Every few decades, technology advancements transform computing devices. From personal computers and mobile phones we are moving to Google Glass. Soon, we will also move from gesture and voice control to interacting with these devices by just thinking! This advancement coming along with affordability has given rise to a new phenomenon – the consumerization of technology. Computing devices have become more personal. There is an 1800 shift in the way technology adoption is moving. As consumers we are ahead on the technology adoption curve than as business users. To bridge this gap, we need to make some paradigms shifts and change the way we architect and build business applications.
I think business applications need to:
On a smart device, applications are not terminated when users open another application. They run in the background and notify users with updates behaving in near real-time mode.
Create Push Environments
Always on applications are expected to be more active and push relevant information to the user. For example, in a CRM app, the user can be informed about an order’s status change immediately rather than having to check it manually.
The information pushed to the user must be relevant and context sensitive. Different contexts such as location, current activity, availability, preferences, past activity etc. must be effectively used to deliver relevant information. Understanding and applying context needs an element of intelligence built in the application to understand the user’s behavior and adopt accordingly.
For example, a CRM system user at a customer location must be able to get information relevant to that customer automatically. In a meeting (based on calendar information) or when the device is in a silent mode, the application must not publish notifications.
Natural gestures like touch, voice, body movements and vision are going to be preferred means of interacting with applications. Application interfaces must be designed to leverage new technologies and adapt to the capabilities of the smart device like form-factor, input types and sensors.
Provide Seamless Experience
Most users today use more than one device to access applications. This behavior must be supported for business applications as well, providing multi-screen access for the same application. It’s imperative that the application instances on all screens are in-sync to avoid redundancy and provide a seamless experience.
Use Elastic Architectures
User’s expectations on response times have skyrocketed and consumers now expect sub-second response times. For enterprises, new functionality launch can add millions of new users, but with no time to redesign and scale up. The answer lies in elastic architectures that not only help in improving time-to-market by scaling up but also scale down when required, thereby saving infrastructure and operational costs.
We are leveraging these paradigm shifts to redefine business application architecture and bridge the gap between business and consumer technology.