Roadblocks to Digital Transformation

Despite the prevalence of digital businesses today, companies are still challenged with manual processes that result in slow performance and high costs. While it may seem like a simple solution to digitize those processes, the reality is that the effort is sometimes ladened with internal and external roadblocks. 

Roadblock #1 – IT departments are overburdened

Technology is always changing, and IT departments are expected to keep up with these changes. IT teams deal with requests from customers and employees and have to handle the infrastructure of the business as well. Most executives would agree that their company’s IT teams are overburdened.

As a result, employees may avoid submitting requests to IT when they need digital solutions and try to find solutions on their own. What employees don’t realize are the security risks when they use external software that is not secured by IT, potentially putting the company’s data or the employees’ confidential information at risk.

Source: Giving Up on Digitalization Initiatives, TrackVia
Source: Giving Up on Digitalization Initiatives, TrackVia

Roadblock #2 – Off-the-shelf solutions don’t close the gap

When trying to improve workflow, businesses may turn to off-the-shelf software for a solution. According to a survey by TrackVia, 26 percent of respondents who purchased off-the-shelf software cited several sacrifices they had to make. Besides the biggest disappointment with a lack of customization to meet the business’ unique needs, there are many other compromises that come with off-the-shelf solutions.

Source: Giving Up on Digitalization Initiatives, TrackVia
Source: Giving Up on Digitalization Initiatives, TrackVia

Roadblock #3 – Inflexibility of legacy systems

Another common challenge in a digital transformation is the company’s legacy system itself. An IBM study estimated that more than 80 percent of the world’s enterprise data still resides on mainframe systems, which is a technology that is now over 50 years old. Businesses fear using new applications or software because they cannot be implemented into existing systems or will result in high operational maintenance costs.

Source: Giving Up on Digitalization Initiatives, TrackVia
Source: Giving Up on Digitalization Initiatives, TrackVia

Where do you go from here?

The road to digital transformation requires finding the right solution for your business to improve manual processes while meeting company security requirements and fitting into existing IT system. As mentioned here, off-the-shelf software may not solve all of the company’s needs as every business is unique. A custom business software is a solution that can address a company’s specific needs and relieve it from security and integration risks.

The most telling benefit of custom software is the ability to integrate into legacy systems. If you have an open application program interface (API) or can provide documentation to connect to API, it is possible to seamlessly integrate with your existing IT system. The benefit of building a custom solution from the ground up is one that can significantly pave the way to digital transformation.

6 Ways Construction Companies Can Benefit From Custom Applications

The construction industry has always been mobile with field employees in transit at job sites or set up in trailers. Keeping the field and office teams in real-time collaboration is invaluable, especially if it means major cost savings to the company and client.

As construction companies look for ways to create efficiencies, many are favoring using mobile devices and using custom applications as a strategic move to embrace technology. According to the latest JBKnowledge Construction Technology Report, more than 80 percent of construction executives view mobile is “important” or “very important” to their operations.

Let’s take a closer look at six ways construction companies can benefit from using a custom application: 

1. Time and money savings. 

Keeping the entire team connected with the same information and using a common application means projects are more likely to be completed on time and on budget. When paper-based processes are digitized, the workflow is more efficient. Some of the processes that can be digitized include employee timesheets, purchase orders and job-related forms such as incident reports, pre- and post-job safety protocol, emergency action plans, and others.

2. A custom system built for your business.

Currently, many construction companies use off-the-shelf software products to help meet their various needs. Off-the-shelf mobile apps have the benefits of quick deployment and lower development costs. But it’s rare to find an off-the-shelf app that suits the exact needs of your company. When multiple needs are consolidated into one handy app that is customized for the business, it replaces the need for additional software products and training sessions. 

3. Real-time communications on the jobsite.

When information is stored in a centralized place, it allows for quicker response times. For example, a project manager can report construction errors immediately while building a system, which will then send automatic notifications to the person responsible for fixing the error. 

With purchase orders, if a change in the order is needed, the timing of the information being delivered can mean the difference between finishing a project or potentially losing a job. Verbal communication in change orders can be misinterpreted or incomplete, or details may be missed during communications. An app that can log and track purchase orders, get orders authorized, and push them to the appropriate departments is invaluable, especially when time is of the essence.

4. Comprehensive business data.

Gathering and sorting essential business data is easier than ever with an efficient application. For example, employers can track the materials purchased, equipment rented and mileage used on each job site. When all data is stored, it can be organized, analyzed and presented more effortlessly. 

5. Management can make calculated business decisions.

Automating the paper process allows executives to get a better insight into the workflow. From tracking employees’ locations in the field to time spent at a job site, adjustments in business rules can be made in a more calculated and strategic way. Executives can then use the collected data from connected devices to make faster and smarter strategic decisions.

6. Minimal training needed.

A good application should be engaging and easy to use. A software interface closely mirrors the current paper process is easier to adapt so there is minimal disruption in the workflow and a shorter learning curve for employees. That being said, before any new software is developed, it’s important to understand how tech-savvy are those who will be using the app, as the goal for having the app is to not disrupt the workflow or get in the way of an individual’s performance. 

Why Choose A Custom Mobile App For Business Training?

There is a surge in the number of remote employees in the workforce. According to Deloitte’s 2018 “Global Human Capital Trends” report, 37% of the leaders surveyed said they expect an increase in contractors by 2020, 33% predict a rise in freelancers and 28% foresee growth in gig workers.

As a response to the growing number of remote employees in the ever-changing world of technology, many companies are undergoing a digital transformation, which is the integration of technology into all aspects of a business. And in the digital transformation journey as it relates to business training and education, finding the right software to digitize your existing business training program can be daunting.

With an abundance of software solutions out there, how do you ensure that your employee’s Learning Experience will meet the goals of your organization? And what do you need to consider when implementing new training techniques for your business?

Mobile Application For Training

Most mobile users can agree that most of what is done on our devices, from looking for a nearby restaurant to getting the latest news, is done through apps. That’s because mobile apps are faster, easier to use and more engaging.

The usefulness of mobile apps can be carried into business training and education. Mobile applications are driving the market because they are easy to use and do not require a new IT infrastructure when implementing them into the existing training programs.

A Customized Learning Experience

Mobile apps are remarkably different from traditional business training formats. While traditional learning modules follow a linear learning format, digital learning on a mobile application allows for a personalized experience.

While there are many options for training mobile apps, one size does not fit all. There are pros and cons to each software and you will either have to compromise your program to fit the software or utilize more than one software to fit your needs.

A custom-built mobile application allows organizations to remove, alter or add content to fit the needs of the business. Through a portal, admins can push updates and adapt to varied training needs, including compliance, soft skills, products and change management. Training can be delivered to mimic the organization’s actual work environment, and content branded with company logos and corporate color schemes.

If the idea of a custom application is appealing but the thought of developing an app from the ground up is daunting, consider a customizable content management system (CMS).

A templated application that displays content using a list or menu view, a customized CMS allows you to personalize the fonts, colors, designs, and logos to fit your brand. You can add, modify and remove content to fit your training module. With just one template, you can create various versions of your program, depending on your training needs. And finally, you can create rules to qualify how each course is approached.

On the admin side, you’re equipped with an easy-to-use web admin portal where you can continuously make changes to the content on display. This gives you a streamlined way to create and manage an app without having to hire a dedicated developer. After an initial design and development period of the app, the system is entirely yours to control. The end result, a cookie-cutter setup process with unique, personalized results.

Ready To Build?

If you are ready for a custom application for your workplace training program, a good place to start is with the leadership in the department where the training is coming from, as well as your IT team. Getting your IT involved early in the process will alleviate potential issues when implementing the application into the existing IT ecosystem.

It can also be beneficial to survey past or potential trainees who may be using the app to understand the level of their technical knowledge. The more information available, the more prepared your company will be when speaking with an app developer. Start with your end goal in order to properly communicate direction and insight to the app developer.

Custom applications should be tailored to your business to allow greater efficiency. Employees who use a mobile application will get the maximum Learning Experience, ultimately saving the company time, money and resources.

This article was originally published in eLearning Industry.

5 Must-Have Features for Your Mobile Business App

As a business owner, you see the benefits of having a mobile application to help create efficiencies, cut operation costs and increase mobility.

Before you rush into the development stage, you should clearly identify your primary goals for your mobile solution and secondly, understand the features that you may want to be included in the app.

While most app features are discovered during initial conversations with the developer and discussed throughout the development process, it is still important to know and understand the elements of an effective mobile app.

To help you get started, we’ve put together the top five features of good mobile apps:

1. An Attractive User Interface

Visual design is not only about selecting the perfect images, colors, icons, fonts, but also determining how the appearance of the application impacts the user experience. The architecture and design phase is typically the first phase of every app development process, as it lays the foundation for the look and feel of the app.

2. Ease of Use

Eliminating any barriers to entry when using the app is another important element in creating an effective workplace application. You may lose users if they find your app difficult to navigate. In order to create the best user experience, it’s important to test your app with different user groups to find out how comfortable they feel while interacting with the app’s content across different platforms and environments. The journey throughout each section of the app should be smooth and seamless.

3. Fast and Reliable Performance

Have you ever used an app that loads slowly, crashes or completely shuts down while running? Understandably, most users have little patience for poor functionality and end up uninstalling or abandoning the problematic app. The most successful apps have fast response times and run continuously in the background. This is generally tested during the quality assurance phase in the app development process.

4. Simplicity

While it’s tempting to throw in fancy features on your mobile app, you lose your user when there are too many buttons and clicks in the app journey. Sometimes a simple, templated app, such as FUSION OF IDEAS’ Dynamic Content System (DCS), can be the best choice to meet your business needs.

5. Updated Content

When you have a system for pushing new or updated content and features to your app, you can continue to improve the reliability of the software. For businesses, it’s important to keep policies, sales messages and security issues up to date.

 

While understanding these qualities and features is essential to creating an effective mobile app for your business, it’s even more important to find the right partner to build your software.

The FUSION OF IDEAS dedicated in-house app development team follows a rigorous nine-step process when designing and executing a mobile application. Our number one priority is to create a custom mobile software solution that is tailored to your organization, and we are proud to have developed more than 300 mobile applications for companies of all sizes and budgets.

Contact our app development team to start a conversation about the possibilities of using technology to take your business to the next level.

DCS Promotion Ends Jan. 31

Do any of these apply to you or your business?

*You have field employees and need a mobile solution that offers real-time, two-way communications.

*You have an e-commerce company and want to boost your online presence.

*A trade show or special event is coming up and you are seeking a user-friendly mobile application to share relevant content with attendees.

*Your business needs an app solution for information sharing that doesn’t break the bank.

 

If you said yes to any of the questions above, our Dynamic Content System (DCS) is for you. Take advantage of our half-off promotion for DCS application development. We proudly build all of our applications in-house at our Lake Forest headquarters, and when you work with us, there are never hidden charges. Contact us today to find out how this content delivery solution can enhance your business. Special pricing ends Jan. 31.

Contact us today to get started or email our app development team for a live demo.