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Application software: types, characteristics and trends.

The digital transformation has been going on for several years now but, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the respective confinement, it was forced to speed up the pace. According to some experts on the subject, today we can see progress that, had it not been for the health emergency, would have taken about five years to achieve.

Yet, many organizations still have a long way to go. This may be due to the economic or technical resources available, but also to the complexity or specificity of their operation, which forces them to develop elaborate platforms that support their needs and, above all, their concerns.

According to data from the Deloitte report “Tech Trends 2022”, “ "More than 70% of global data and analytics decision-makers are expanding their ability to use external data.”. And it is because, at this point, we can no longer limit ourselves to the information generated by our organization, but we must make use of all the analytics available, so that decisions can be made in the best documented way, developing a greater capacity for foresight.

Many organizations have taken the decision to adopt application software that, in addition to simplifying their remote operation, allows them to cross-reference information and obtain diagnostics to make the necessary adjustments, in order to optimize resources.

In most cases, there are already available platforms suitable for different industries, and that take advantage of the experience of their clients to offer agile and valuable solutions. We can find them of all sizes, capacities and prices, so choosing the ideal one is a matter of researching, evaluating and making the decision.

However, that is not the only alternative. Whether the available options do not fully meet the needs, their price is unaffordable or the implementation requirements are incompatible with the current operation of the organization, sometimes the best option will be to develop your own application. In addition to ensuring maximum use, it offers the advantage of having your own resource, which can be updated, adjusted or distributed at any time without pre-established limitations.

But, to all this, what are the most common types of application software?

  1. Transactional processing: mainly focused on e-commerce, but also recommended for physical commerce, it collects information on sales, inventory, distribution, returns, etc.
  2. Business management: its main objective is to collect, simplify and present information about the processes of an organization, in support of decision-making, mainly of middle managers.
  3. Business process control: in addition to monitoring and controlling industrial or physical processes, helps to maintain standards.
  4. Marketing information: they integrate data from human and technical teams to help an organization make decisions within the marketing area.
  5. Business collaboration: these are tools that help integrate all the information of the organization, generated in different locations and with different purposes, resulting in useful analytics for managerial decision making.
  6. Decision support: collects, integrates and analyzes internal and external information, processes it under different scenarios, and provides valuable predictions to help solve specific problems, mainly for the finance areas.
  7. Executive information: they cross internal and external data to provide company information, mainly focused on business intelligence.

The first conclusion may be that the type of application must be defined according to the immediate need, but in the long term, it is not usually the best decision. The most advisable thing is to know in depth the current needs, but also to consider future demands, integrations and, even, who will have interaction with it. In this way, you can be certain that you are developing a robust application, whose useful life can be extended indefinitely.

When developing an application, it is very important to take some considerations that will help avoid many future headaches:

Scalability: When constructing a building, engineers and architects make calculations that help them define the structure, materials, and even appearance; once finished, non-cosmetic modifications often require a new round of math. In the field of digital technology, fortunately, it is not the same situation. It is possible to structure it so that adding new sections, features or integrations will be a simple process that does not require further development.

User experience: As with furniture, the material they are made of, their structure and appearance are important, but what is essential is that they are comfortable. The same happens with applications where, in order to function correctly, the users need to understand it and, above all, find it easy to use.

Security: Nowadays, practically everything is hosted in the cloud. This simplifies access to information, but it also implies security challenges that should not be underestimated, since they pose great risks to an organization's information and even its operation.

Artificial Intelligence: Although it is not a condition, it is very useful, since it helps diagnose failures, automate tasks and generate reports that help optimize resources. This is only possible through the compilation of the information obtained thanks to the integration of the processes.

Mixed Reality: It is the natural evolution of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and, like AI, it can be of great value for the development of an application. We are not talking about this technology that adds a cat face to our video calls, but about a priceless tool for training, online sales, customer service or any other task that may be limited by the physical proximity of the people involved.

Done, now that you have an overview of the application software technology, it's time for you to leave the development in our hands.

With extensive experience in digital development, at Icalia we have a highly qualified human team and the experience that allows us to offer our clients the results they are looking for to achieve success. Contact us and tell us about your needs. Together we will find the answer.

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