Over the last 5 years we have seen the rise of technology integrations with our businesses, with it amalgamating into what we see today: a world driven by software.
For those looking forward, there is leverage to be had at the forefront of this shift, in the form of competitive advantage.
If you're a frequent reader, you will know creating business value through technology is something we are very passionate about. So in this post we want discuss the top software development trends your competitors will be leveraging in 2018, and you should be too!
1. Custom app development is mainstream
In 2017 we saw the most innovative companies leading the way in custom software development to both enhance customer experiences, along with streamline internal processes. However, in 2018 it's expected that this movement will become mainstream, with increasing numbers of businesses realising the advantages that can be had with custom software.
However, recognising the opportunities you have to leverage can be difficult. If you're stuck, read a short article we put together here, that will help you see the possibilities app development can have in your organisation.
2. Business Intelligence software
Businesses are no longer using data to understand historical events, they are implementing Business Intelligence software to see their future demands or needs, and aligning their business accordingly. Data-driven companies are hard to bet. Coupled with their ability to predict their needs and demands using their own data, they are virtually unstoppable.
There are numerous data intelligence tools you can implement off the shelf, such as Power BI. However, the real power comes when you customise these applications to your individual business needs.
If you want to get an expert opinion on how you can integrate business intelligence tools into your business, you can book in a complementary consultation with our technical director here.
3. CRM for everyone
Customer relationship management systems are no longer only for big corporations. The democratisation of the cloud has opened up these once-exclusive platforms to all businesses, regardless of size.
Gaining access to these tools is a huge win for small businesses. Through the insights they provide, they allow you to enhance your customer experience. Whether it's tailoring an experience to suit the stage of a lead, or maintaining the relationship of an existing customer, it allows you to efficiently and effectively manage these relationships, allowing you to create personal experiences for everyone.
A tool we love at Lancom is HubSpot. To be fair, it span above and beyond just a CRM tool, we love that it allows us to connect and provide value to you on an individual level.
4. Intelligent technologies: AI and IoT
Lastly but perhaps the most important, is the wave that is about to hit: Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things.
The concept of Artificial intelligence has been going for a long time, with predictions being brought to life through books and film... it's now here and already being implemented by business' early adopters.
The list of AI powered tools is vast to the point that we could literally write a post just on it. For the purposes of this article, we are naming 3 tools, just to give you a taste of what is out there to help us all: Grammarly, Amy and Andrew by x.ai, Legal Robot .
All of these tools will give the adopters significant advantages. For example, with Grammarly you can write better emails without spending the extra time (and it's free!), Legal Robot will help you understand legal language and sign contracts with confidence. Website chat bots will allow you to increase your customer's experience, without the human resources. It may be early days, but those on the bandwagon are getting easy wins.
As for the Internet of Things, also not a new concept, but this year we will see the start of mass integration within businesses. We expect early adopter leverage IoT to collect data about products and services to fuel improvements and connect various data sources to business intelligent tools in real time, but the list of possibilities goes on!
As you can see, there will be a lot of opportunities for businesses to not only leverage software, but customise their technology in a way unique their business needs. The key for businesses, at this stage, is to be able to identify the technologies suited to their needs, and to adopt quickly to gain maximum advantage.