and deployed to a testing environment. A business member can then verify the change is correct and can be easily deployed into production. This allows bugs and defects to be caught as early as possible, and promotes the practice of having unit and automation tests.

To drive your business forward, metrics and analytics becomes key. Sure you have probably added Google Analytics to your website, you may even login every month or so and check the amount of visitors. How you ever tried to improve your sites experience based on analytics? If you sell a product or signup, do you know your conversion rate? Now, do you know where your biggest drop off in conversion is from? Why is it happening? Taking simple steps to improve your site could have a huge impact on your business.

One company in particular I've worked with have seen a massive improvement from using a new technology. The Department of Social Protection in Ireland decided they needed to innovate their processes and allow customers serve themselves through an online portal. As part of the first release, a service was required to allow customers to be able to book an appointment at an office that best suited them. A couple of methods for this were put out there, but finally they agreed to take a leap with a new technology. SignalR is c# real-time framework which allows the server to send information to the connect computer. In essence, if a customer clicked on an appointment, they would temporarily reserve it until they completed the booking form. Now that customer a reserved that booking spot at 11am, customer b's computer screen is automatically updated to disable the 11am appointment. This may sound like a small impact change but at a business level it was huge.

The Department went live in late July applying Online Booking to only their Dublin offices and only one desk in each office. The greatest resistance naturally came from the large office with 13 desks who award 50% of the countries PPS numbers (Tax file / Social Security). A customer had only two ways of obtaining an appointment. Either they were invited by the Department who would post a letter, or they could walk-in, grab a number and wait up to 8 hours to be seen. The office reckoned that they were too busy for an online booking system. After go-live, slowly customers migrated over to the online channel as it was not advertised anywhere except the office. After a month, all 13 desks were only available through online booking. A massive improvement. The officers became much more productive as they could now plan their working day in advance.

Technology can have a huge impact on your business if used correctly. Find out how I can help you today.