If your business did a fair amount of research on app development and app development solutions, you may have heard of RMADs. RMADs or Rapid Mobile App Development solutions claim to be code-free alternatives to creating original mobile apps. They often feature a drag-and-drop interface allowing users to easily develop mobile apps by dragging and dropping things they want that the RMAD provides.

The highlight is that RMAD is a quite fast, code-free approach to building apps. The catch is that it’s not easy to create a truly custom app with RMAD.

That said, there are businesses that rely on RMAD under certain specific circumstances. Most of those businesses are unaware of the major limitations of RMAD, and see it as an easy way to get functioning apps that can potentially serve their purpose.

This blog lists a few major constraints of Rapid Mobile App Development so businesses thinking of going for it can make informed decisions.

No expert opinion

With RMAD, putting together an app interface is a cakewalk. All it takes is an in-house team and some time to build an entire app. However, businesses should make sure that their in-house team for RMAD has the expertise required to completely develop an app.

Compared to RMAD, hiring a professional app developer would cost more. But doing it yourself means the app’s design and functions will reflect only your own expertise and knowledge. Unless your team is well aware of the latest UI/UX design trends and development practices, your rapidly-developed app would simply be a technology that most likely won’t make a difference to your organization’s progression towards the digital economy.

Professional developers come with a boatload of experience and knowledge taking various factors influencing app development into account including competition, best niche UX elements, best on-demand features and trends etc.

Limited branding customizability

People spend a lot of time on their mobile devices which emphasizes why businesses should brand their services on mobile to make the best first impression and cultivate app user base. This requires a lot of customization where the app is essentially given a facelift to reflect the brand it represents.

If you are relying on RMAD, customizing the app to meet your branding standards won’t be easy. Limited customizability and limited control over design and functionality are what you get for a faster, low-cost app development approach. You may also find that the app doesn’t meet the graphics standards of your other assets like, for instance, your website.

Inefficient integrations

The best enterprise-grade mobile apps seamlessly integrate with various other platforms that a business uses. That’s why mobile apps offer many great functionalities – properly registering the email addresses provided by users, reflecting the purchases made on the business’ online store automatically, communicating with other platforms of the business etc.

When building an app with RMAD, you may not have access to the backend which means you likely won’t know how the app will interact with other systems of your business. We are not saying that all RMAD platforms are alike. Some of them may fail to integrate well with your existing infrastructure.

Lack of control over security

Apps built with RMAD solutions may not grant you full control over privacy settings and security configurations. RMAD platforms, though quite fast to use, may not always be intuitive as they claim to be and may compromise app security parameters.

For a business, storing and safeguarding the app users’ confidential data that they willingly entered into the app takes top priority. If the ‘rapidly-developed’ app doesn’t provide full control over the security mechanisms, there could exist a number of unaddressed security holes that pose a risk to the confidential data that the app is expected to handle.

Even if a secure RMAD platform is used, you still may not have full control over bugs and security patches, and will likely miss security vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited. One good solution would be to seek services from a reputed cloud-based data holding center. Or you can simply hire a professional app development team that can give you better control over app security measures and keep your app’s security regularly updated.

Conclusion

RMAD is a quick solution for faster procurement of a functioning mobile app. But it is not a great choice for businesses that require a number of apps to perform various different functions. You should know by now that there are tradeoffs. And these tradeoffs could hurt your business in its journey through a highly competitive market. Going for a professional app development team minimizes tradeoffs like this albeit at a slightly bigger investment.

If you are looking for budget-friendly app development, you are in the right place. Get in touch with us to know the kind of app we can build for you.

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As more technologies are introduced for businesses to leverage for growth and improved performance, the importance of using data wisely comes into focus. Modern businesses generate tremendous amounts of data that hide many insights that could be of great benefit to the business’ progress. Therefore, businesses today have to figure out not only how to protect and secure this data but also to use them for benefits.

Before big data gained a foothold, businesses simply focused on customer experience & satisfaction as the best approach to grow faster. Now they realized the secret to accelerated growth lies in the data they generate. There has also been a shift in focus from customer-focused processes to operational performance improvements. The data from operational processes can be analyzed to help businesses tweak their approach to faster growth from the inside out, instead of investing lots of resources in how they appear fine to their customers.

The principle is rather simple really.

If you are good inside, you will be great outside.

In this blog, we will explore why operational analytics would be all the buzz in the coming years and how operational analytics can benefit modern businesses.

The Many Merits of Operational Analytics

More profit

Identifying and reducing unnecessary expenses is a good approach to increasing the profit margin. This is one of the primary goals of any business today. They can do this better if they look into their data. Operational data analytics helps businesses identify areas that need improvements and processes that need to be streamlined. This contributes to reducing expenses while improving efficiency, subsequently resulting in higher profits.

In 2017, Capgemini Consulting published a Whitepaper with their research on operational improvements and their benefits to organizations. The research had found that over 70% of the surveyed companies were more focused on operations than consumer experience. The research also found that operational improvements can lead to a raise in profits to exceed $115 billion globally every year. Customer analytics can drive only about $38 billion yearly in profits according to the report.

Better decision-making

Many companies often rely on reputed consultancy firms to make big decisions. If the business is willing to pool the resources they invest in consultancy companies to operational analytics, they can make decisions themselves; a more cost-effective approach indeed. Proper data analytics helps businesses make decisions quickly and even proactively.

Competitive edge

The advancements in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning opened up new possibilities for analytics and improved data analytics accuracy significantly. Big data analytics is known to grant competitive advantages for businesses provided it’s fed operational data instead of customer data. The results would help them save money and make better, more profitable investment decisions.

More satisfied customers

This may sound counterintuitive when this blog is all about shifting focus from consumer-centric processes to operational analytics. Investing in operational analytics does come with benefits for the business’ consumers as well. Without operational analytics, it may take a while for businesses to identify customer experience pain points or the factors that are causing the drop in customer satisfaction.

Data can speak faster with operational analytics enabling businesses to identify performance issues and fix them right away leading to improved customer satisfaction and more satisfied customers.

Holistic view of data for easier data management

Operational analytics grants a business’ stakeholders a holistic view of the business data facilitating more efficient data management in the process. It’d be easier to identify system issues in real-time and to devise an appropriate data security strategy as well. One other great advantage is that the stakeholders will be able to discover the interrelationships between certain networks which means root-cause analyses (when necessary) would be more efficient and faster.

More employee engagement

With all the data stored in a central repository, it can be shared with the employees as well to gain insights from them. This way the employees will also be empowered to contribute more to the company’s growth and success. The approach essentially encourages collaboration wherein all the teams in the entire organization will work synchronously for the company’s success.

Conclusion

Operational analytics is still seen as a new concept by many organizations that are still focused on customer-centric improvements. There evidently is a shift in trend but organizations need to keep in mind that operational analytics isn’t something that delivers great results overnight. It takes time as there are many factors involved including the issues associated with data silos, accessibility issues when it comes to third-party data, and the lack of mandate from stakeholders. Nevertheless, this is the right time to see what your company’s operational data is hiding and how you can leverage those insights to soar higher with changing times.

AOT can help you analyze your operational data with robust, bespoke analytics solutions with cognitive capabilities. Let us know if you are ready to give operational analytics a go this year.

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Developed about 6 years ago by Drifty Co., the Ionic framework quickly became a breakthrough technology in just two years post release. By 2015, Ionic developers from different regions around the globe built over 1 million apps with the SDK. The open source framework is primarily used to develop hybrid mobile apps in a world where native app development is a big deal.

Recently, Ionic app development shifted its focus to Progressive Web Apps, better known as PWAs. PWA is expected to stir up quite a buzz in 2019, and might potentially replace native apps in the future.

What is a PWA?

We know what native apps can do – they work offline, they can send push notifications, and they offer great performance. Then there are standard mobile web apps. These apps depend on the browser’s properties and can’t run offline. Mobile web apps cannot send push notifications either. But they are smaller compared to native apps and aren’t as expensive to develop compared to native apps.

A PWA is essentially a combination of the two that bridges the gap between a mobile web app and a native app. PWAs are built with a number of technologies, design concepts, and web APIs that work synchronously to give mobile users an app-like experience on the mobile web.

Here are a few stats that emphasize why PWA is going to be the norm soon.

  • Uber uses a PWA which is said to be impressively fast even on a 2G network taking about 3 seconds to load.
  • BookMyShow’s PWA takes about 3 seconds to load as well leading to increased conversion rates (over 80% increase). The PWA is considerably smaller than their native Android and iOS apps.
  • After launching their PWA, Pinterest found an increase in core engagements of about 60% and a 44% increase in user-generated ad revenue.
  • Tinder’s PWA reduced their load time significantly – from about 12% to almost 5%.
  • Forbes’ impressions per visit are up 10% thanks to their PWA which loads 2.5 times faster on mobile devices than their previous site.
  • Twitter Lite experienced a 65% increase in pages per session and a 20% decrease in bounce rate.

The Ionic framework

What makes Ionic special is the plethora of features it comes with. Ionic is fully supported by AngularJS. Developers can build Ionic apps leveraging various web technologies like CSS, HTML5, and Sass, and distribute the apps through native app stores using Cordova. It has a powerful CLI that facilitates app development and testing across popular mobile platforms. Thanks to Sass, the framework also provides a multitude of UI components for creating apps that provide a rich, immersive user experience. Essentially, developing complex apps with Ionic is a walk in the park.

Ionic for PWAs

You might have noticed that a few big names use PWAs now, and the shift granted them great benefits in return. Before Ionic came into the frame, app developers had to go for Native coding in order to develop iOS, Android, and Windows apps. Coding for each platform required independent development.

The advent of Ionic made it possible for developers to easily build apps that resemble native apps that can also run on all technology stacks and popular platforms. These apps are known as hybrid apps – what Ionic became popular for.

This also somewhat explains how Ionic became a great choice for building PWAs.

  • The framework allows developers to combine CSS, HTML5, and Sass to build PWAs with visually appealing user interfaces.
  • Ionic makes it much easier for developers to deploy code on any mobile operating system or platform.
  • Ionic can work with a number of Cordova plugins. Since it’s an HTML5 framework, Ionic requires a wrapper like Cordova to ensure the apps function like a native one. With Cordova plugins, developers are able to add native features to PWAs.
  • It is free and open source making it a budget-friendly ingredient to craft apps. Its open source nature also makes it easier to manage the code structure.
  • Ionic’s growing community also makes it a good choice for amateur app developers who will need help in getting the code right.
  • Ionic comes with a robust Command Line Interface allowing developers to build, test, and deploy apps to any chosen platform.

Let’s see how Ionic addresses a few key aspects of a PWA.

  • Responsiveness – The UI components of Ionic are known for flexibility making it easier for developers to build responsive UI with the framework.
  • Connectivity Independence – Modern Ionic apps can be effortlessly combined with service workers to enable apps to run offline.
  • App-like Experience – Ionic is a mobile-first framework. So the PWAs built with Ionic will closely resemble mobile apps when it comes to UX.
  • Re-engagement – PWAs can re-engage users with push notifications. Ionic works well with many libraries and packages that developers can use to implement a push notifications feature.
  • Discoverability – Search engines can find PWAs easier thanks to the W3C manifest and scope of service worker registration. The changes in the functionality of Ionic’s router make apps much easier to discover.

On top of all this Ionic has a harmonious relationship with Angular. The combination grants an enhanced development experience as a result of the familiar Angular-specific building blocks working in tandem with Ionic core components. Ionic also features a PWA Tookit which includes everything that a developer would need to build high performance, secure PWAs without depending on front-end frameworks like React, Vue etc.

Conclusion

It should be clear to you by now that almost every principle that constitutes a progressive web app is already incorporated in Ionic. However, when it comes to developing the best user experience for the PWA, Ionic developers may find a few blocks on the road. The issues are trivial and should be addressed by the Ionic team soon in a more stable release of the Ionic 4. Summing it all up, PWAs are the future and Ionic certainly appears to be a great choice for developers to craft progressive web apps that could turn the tides positively for businesses in the coming years.

The devs here at AOT technologies have already mastered Ionic to build powerful native, hybrid, and progressive web apps. If you think you could use a PWA, why not build it with Ionic here at AOT? Let us know your thoughts.

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As experts predicted back in 2017, the cloud did dominate 2018 and that’s just the beginning. As a matter of fact, it is now the top IT budget priority in 2019 for organizations. There used to be cloud security concerns due to which many organizations were reluctant to shift their workloads off-premises. But today most companies realized that cloud is relatively safe to move data, applications, and infrastructure to.

The surprising fact is that many organizations have started moving to the cloud just for better security. Cloud-based security solutions are widely available now that offer not just enhanced security for employees and staff working remotely but also greater scalability and flexibility. Reduced complexity is an added bonus.

A report from Forcepoint also noted these facts and also pointed out that the overall ease and speed of deployment, lower hardware and support costs, and great technical support keep enticing more organizations to migrate to the cloud offered popular cloud service providers.

Speaking of, the key to leveraging the cloud effectively lies mostly on the cloud service provider. And finding the right one is a challenge in itself. Apart from this, there are several misconceptions that still surround the cloud deterring organizations who are considering the option.

This blog explores a few major cloud security myths which should give your business an idea of how your ideal cloud solution should be.

Security certifications matter only for compliance teams

That’s now how it is. Companies preparing to move to the cloud should ensure that their cloud-based security providers have the requisite certifications before signing the contract. If the cloud provider doesn’t show certificates, you can’t be sure that they are complying with industry and government security standards.

For instance, the cloud provider should have controls implemented for PII data. This is a GDPR compliance requirement. If they don’t have the certifications to assure you, it’s better to seek service from a company with all the required certifications.

Cloud-provider data centers have better security than private data centers

Many cloud-service providers claim to have a more secure infrastructure compared to private data centers. But this isn’t necessarily the case for every cloud-service provider out there. Ultimately it all comes down to their data center security practices. Security managers should have tight security protocols in place including encryption and data loss prevention.

Last year, we saw a number of companies submitting themselves for audit from reputed cyber-security auditors as a means to assure potential customers of their robust security standards and policies.

More data centers = More service performance

On the contrary, the number of data centers doesn’t directly impact the cloud service performance. It is simply seen as a great approach to safeguard data during any kind of failures or outages. Microsoft Azure serves as a great example here. Azure has 30 data centers across the globe. There are smaller cloud services that have even more data centers but still cannot match the performance offered by Azure.

Cloud service security doesn’t impact cyber-insurance

Cyber-insurance is a big deal now as more companies have started investing in it. Forcepoint’s report found that, last year, US insurers earned an estimated $1 billion in cyber premiums. If your cloud service provider can show certifications to assure their robust security standards and data protection policies, you won’t be paying high cyber-insurance premium. This point also emphasizes the value of the cloud in today’s tech market.

You won’t know how your data are being used

This depends on the cloud service provider and their reputation when it comes to upholding data privacy. Your company has no other option but to trust your cloud service provider and the people they have employed to manage your service. It’s not that hard to track what the in-house staff are doing with the data. But you can’t be sure how the service provider is using the data.

Nevertheless, you can still get an idea of how the data are being accessed by asking the provider to furnish audit logs. You will know who accessed your data. Providers can also show you proof that they perform the necessary background checks and have suitable clearance.

The cloud demands too much resources

This myth is what deters startups and SMBs from migrating to the cloud. For such businesses, data management is quite hassle-free from the operational point of view considering the fact that their office management solutions and data are all managed by an on-premises server. However, when it’s time to update the server, the server administrator of the business will have to take the server down, perform the update, edit configurations, and leave room to add more servers as the business grows.

A cloud service virtually eliminates the need for in-house server management and maintenance. This leaves a good chunk of the organization’s resources intact so they can be utilized for other critical tasks. To conclude, cloud services typically require fewer resources. But this also means the in-house IT team will mostly be unaware of how the service is being managed and monitored.

No data breaches if the cloud provider ensures the best security

Cloud service providers will have their own team of security experts who will manage and implement data security controls. But it doesn’t mean your organization shouldn’t invest in a solid security strategy and policy. The cloud service provider is responsible for keeping the cloud infrastructure secure and safe. But it’s your organization’s responsibility to secure the data while they are being transferred to and from the cloud.

Conclusion

The rapid growth of the cloud over the past couple of years also painted a big crosshair on it for cyber-criminals. The cloud is seen as a challenge by them now which means cloud providers have to double the effort to improve security in the coming times. The cloud does come with a multitude of benefits but your organization is still not completely safe from data breaches. Cloud security is a responsibility that falls on both your organization’s and the cloud provider’s shoulders.

As for cloud solutions that can augment your organization from the inside out, AOT is here to help. Talk to our experts to learn how our cloud expertise can help your organization leverage the cloud for faster growth and better security.

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A long while back, the main objective of mobile app developers was to develop apps that would attract more users resulting in increased app downloads i.e. the success of an app then was defined by the number of downloads. Today, however, things have changed. An app’s success is measured by taking several other factors into account.

The present app market gives users a large number of options when it comes to apps that can perform a specific task the users are searching for. They can download a number of apps that perform the same functions, try each of them, and keep one of them. This behavior significantly impacts the economy of a mobile app development company. The companies have to surpass their competitors first if their app is to succeed in the market.

Under these conditions, the only great approach to stay ahead of the curve is to have a strategy in place to retain existing customers rather than investing more resources into attracting new customers.

That said, here are a few tips to make sure an app’s customers don’t discard an app.

Ensure a smooth onboarding experience

App onboarding is where users are introduced to an app. For starters, it should be enticing enough for users to consider downloading and using the app. The next step is to provide those users with a solid experience while they explore the app. If there is a long sign-up procedure to use the app, it may irk users who might then decide to ditch the app for a more convenient alternative. Frictionless onboarding is key to retaining new app users.

Use push notifications wisely

No matter how great the app was designed or how well it performs, developers shouldn’t take things for granted. The development team will have to put an effort into encouraging users to keep using the app. One of the best ways to do this is by using push notifications diligently.

Push notifications can be used to notify users that they haven’t opened the app in a while or that they have offers waiting for them when they log into the app next time. The notifications should be personalized and should not be sent endlessly till the user comes back.

Frequent updates

Releasing app updates frequently is another way to retain mobile app users. The updates can add more features to the app that users would want, or enhance the user experience. The objective is to keep the users interested and engaged either by adding new elements to the app or by upgrading the existing ones. The updates should be made after extensive analysis of usage patterns, user behavior, and their feedback.

Conclusion

App developers should be aware that their competition would be doing the same to retain users of their apps. It all comes down to the mobile app user retention strategy that the development company implements and the priorities of that strategy.

All of this requires expertise and experience in app development and marketing. AOT possesses both. Let us know if we can help your business launch a mobile app that can stand the test of time. Talk to our experts today.