Is custom software poised to fulfill business needs in 2021?
From small firms to established companies, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses and leaders to embrace digital transformation. Businesses are spending more on custom software solutions to ensure smooth workflow as they switch their operations to virtual workspaces. Custom software development and mobile application development have become inevitable for business growth and success. As technology advances, intelligent interfaces and highly intuitive cognitive capabilities transform businesses in unimaginable ways.
Custom software solutions appeal to tech leaders and companies of all sectors globally. In today’s dipping economy, software development companies like Fingent help businesses restart or rebuild what they lagged with custom software solutions.
What is a custom software solution?
A custom software solution is the best response for both clients and customers to adapt to the new normal. Currently, many organizations are allowing their employees to work from home, thereby limiting physical interactions. Such organizations adopt customized software applications tailored for specific use by their employees. Remote working software tailored to meet specific workplace requirements and maintain privacy without affecting the workflow allows businesses to better serve their customers.
Simply put, custom software development involves designing, developing, implementing, and managing a particular software application used by a specific set of audience, functions, or organizations.
A software development company first analyzes the business and its product requirements to develop customized scalable, dynamic, and cost-effective software solutions. It helps meet the needs and preferences of the customers, clients, and the organization at large.
The new normal is making it difficult for businesses to obtain a competitive edge, so they resort to custom software applications rather than off-the-shelf software development. Thanks to these tailor-made solutions, work is becoming easier and enabling businesses to take a step ahead.
What is the difference between custom software and commercial software?
Custom software solutions are designed and built to adapt to the changing market demands. Off-the-shelf software allows businesses to adjust to their expertise. Commercial off-the-shelf applications come pre-packaged and are purchased by enterprises to carry out their tasks. Custom software enables you to retain only the features you use and supports scalability in the future.
Why do businesses need custom software development services?
Custom software solutions are one of the best ways for businesses to survive in today’s uncertain market. Moreover, custom software development assures that your data remains secure and confidential as there is a high amount of data security risk with off-the-shelf software. Custom software is the best option today, considering your business’s privacy, security, and accountability. As custom software is made exclusively for in-house use, the associated risks are low.
What are the benefits of custom software solutions?
1. Improves efficiency
Custom software is designed to support the specific processes followed by a business entity and its users. Hence it improves the productivity and operational efficiency of the business and its employees. By automating mundane tasks and tweaking the workflow to eliminate unwanted elements, custom software implementation adds business value.
2. Reduces integration costs
Most of the commercial off-the-shelf software fails to work with existing and legacy applications. If it does not comply, businesses will have to invest further to ensure that the prepackaged software operates with the existing infrastructure. On the other hand, custom software integrates well with the current environment and adapts to a business’s needs.
Custom software can grow as the business expands or changes. Developers can assess future requirements and incorporate them into the application. It can save costs associated with purchasing additional licenses or subscriptions of commercial applications.
Investing in custom software development increases the profitability of a business. Depending on the project’s terms and conditions, the organization that creates custom software can own it or license it or sell it to other organizations.
As you will be free of a commercial software vendor, you need not worry about price hikes for licensing and support or whether the vendor terminates a product or goes out of business. However, the business that develops and uses custom software should bear the cost of maintaining and supporting the software. So, every organization must carefully decide whether it’s better to buy or build.
Technologies and practices to consider in custom software development
Open-source indicates that the software source code is open to the public and the development community to use. For example, Microsoft, Linux, and Google. Open source can significantly improve development productivity through software component reuse and improve interoperability by avoiding proprietary architecture.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence allows the software to replicate human decision making and learning. It can enhance the development process. For example, natural language processing (NLP) is used to analyze requirements from elaborate texts and recommends improvements based on best practices. AI technologies such as machine learning and modeling may also be incorporated into applications through application programming interfaces (API) and cloud services.
3. Blockchain technology
Developers are leveraging open- source hyper ledger technology and blockchain ledgers to build new types of secure transactional and financial applications that can boost business processes.
4. Cloud-based development
It brings the advantages of cloud computing by hosting development environments in the cloud. It supports design, coding, integration, and other development functions to build on-premises and cloud-native applications. These environments also promise cost control, speed, and on-demand convenience.
5. Mobile application technology
With the customers’ buying behavior shifting from products and services to experiences, mobile application technology is a must. So, developers have to connect mobile apps with data to improve and enrich the user experience.
6. Analytics technologies
These technologies enable software applications and their users to understand data through dashboards, visualizations, and predictive capabilities. AI, cloud-based services, and automation make it easier to incorporate analytics into applications.
The health crises and economic uncertainties brought in by the COVID-19 pandemic have compelled businesses to adopt solutions tailored for use by their employees and customers. So, opting for custom software solutions is a wise decision as they can be customized to suit your business needs.
While the initial investments seem a bit high, custom apps will get you a higher ROI in the future. If you are looking for a custom software solution for your business, all you need to do is select a trusted and reputed company like Fingent. We first understand your requirements and help preserve your accountability in the market. To know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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Exploring the different types of application software that businesses need today!
- What is Application Software?
- Different Types of Application Software Used by Businesses
- Types of Application Software Based on Shareability and Availability
- Functions of Application Software
- Business Benefits of Application Software
- The Cost of Application Software Development
- Develop Your Application Software with Fingent
Application software or simply application (app) has become our everyday companion. From the Microsoft Office suite of products to Gmail and Facebook Messenger, all of us use different types of application software to meet various personal and professional purposes.
We have all come a long way from the old-generation of computers that had just one application software, which was installed onto individual machines using floppy disks and CD ROMs. Today, we have multiple types of application software to suit every need and purpose. While that is exciting, it also places before us an array of choices. You may be wondering which of these application software fulfills the needs of your business. To help you with this, here is a detailed guide to the types of application software.
What is Application Software?
Application software is a computer program that performs a specific function, be it educational, personal, or business. It is also known as an end-user program or a productivity program. You can think of your PC as a cake and the application software as the frosting on top of it. It is the application software (frosting) that you, the user, gets to see upfront when you are working with the computer.
Application software is developed to assist you with a particular process that may be related to creativity, productivity, or better communication. It helps you in completing your tasks, be it jotting down notes, completing your online research, setting an alarm, keeping an account log, or even playing games.
Application software programs are specific in their functionality and do the job that they are designed to do. For instance, a browser is an application used specifically for browsing the Internet. Similarly, MS PowerPoint is an application designed specifically for making presentations. All the apps that we see on our smartphones are examples of types of application software.
Different Types of Application Software Used by Businesses
Picking up the right application software for personal or business use can improve function and efficiency. Understanding the different types of application software will help you save cost, time, and resources, enhance productivity, and improve decision-making.
Some of the commonly used application software are:
- Word processors
- Graphics software
- Database software
- Spreadsheet software
- Presentation software
- Web browsers
- Enterprise software
- Information worker software
- Multimedia software
- Education and reference software
- Content access software
While the list of application software is more exhaustive than this, we have tried to detail a few of the important types of application software below.
1. Presentation software
Presentation is a type of application software that enables you to represent your thoughts and ideas with ease and clarity by using visual information. It lets you display the information in the form of slides. You can make your slide more informative and engrossing by adding text, images, graphs, and videos. It has three components:
- Text editor to input and format text
- Insert graphics, text, video, and multimedia files
- Slideshow to display the information
2. Web browsers
Web browsers are application software used to browse the internet for locating and retrieving data across the web. The most popular web browsers are Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Other examples of browsers include Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, etc.
3. Multimedia software
Multimedia application software lets you create or record images, and create audio or video files. This software is extensively used in animation, graphics, image, and video editing. Popular examples are VLC media player and Windows media player.
4. Education and reference software
This application software, also termed as academic software, is specifically designed to facilitate learning of a particular subject. Various kinds of tutorial software are included in this category. Some of these are JumpStart, MindPlay, Moodle, and Kid Pix.
5. Graphics software
Graphics application software allows you to edit or make changes in visual data or images. It comprises illustration and picture editor software. Adobe Photoshop and PaintShop Pro are a few examples of graphics software.
6. Spreadsheet software
Spreadsheet application software is used to perform calculations. In this software, data is stored in a table format. The intersecting area, called cells, are separated to define fields such as text, date, time, and number. It allows the users to provide formulas and functions to perform calculations. Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are examples of spreadsheet software.
7. Database software
Database application software is used to create and manage a database. Also known as a DBMS (Database Management System), it helps you organize your data. So, when you run an application, data is fetched from the database, modified, and is stored back in the database. Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and IBM Db2 are some of the popular databases.
8. Word processing software
Word processing application software is used to format and manipulate text, thus, creating memos, letters, faxes, and documents. Word processing software is also used to format and beautify the text. It provides you a whole lot of features, including thesaurus, synonyms and antonyms. Along with Word Art features, the font option lets you change font color, effect, and style as per your choice. Grammar and spell check options are also available to check for errors. Leading examples include G Doc and Microsoft Word Doc.
9. Simulation software
Simulation application software is used in the fields of military engineering, practical education in certain industries, machinery testing, industrial training, video games, etc. It is used where work on the actual system or physical environment can be hazardous. It is a program that lets you study or observe an operation, or phenomenon through simulation without actually doing that operation. The best examples of simulation are in the field of robotics, flight systems, and weather forecast, etc. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies are also used to develop application software that support simulations.
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Experience remote hiring success with custom hiring and onboarding platform
Even before the pandemic hit, the number of employees working remotely has grown considerably over the past few years. The number of people telecommuting in the US increased by 159% from 2005 to 2017.
Even if the threat of COVID-19 ceases, we may not return to the traditional office structure any time soon. In other words, remote work will matter to business much more than it did earlier. Employers, therefore, need to find ways to facilitate remote work. This includes creating the best remote hiring and onboarding experiences for employees. Strong onboarding processes improve new hire retention by 82% (Glassdoor).
By making a switch from a traditional to a digital workplace, organization across the globe are embracing the new normal. While there are many off the shelf remote hiring and onboarding platforms available in the market, for long term flexibility, it is necessary to fine-tune the features, user experience, functions and so on to fit your organizational requirements. Fingent, as a top custom software development company, can help you create custom applications to power your recruiting and onboarding.
Challenges of remote hiring and onboarding
Companies want all of their employees to feel inclusive and want a collaborative environment. But how do you make people feel that they are a part of something when you’re working remotely? Remote working is not just video conferencing and chatting, but a comprehensive set of practices that organizations need to develop. Remote employees require more trust. This is what makes hiring remote employees so much different. With remote employees, you don’t have any physical control or direct supervision to know whether or not people are on Netflix or YouTube all day. Building trust over time is the main challenge that organizations need to address while bringing in remote employees. While hiring a remote employee, we’re investing in a person where we’re going to trust him/her to represent our company.
Remote employee hiring and onboarding is here to stay
Despite these unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 has presented, various organizations have reacted positively and made rapid changes to their remote workflow management priorities and expectations. This ultimately shows us that the need to hire and onboard new staff will continue. Businesses will have to come up with innovative ideas and creative best practices to continue with their hiring and onboarding processes.
How can a custom platform for remote hiring and onboarding help you?
The hiring and onboarding process of each company is unique. Employers always look to incorporate the requirements of a particular LOB into their induction programs. A customized remote hiring and onboarding platform helps you edit your workflows the way you want. You can use different task types to create a unique workflow for a new hire, through which you can send forms, trigger emails, conduct training sessions, and much more. You can even generate reports to review the progress of each workflow.
Let’s see how a custom platform can add value to your organization:
1. Digitization of your recruitment process
With traditional HR practices becoming archaic, organizations look for recruitment technologies that help streamline processes, giving them the best talent available in the market. A remote recruitment and onboarding platform that is customized to integrate ATS (Applicant Tracking System) allows you to post jobs, screen applications, conduct interviews, and centralize all this information in one shared place. When you’re hiring remotely, you have to find the best fit for your company from a large pool of candidates. Incorporating functionalities like intelligent screening, document parsing, video capabilities help you gain a better understanding as well as organize your recruitment process.
2. Electronic documentation helps you go paperless
A custom platform that takes the paper out of paperwork is what you need today. An online onboarding solution with features that enable your new hires to complete their documentation procedures from wherever they are, using any smart device makes the workflow as painless as possible. This custom platform automatically triggers email reminders to employees if they have not completed their documentation before their joining date. The onboarding platform can be configured to give automatic error notifications and tips to resolve those errors to ensure that all your employee documents are accurate. Additionally, functionalities like fingertip signatures, photo upload, and OCR make paperwork a breeze.
3. Self-Service onboarding improves employee engagement
Remote employees do not have the liberty of walking to their managers’ desk time and again for necessary guidance. Employee self-service onboarding comes to the rescue here and acts as a key to employee engagement. Self-service portals help to organize the onboarding process of your new hires helping them find all the information they need in one place. A customized remote platform with self-service onboarding capabilities helps your recruits access essential documents that help them learn and get up to speed quickly and with confidence. Thus employees are satisfied as communication channels are improved leading to higher productivity.
4. Project management on-the-go
Onboarding and managing a remote team requires overcommunication. An online project management tool helps you do this with ease. You can opt for integrating a project management tool with your remote hiring and onboarding portal to reap the benefits in a single solution. This helps remote workers track the progress of their projects, collaborate effectively, and complete projects efficiently from anywhere, using any smart device. New hires can interact effectively, helping them learn fast. Managers can also track time and analyze what needs to be done in their projects. With a real-time overview, you easily get an idea of who’s working on what. Inbuilt video conferencing tools help you to stay in constant touch with your new hires working remotely.
5. Virtual mentoring and training programs
Mentoring and training programs are an indispensable part of onboarding. They help an employee get accustomed to her new job, learn about the company culture, and update her skills to better perform his duties. You can integrate virtual mentoring programs in your onboarding process helping new hires know about their roles and get personalized training wherever they are.
A company is indeed as good as its employees. Hiring and onboarding new employees was a time-consuming process traditionally. When all or most of your staff works remotely, things become complicated. A tailored platform for remote hiring and onboarding helps you deliver awesome onboarding experiences to your employees, fostering productivity, efficiency, and better employee retention. It also allows you to promote your company brand and culture which gives your remote employees a sense of belonging.
So did you get a custom platform for hiring and onboarding remote employees? Now is the time if not done yet. Partner with us to develop a tailored platform to meet the unique needs of your company.
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How Logistics Companies Can Gain Competitive Advantage with Customized Software Solutions?
Fluctuating consumer demands, increasing client requirements, and complex business models are posing critical challenges for logistics companies today. According to predictions made earlier this year, two major drawbacks are to be witnessed in the industry.
With drastic changes hovering over the logistics industry, the players are bound to stay equipped with the emerging technology trends, or they might get caught off guard. While its turning imperative for logistics companies to transform with smarter technologies, the question of whether to choose a custom software or an off-the-shelf package still lingers in many minds.
Why Choosing Customized Solutions Over Packaged Software Considered Profitable In Logistics?
Purchasing an off-the-shelf software would sound comparatively simple, stress-free and time-effective. But in the long run, it’s always a custom-built solution that pays off.
Most packaged logistics software, although sophisticated and deployed of disruptive technologies, pose standard solutions for the industry as a whole. Of course, they solve the major supply chain hassles. But with every business, possessing unique procedures, workflows, and objectives, “not everyone fits the same mold”.
So what happens when you choose a packaged software solution for your logistics business?
1. A packaged software often comes with hordes of features. This sure sounds exciting at the beginning. But when you have to pay for more than you use, it sure isn’t a happy moment! Off-the-shelf software solutions are often crafted considering the large players of the industry. Their features focus on resolving the common challenges faced by these companies.
However, in a complex industry like logistics, it’s not always necessary for every company to face the same kind of issue. Hence, with packaged software being available as a whole for a single price, businesses usually end up wasting money on features they do not need.
2. Off-the-shelf logistics software utilizes the latest and advanced technologies to cater to the complexities of an industry. But however, at times these sophisticated technologies complexes situations even further. For companies with basic knowledge on latest technologies, would definitely find it difficult to carry out operations successfully with a sophisticated system.
Moreover, they would have to spend extra time and money on training staff, which is not reasonable in a highly competitive industry like logistics. As mentioned before, with plenty of features, packaged solutions often prove to be less user-friendly and more complicated.
3. Although packaged solutions solve a list of logistics hurdles, their features might not provide a complete automated solution. You might find a good Transportation Management System (TMS) that enables real-time tracking and automated reporting, but you might still have to communicate with your customers, and assigned drivers manually.
Also, an efficient packaged TMS system might have an integrated warehousing management system, but might not facilitate an appropriate billing system, leaving the need to adopt alternate transaction processing systems. Hence, in a nutshell, complete automation is often unattainable with packaged software solutions.
4. The most eminent reason to not opt for a packaged solution is that they are rigid. There is hardly any packaged software company that allows customization. It’s not only rare to find a packaged software that caters to all your business-specific needs, but it also proves to be non-scalable in the long run.
Growth in your business and changes in the market will bring about an increase in your technology requirements. This will result in the need for a solution that can be customized with your growing business necessities.
Customized logistics software eliminates all the above-mentioned drawbacks of a packaged solution. Plus, it always comes with continuous technical assistance to simplify the technology transition in your company.
Let’s take a quick look at how a customized Transportation Management System can help you battle logistics challenges better.
How A Customized TMS Can Enhance Your Supply Chain Efficiency?
Investing in a customized TMS can enable you to create an Uber-like platform for your logistics business. Integrating the latest in web and mobile application solutions, you can create a platform that completely streamlines your driver, client, and cash-flow management.
Enabling centralized data management, transparent billing, delivery match capabilities, along with real-time monitoring and customer insights capturing; a customized software solution can be framed to automate your entire end-to-end logistics operations.
A custom-built mobile application can further enhance productivity with less paperwork, better transparency, easy communication, and improved customer engagement. Implementing a customized solution would also let you add in innovative features that help you automate critical tasks, improve team collaboration, and increase your overall company efficiencies.
Here is a shortlist of benefits that you can acquire with customized logistic software.
1. A customized software solution gives the advantage of integrating with smarter technologies to simplify the minute challenges faced by the industry. For instance, along with assigning and managing truck drivers, a logistics company also faces difficulties in maintaining and verifying driver documents. Integrating with smart apps like Camscanner can simplify these documentation verification complexities.
2. A logistics company with varying client needs might often find difficulties in choosing apt carriers for a given order. A customized solution gives you the benefit to add in features that simplifies such decision making by suggesting the best available carriers for the orders.
3. Although packaged solutions streamline drivers assignment and management, yet they blackout on some eminent functions that logistics companies struggle to maintain. For example, calculating the detention hours/rates of the drivers are likely the most critical task of a logistics company. Through a customized logistics software you can straighten such bends of the industry.
4. With customized logistics software, a logistic company can embrace a completely streamlined and user-friendly accounting system that generates automated invoices as well as tracks any misleads or accounting errors.
Customized logistics software can simplify your logistics operations more than you can imagine. If you are looking for a tech partner to help you add in these features and more to your logistics software, then you have landed on the right page.
Fingent is one of the leading custom software companies providing advanced and user-friendly web and mobile technology solutions for logistics businesses worldwide. Contact us today to know how our custom software solutions can enhance your business abilities.
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How Face Recognition Apps Are Defining The Future Of Competitive Industries?
There has been a lot of talk about Face Recognition Apps recently. It has received accolades for its use in enhancing security as well as flak over privacy concerns. Speculations aside, there is no denying that face recognition software has revolutionized the way we perceive technology. It is no longer a faraway concept as it finds a place in our pockets through mobile technology.
In this blog, we will look at the technology behind face recognition software, what makes it tick and how it has found application across industries.
What Is A Face Recognition App?
Face recognition is a biometric technology that creates a face print of an individual by mapping out his or her facial features mathematically. This face print is stored and used to compare a digital image of a person verifying their identity.
This mapping is done by identifying 80 nodal points on a human face. These nodal points are used to measure different variables of the face. The width of the forehead, the length of the nose, the shape of the eyes – these measurements are captured on a digital image of the person’s face and stored as a face print. Deep learning algorithms are then used to identify a person in comparison with the face print.
This technology has been used in various ways from automatic photo tagging by apps like Facebook for authentication and identification by Apple’s iPhone X. The way in which Apple has used this technology is interesting. Face ID technology, which allows users to unlock their phones using the stored face print, is designed with 3-D modeling. The software compares over 30,000 variables to fine-tune recognition capabilities. This face print or Face ID can be used as authentication for purchases done with Apple Pay and other Apple stores. Amazon Rekognition, Google Cloud Vision API and other image analysis APIs can be now used to add facial recognition capabilities to other applications.
The inclusion of technologies like augmented reality, mixed reality and more have made face recognition software a powerful force. At Fingent, we developed a mixed reality application using Microsoft Hololens. This application helps in the identification of a person and also links the face print to the biodata of the person. It will also be able to capture images and compute similarities between the captured image and all the other images in a secure database.
The Role of Face Recognition Apps in Safety and Protection
According to a Javelin Strategy and Research study, identity fraud hit a record high with 15.4 million U.S. Victims in 2016 and an increase of 16 percent from previous years. In a connected world where such vulnerabilities exist, face recognition software is proving to be an invaluable asset. The software is helping law enforcement and corporate to put a name to the faces of criminals who have been playing havoc with stolen identities. Some applications of face recognition software in ensuring safety are:
- Identity validation at ATMs and prevention of identity theft with photo IDs.
- Face recognition surveillance systems in schools to protect students from expelled students or parents who have been flagged as dangerous.
- Equipping law enforcement personnel with identification of criminals and contextual data to warn them of dangerous persons before they approach offenders.
- Automated facial recognition (known as AFR) helps in forensic investigations by identifying individuals on surveillance cameras and videos, as well as in recognition of dead/unconscious individuals at crime scenes.
- Protecting retailers from shoplifters by warning security personnel of known criminals with a record. It also helps them avoid potential violence in the store by warning them when dangerous criminals or disgruntled former employees enter.
How Various Industries Can Benefit from Face Recognition Apps
Apart from ensuring safety and prevention of identity theft, face recognition software has many commercial applications as well. Many organizations across industries are recognizing the vast potential of face recognition apps and exploring different ways to capitalize on its features. Let us look at the Healthcare and Retail industries as an example.
Healthcare is constantly making giant strides with technology and facial recognition is contributing in unexpected ways. Researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in the United States have come up with a face recognition system, which can diagnose a rare genetic disease called DiGeorge syndrome. People with this syndrome exhibit particular facial anomalies, which give them characteristic expressions that can be detected by facial recognition software. Despite the many challenges associated with effective detection, the team has developed software with an accuracy of 96.6%.
Another example of face detection software being used in healthcare is the facial recognition app developed by Listerine. This app enables a blind person to detect when somebody is smiling at them, by setting off vibrations when the face recognition app detects a smile. This helps the blind respond better in social situations, thus contributing to their quality of life.
Speaking about the further possibilities that technology can bring to healthcare, Christoffer Nellaker, of the Medical Research Foundation’s Functional Genomics Unit at Oxford says: “A doctor should in the future, anywhere in the world, be able to take a smartphone picture of a patient and run the computer analysis to quickly find out which genetic disorder the person might have”. This is already coming true with the help of face recognition.
Related Reading: Check out how modern healthcare is revolutionizing with automation.
Retailers have been using augmented reality to improve the customer experience for a while now. The retail giant Sephora has gone one step further and added a live 3D facial recognition feature to its Virtual Artist application. This enables a more accurate facial tracking and rendering, allowing users to virtually try on Sephora’s various products while they are moving in real time. Parham Aarabi, CEO of ModiFace, which is the developer of this function for Sephora says: “We believe the ability to see yourself with products can impact sales online … and thus the integration on Sephora will, based on our expectation, result in increased conversions and user engagement.” The goal with this move is to enable customers to try on their products in a fun and more interactive way. The accuracy enabled by this technology will go a long way in enhancing the customer’s experience and boosting sales.
By using face recognition software in making educated guesses about a potential customer’s gender, age, etc., big retail giants are optimizing their ad campaigns to specific target audiences. Such advertisements are more effective as they help deliver a targeted message that has a powerful effect on consumers. An example is the “Because I’m a Girl” campaign rolled out by children’s charity Plan the UK. The charity created bus billboards, which would scan the viewer’s face and display an ad depending on the viewer’s gender. This was done to highlight the plight of women who are denied rights based on their sex. Brands like Virgin Mobile, Nike and others have also used face recognition software to create a more immersive ad experience for their customers.
Implementing Face Recognition Technology
Face recognition software is closer to home than we think, and it is apt to look at ways in which your company can capitalize on its capabilities. Talk to us and let’s discuss how.
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Why should businesses invest in custom software development?
The need to transform digitally has created a scenario where enterprises are constantly investing in new digital solutions to either make life easier for operations or help them explore new revenue streams in the digital space. However, there are a lot of misconceptions that prevail in the market with regards to digital solutions. As soon as a business announces that it is ready to invest in digital, they get bombarded with ready-to-deploy and off the shelf digital tools that are provided by several players in the tech industry.
But is investing in readily available solutions the best way to gain a foothold in digital adoption? Not always is what industry experts say. It is important for enterprises to invest in custom software development to empower their business growth with a more personalized digital arsenal. Several executives may argue that custom software development is a costly affair, but buying commercial off the shelf software could do more harm than good in the long run if it is not tailored to your objectives.
Here are 5 reasons why investing in custom software development is important for your enterprise.
1. Complexities in Systems Integration
Different areas of your business operations may find tools from different vendors to be useful. However, these tools may each have their own technology infrastructure requirements, architectural differences, different development methodologies and varying levels of implementation support. As an organization, your technology ecosystem needs to work as a streamlined single unit, capable of delivering value across your business.
For integrating systems from multiple vendors, a considerable effort is needed and this could outweigh the advantages offered by individual systems. Such a scenario calls for creating a suite of operational enterprise applications, custom made to fit the objectives of your business. Every custom software, thus built would follow common standards in development and execution, thereby creating a flexible and interoperable enterprise technology stack.
2. Scalability restrictions
Ready to deploy enterprise solutions are often advertised to be scalable for large workloads. But when unique requirements of your organization require flexibility beyond the scope defined by the software development company, then you are left with expensive software that cannot scale up with your business demand. This is another area where tailored and custom software development can be the game changer in your technology landscape.
Components of such software can be built keeping in mind the objectives specific to your business areas and not just a standard industry requirement. Hence, when scalability requirements arise, a custom built enterprise software will be able to accommodate your unique business and process workflows accordingly without creating new challenges for the teams handling your enterprise applications. This is vital for SMB’s as their growth ambitions would definitely require a scalable technology backend to support a critical business process.
3. Future proof innovations
Innovation is at the heart of every competitive business environment today. The more you innovate, the greater will be your chances of satisfying diverse consumer interests. When enterprises buy expensive and ready to deploy software from reputed vendors, they often limit their own dimensions of innovation. Such businesses are often forced to either wait till the software vendor comes up with the desired innovation or they may have to again purchase a new software if their existing application vendor is not in a position to add the new feature anytime soon.
Having your own custom software built will enable you to experiment and bring on board innovative concepts faster and without depending on other technology vendors to do it for you. This can help in greater market competence as your brand would be recognized as a forerunner rather than a late adopter for innovations that consumer’s desire.
4. Existing technology support
Many times, businesses invest in new digital solutions by blindly following trends in the market. It could be possible that the technology that they already have may just need a few tweaks and upgrades to provide the exact same or even better features that a totally new commercial off the shelf software can provide. Bringing a new digital solution from a vendor into your existing technology ecosystem can cause challenges not just in systems integration as mentioned above, but may also create instances where large effort is needed to maintain existing software that serves other core business processes.
When businesses go for custom software development, they have the liberty to build new capability on top of existing enterprise applications and hence saving considerable effort in development as well as reducing cost escalations. Having a team to customize existing software is a better alternative than engaging one to implement a third-party solution from scratch and then follow it up with expensive customizations to further suit your business requirements and objectives.
5. Compliance with standards and processes
Even the best of digital solutions from world-class vendors may have compliance issues with the standard rules and processes adopted within a business. The makers of such software may have included recommendations from industry recognized standards, but very often a business may have to think out of the box while running their daily operations. This leads to their core processes and standards being subjected to deviations from what the industry follows.
When third-party digital solutions are directly brought into such deviation prone business scenarios, there will be issues with compliance policies and standards. This is yet another scope for custom software development to take center stage and empower businesses with the flexibility to meet their unique compliance requirements. This is also true when government and other geopolitical influences require custom standard or compliance implementation rules to be followed by enterprise applications. Areas such as data privacy and consent management would be under multiple legal and judicial networks. A region and a third-party digital solution may not be flexible to handle such variances.
Any technology implementation done today should be closely linked to business objectives, and enterprises need to have a clear idea on the business use cases that a particular technology could solve. With custom software development, it is possible to have a clear picture of the quantifiable value every investment in enterprise application development is made.
This will prove to deliver more ROI than a fully-fledged third-party digital solution implementation where your business may often be at the mercy of the vendor’s technology prowess. If technology is not your core forte, then you need to have the right advisory and consulting partner to help drive the most value out of your custom software development initiatives.
With years of empowering some of the world’s best businesses with custom software development, Fingent can be the right partner to help you build the technology backbone of your business. Get in touch with us to know more.
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The digital transformation wave that is transforming businesses across the world has had major influences on the way custom software development is treated by technology teams. Today software development is all about improving the experiences at multiple levels for businesses. Experiences include customer experiences from their end customers during a transaction journey and operational experience of staff who utilize technology solutions to drive more customer love. Technology is bound to change and business owners must be willing to meaningfully bring about changes in their custom software development concepts to incorporate the best solutions to run their business smoothly.
Reap your success in the digital age following these 5 custom software development trends
Let’s have a look at the changing trends in custom software development that warrants big attention from businesses across sectors. Following are our picks of the top 5 contenders in technology trends that every team engaged in custom software development must be aware of:
1. The growth of open source technology
A decade ago, you might not have found too many takers for open source technology. But, today only less than 3% of worldwide businesses do not use any form of open source software in their enterprise technology stack. In the initial days, it was largely seen as a playground for beginners in software development to try out building applications for free. Today the world’s biggest technology companies like Google and Facebook utilize open source software to run their most mission-critical systems. They also contribute significantly to the maintenance and growth of developer communities around these open source technologies. Take a look at all the leading application development technology available today like Java, PHP, Angular, React, Hadoop, etc. They are all open source and powers some of the world’s biggest enterprise and consumer-facing digital applications. If your business has frequent technology requirements, then this is a trend in custom software development that definitely needs to be on your top priority.
2. AI-ready software
AI is already a mainstream component of almost every digital platform that people use today. From e-commerce to movie streaming, companies are rolling out machine learning capability to help software learn more about its users and automatically provide them with great experiences. AI-powered chatbots are today serving queries of billions of people online and businesses are investing heavily in making these bots more intelligent by the minute. For software developers, it is essential to know the in and out of writing code that blends well with self-learning algorithms to provide optimal value for businesses utilizing applications that run this code. AI has a key role to play in the future when it comes to interacting with end customers directly. Hence custom software developers need to focus their skills on creating meaningful front-ends that can resonate AI actions, scalable back end engineering that can supplement complex AI algorithms and powerful databases that can deal with the huge volume of data that needs to be handled by AI systems to create meaningful experiences.
Related Reading: Find the top AI trends of 2019.
3. Cloud takes new dimensions
The world’s best run businesses today run their technology core on the cloud. From platforms to infrastructure, cloud computing has transformed the way enterprises use software applications. 73 % of the world’s businesses have at least one application or an infrastructure element on the cloud. From becoming more agile in terms of application engineering to saving fortunes by removing on-premise infrastructure costs, businesses are re-inventing themselves in the digital age. The benefits are endless – scalability on demand, global availability, top gun service providers in every niche, etc. With cloud computing, your technology workforce can be empowered with mobility i.e. the freedom to work wherever they want and with whatever resources they need. This is yet another trend that every business needs to take seriously to improve their ROI on technology investments.
Related Reading: Find how a cloud platform like INFINCE can untangle technology for business.
4. Security to be given a top priority
While the rise of cloud computing and the transition of on-premise software engineering to rich internet applications have created better digital experiences, they have opened new cans of worms for developers to deal with. In the US alone it was reported that there are over 130 large scale targeted breaches of confidential user data residing on enterprise applications of businesses. This figure is growing at an exponential rate of 27% every year as well. Security aspects cannot be overlooked now not even for the smallest of applications. Any vulnerability in your code will turn into a feasting ground for cyber threats in an increasingly internet dominated world. It’s not enough to write a great code but also to practice secure coding standards to enhance safety and ensure customer data is never compromised.
5. Customers are the heart of everything
Today it is not just your sales process or your customer relations team that needs to have end-consumer centric thinking on their operations. Even your custom software development team needs to have a work objective centered on a customer-first philosophy. Human behavior of your target digital audience needs to be modeled and referred to while creating applications. This is crucial for recommendation systems, lasting user experiences and above all improve brand loyalty by creating wonderful digital experiences. Feedback systems need to convey responses directly to core technology teams and they need to drill this feedback into the very depths of every implementation and every programming logic they use to achieve business goals.
These are our picks for the top 5 trends in custom software development that businesses of all sizes need to consider today. In an increasingly digital age where customers dictate the fate of every single of your investment, it is imperative for organizations to have a comprehensive look at how these trends can be incorporated into their technology roadmaps. Those failing to do so are in for massive repercussions as it doesn’t take decades for big corporations to fall to their heels for lack of innovation. The examples are right in front of you. Investing in the right technology with the right advisory is crucial for businesses to continuously innovate and stay relevant in changing times.[Custom Software Vs Off The Shelf – Fingent]
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A 2017 study on the big data market worldwide showed that by the end of the year, nearly 53% of all companies had adopted big data analytics in some form to optimize business performance. The talent market too witnessed an increased demand for professionals with expertise in big data. We are the crossroads of a huge transformation exercise wherein data is the new oil. From wristbands to connected cars and automated factories, today’s enterprises deal with an enormous amount of data that they need to utilize for growth and innovation. This is true for any industry, be it financial, manufacturing, life sciences, or any other field. As the volume of data flow grows, the technology needed to manage and utilize it is in need of an innovative makeover.
The businesses of today need the next generation of custom software tools to harness the power of big data. They need to set up a technology backend that can support and supply data to multiple enterprise applications at different units in their businesses. Custom application development practices need to incorporate the changing philosophy of big data streams into their core operational procedures. Many organizations find it difficult to empower their software or technology team with knowledge on incorporating big data methodologies into their development practices. This is one of the key reasons why only 37% of companies have been successful in transforming into data-driven organizations, even though over 85% are trying to achieve this feat. So how can enterprises of today explore the power of big data using custom software development capabilities?
How to use Big Data to re-define your custom software development landscape
To answer the question, we decided to provide some tips for organizations to create valuable business results by incorporating big data into their custom software development cycle. Here are 5 ways to derive tangible business value from your investments in big data within software development.
1. Prepare for a mobile-first strategy
Over 50% of the US population owns a smartphone, and by 2020 it is expected that over 10 billion smartphones will co-exist with humans worldwide. No matter which industry you operate out of, if your customer-facing points do not have a mobile focus, then you are losing out to competition. By incorporating a big data philosophy, every custom software application that your organization builds will be able to handle data inputs from billions of mobile devices. This data can be analyzed, and insights can be used to direct content to mobile devices. And there is another scenario: if your business wants to be at the forefront of mobility, then tuning your custom software development practice to include big data concepts is a perfect way to get the heads-up on the competition.
2. Respond faster to customers
Your core business systems might already be engineered to provide support to your associates at customer facing avenues. With the velocity of requests coming in from diverse customer channels today– the internet, social media, physical POC’s, etc.– it becomes difficult for your employees to provide personalized attention to each customer. However, if your custom software development team is equipped with the skills to incorporate big data management trends within their development model, the resulting customer experience would be seamless. Ready-availability of information would help associates run the gamut of customer queries across channels simultaneously and with personalized attention. A faster response will pave the way for increased customer loyalty and will ultimately reflect positively on your business revenue.
3. Bolster automation efforts
From autonomous production facilities to automated email campaigns, enterprises worldwide are investing heavily in automating business processes. Productivity improvements, elimination of errors and biased decisions, efficiency, etc., are some of the key reasons cited. However, for each process within a business, the saga of automation can do wonders only if they are equipped to explore and manage all possible data points within them. This is where your software engineering teams need to see the bigger picture while building apps for every department. The applications need to be extensible for data flows from various sub-functions and units within teams. Only when processes and teams become data-driven will there be an opportunity to automate the process. Thus, having a big data approach in your custom software development practice will ensure that the future of automation in your business is moving in the right direction.
4. Set the tone for artificial intelligence
Just as in the case of automation, enterprises need to be data-driven if they are to incorporate transformative technology transitions like artificial intelligence. For algorithms to decide the future of customer experience, the first step is for these systems to learn about your customers and your business. This learning is facilitated by data insights that are generated by your custom software applications powering each unit of your business. Hence, by driving a culture of big data thinking within your custom software development team, the foundation for AI-enabled systems is well cemented into your base. Growing this in into future recommendation engines, conversational bots, autonomous business units, etc., will be a seamless activity.
5. Remain competitive in the digital era
This is a culmination of all that we have mentioned in the previous points. In an increasingly digital age, businesses can go down the drain in a very short time if they fail to innovate on the digital front. Data is the basic unit of every digital transformation initiative, and if your business isn’t equipped to generate and harness the power of data, then your chances of survival will be slim in the long run. This concept needs to be instilled at the grassroots level of your custom software development practice. Only if your business applications can handle the volume, veracity, and velocity of big data, will your business be able to serve the next generation of digitally savvy consumers.
Now that you know the importance of having a big data methodology in your custom software development practice, what you need to do is to start building awareness about it. Let your teams know the growing needs of the digital age and how data becomes the fundamental DNA of every business process. If your core business operations are not serving the tech industry, then it is best to have a solid technology consulting partner for your custom software development needs. At Fingent, we work with some of the world’s best businesses to deliver meaningful customer experiences with big data incorporated custom software development services. Talk to our experts today to learn how we can tap the hidden potential of your enterprise data.