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. 

5 Myths About Custom Mobile Applications

Many businesses are enjoying the benefits of using a custom software solution, which can save the company time, money and resources. Good business software can effectively manage the day-to-day activities of a business. It can also collect data to provide analytical insight so management can make smarter business decisions.

Yet, there are still common misconceptions around custom applications that can deter businesses from going custom. Let’s debunk them:

Myth #1: Custom apps come with a high price tag.
Myth #2: Custom apps are only useful in niche markets.
Myth #3: Custom apps take too long to build.
Myth #4: Off-the-shelf apps are more convenient and easier to use.
Myth #5: Custom software does not integrate well with existing IT systems.

  • Myth #1: Custom apps come with a high price tag. 

Custom applications will cost more than off-the-shelf applications, but the same is true for any product or solution that is customized. The cost of a custom app depends largely on the desired features, the complexity of the design, back end complexity, and platform compatibility, among other factors.

For a custom option at a lower price point, FUSION OF IDEAS offers a Dynamic Content System, in which the app design is templated, but allows for custom fonts, colors, designs, and logo to fit your brand. 

FUSION OF IDEAS' Dynamic Content System is a simplified content application that can be customized to fit your business.
FUSION OF IDEAS’ Dynamic Content System is a simplified content application that can be customized to fit your business.

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  • Myth #2: Custom apps are only useful in niche markets.

Businesses in any industry can benefit from custom applications. Fortune 500 companies have seen an increase in revenue with custom software. This can also be the case for smaller, local businesses, and even startups. According to studies, business mobile apps have a higher conversion rate when compared to desktop or mobile websites. 

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  • Myth #3: Custom apps take too long to build.

The reality is, the amount of time required to build a business app depends on the requirements of the company. There are a variety of factors involved in building a great mobile app. Some companies need multiple functionalities to serve different business units, which adds to the development time. Understanding the steps to develop a custom app can ease any apprehension about the time it takes to build your custom software.

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  • Myth #4: Off-the-shelf apps are more convenient and easier to use. 

Off-the-shelf apps do not offer the two main benefits of a custom application: security and scalability. Let’s look at both.

First, custom software offers security for your business. Because a custom app is used by only one company and there is no public documentation to shed light on possible attack vectors, it’s more difficult for hackers to crack into your system. 

The second benefit is scalability. Off-the-shelf applications may be easier to use and faster to set up at first. But when your business grows in size, these apps may not be able to handle the load. When you build a custom application built solely for your business, updates can be made and the app can expand with your operations as it grows. 

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  • Myth #5: Custom software does not integrate well with existing IT systems.

The reality is actually the opposite. Rather than needing your system to fit a pre-developed software product, custom software is built to fit your existing IT ecosystem. A good app developer will provide a solution for app integration, which includes a private, secure and dedicated cloud or internal server. For seamless integration, have your API (application programming interface) accessible for the developer. 

Ready, Set, MegaRun!

Known as the pinnacle driving lifestyle adventure, MEGARUN is an eight-day exclusive road rally adventure along the West Coast.

For the third year, FUSION OF IDEAS has developed the event’s exclusive app that is used by the event drivers. The app allows drivers to get real-time updates, view the daily schedule with route information and checkpoints, and see the locations of other drivers through an interactive map.

Targa Trophies first partnered with the FUSION OF IDEAS in 2014 with the goal to move away from paper road maps and schedules to a fully digital experience. This ultimately changed the way participants interacted with the event.

Each year, the app is updated with a new look and new features that are tailored to the event.

MEGARUN’s nine-city tour kicks off Friday, May 31, in Las Vegas and finishes on Saturday, June 8, in Seattle. The MEGARUN formula circles around bringing together the best cars, people, driving roads and adventure destinations into an event experience.

Get a sneak peek of this year’s exclusive app in the video below, and follow along on the tour through Instagram.

 

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.