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Greenville Business Magazine

Four steps to utilize the latest tech trends in your business

By Kevin Wentzel

In the ever-changing world of technology, it is easy to fall behind quickly. So how do you keep up without wearing out your eyes on numerous tech blogs daily? In my experience, it’s easy for most small- to medium-sized organizations to benefit greatly from updating their enterprise solutions in the following four steps.

Step One: Move to enterprise mobile apps
Many businesses are increasingly engaging their customers on mobile devices. Luckily, this technology trend can help you and your customers in numerous ways. 

One benefit is that companies can use push notifications to communicate directly with customers. 

Mobile applications also greatly benefit companies internally, especially those with remote workforces. Mobile capabilities increase efficiency and productivity, even in simple ways such as helping employees organize their workflow each morning or providing progress updates in real-time. Making old-fashioned data entry more mobile-friendly means that enterprises can get their data much faster, which not only helps them invoice promptly but also creates a better customer experience. 

One interesting facet of the move to mobile that benefits both consumer-facing and internal applications is the ever-increasing simplification of the user experience. We’re seeing companies who have complex applications or websites choose one or two core areas that are well-suited to a remote workforce or remote customer. This simplification, in turn, encourages companies to rethink their value propositions and focus on the 20 percent of their business that creates 80 percent of the results. 

Step Two: Use cloud-based infrastructure
The benefits of moving to the cloud are numerous. There is reduced maintenance and overhead costs. Buying and maintaining on-premise servers is an expensive endeavor that is eliminated when switching to an environment that maintains everything for you. In addition, cloud services become a monthly expense that companies can budget for rather than a huge, upfront cost. 

It allows companies to only pay for what they use and they can scale up and back down quickly to meet demand. 

Essentially, cloud services are making it easier and easier to use their applications and get to market, which frees small to medium-sized businesses up to try new things and fail, or succeed, faster. 

Step Three: Build new apps in modern languages, frameworks, and coding standards
Since there’s now a growing user base that’s accustomed to a mobile-type experience, many software providers such as Kopis are seeing a trend toward even desktop and fully-featured applications moving to the same clean, modern feel. 

Often, organizations achieve this by taking their legacy applications and reskinning them to look more modern. But just as often, they’re completely redoing them and even converting the backend to deliver a simplified experience. This means that companies that don’t adapt to more modern tech are going to have a difficult time finding people willing to work in an early 2000s language and could end up not having enough staff to support their applications. 

Another benefit of converting is that modern languages and frameworks have evolved to become more fully-featured and simplified at the same time. With common task libraries and common coding algorithms, most services are now simple enough that junior developers can create and test something as complex as a machine learning or AI project. This means that any company can reach a level of depth and feature enrichment that wasn’t possible even 10 years ago. 

Step Four: Enhance your security
Technology security is going to be a primary area of focus for the foreseeable future. Data breaches and hacking issues have become highly visible compared to a decade ago, which has made many companies take a harder look at their internal security measures. 

Consumer data continues to be an overall driving force in business, and it’s become easier to collect and mine for insights into consumer behavior. This is great for businesses, because they can more easily see how and why people are buying their products and respond by creating a better customer experience. 

However, with this privilege comes the responsibility to protect customer data. 

Fortunately, it’s also easier than ever to prevent and detect security breaches—from putting additional protective layers in place, such as multi-factor authentication, to using machine algorithms to detect suspicious behavior. 

Cloud services, in particular, include a lot of baked-in security measures and compliant infrastructures that are simple to deploy. 

Of course, there are many ways your company could innovate and evolve, but most of the technology trends that have the biggest impact fit into one of these four categories. 

By taking these steps, you can maximize the utility of your spending and ensure that you are making the most of what modern development has to offer.

Kevin Wentzel serves as COO of Kopis, a Greenville-based technology firm focused on providing high impact software and cloud solutions to businesses and state agencies in the Southeast. With a growing team of more than 40 employees, Kopis is one of the fastest growing software companies in the state of South Carolina.