In today’s digital world, software drives and enables businesses regardless of the industry. “Software is eating the world,” says Marc Andreessen, American entrepreneur, investor, and software engineer.
Businesses no longer have a choice whether to use digital and mobile technologies or not. Instead, it’s about how well they use it, says Jason Pope, CA Technologies CTO and head of pre-sales at the CA IT Leaders Forum.
“Mobile and social aren’t emerging, they’re merging,” he says.
In response to this, CA Technologies is focusing on helping businesses succeed in the ‘landscape where the app is everything’ with an updated portfolio of products and solutions as well as services and partner alliances targeted toward the application economy.
According to Pope, in order to succeed in the app economy businesses must increase the number of releases and shorten delivery cycles, identify and reduce errors, build faster and test earlier, and lower infrastructure costs.
One way businesses can do this is with greater investment in DevOps.
He says enterprises can give developers the time to be creative and up-skill them to ensure apps remain relevant.
On top of this, never make security an after thought – it has to be baked in, he says.
The average cost of a security breach is 4.4 million, and that is a conservative number, Pope says. Security is now about protecting more than just the perimeter, and with other trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT) on the rise there is a greater need for security considerations. Already approximately one quarter of IT spending is devoted to security, he says.
Key drivers behind the growth of apps include: brand reputation, real-time marketing, product placement, wearable technology and the power of peer recommendation.
Brand reputation needs to be recognised and accepted as a crucial factor in engaging with customers, says Pope.
Applications are a primary way businesses can do this and are fundamental to the way customer service is evolving, he says.
In fact, a CA Technologies survey involving 100 local IT executives, highlighted that customer service is a primary driver for why businesses are building new apps, with mobility following close behind.
In 2013, the approximate ratio of users on apps versus mobile browsers was 4:1 whereas in 2014 this figure increased to 5:1.
“People interact with you and your organisation through your software, services and the apps you provide.
“Apps are the way people want to interact, and they want a dedicated experience and an app that solves their problems,” says Pope.
“People tend to use apps to solve problems. They provide a discreet, simple, straight-forward way to solve a problem or interact with an organisation or service,” he says.
With apps businesses can get in touch with a vast array of customers. However, the process has to be done right in order from start to finish in order for it to have a positive impact on brand reputation and business, proving to build stronger relationships, trust and loyalty, says Pope.
He says, research shows businesses have three seconds to ‘grab hold of’ a potential customer, says Pope. After that time approximately one third of customers will leave and go to your competitor.
According to Pope, the cooperation between development and operations is crucial to successfully and consistently deliver good quality apps. It’s about the people a business invests in, as well as R&D, he says.
On top of this, once the app is out, there needs to be some form of feedback system, he says. The team needs to know if the app is delivering on the three second deadline and can trace back the root of a problem. This information can be used to continually improve the app.
CA Technologies says, “Enterprises must accelerate the delivery of high quality applications to meet veracious customer demand for new features and services and they must do it all for fewer resources for less money, and at a faster pace than ever.”