Having set-up a small business just a year ago in what was already an over-crowded market dominated by companies that do the same labour at an overpriced rate and an undervalued quality, I wanted to consider ways that we could make ourselves unique and different to those businesses that go day-by-day, puffing out the same stuff.
After researching and plugging into a vast array of new topics from Objective-C, Semantic Data Processing and the concept of 'Big Open Data' online, I was caught onto the trend of creating and developing dynamic and scalable server-side applications. With the huge drive and adoption of Node.js and the creation of awesome frameworks such as Express.js, it was a shame to see so little businesses actually taking advantage of the tools out there.
I trialled around with different ways to engage with other businesses and to find out what businesses actually wanted and how to bridge the often mis-communication between our level of expertise and their level of expectation. If you bloat them with technical jargon, more than likely they'll have no idea what you're on about and consequently won't be interested.
Development Outside of The Box
After compiling all the responses we got into as much qualified data as we could, we noticed trends across businesses and specific industries / sectors. Which, considering the generation and technological era we're in was shocking.
We've always planned our business around that of website development and web-apps, but what is a website if it doesn't connect with the complete CRM capabilities of the business and incorporates their entire business strategy in one easy solution? So many businesses use outdated software to manage their day-to-day operations which could in fact cause them a huge headache in the long-run.
Dare I say it, almost 20% of all businesses we contacted were still paper-based because they'd rather stick to paper than be faced with the daunting task of migrating.
With this we set out to partner up with some exciting companies that allowed us to expand into new areas that we previously just couldn't support. From the core, at the backbone of the Internet through the dedicated hardware configurations, to the heart of the business hub and its applications.
Consider Your Growth
It's a fact, businesses do grow. That's where your development push needs to be. Don't get yourself tied down into something that doesn't scale and expand to your needs.
Even from simple websites, developers often introduce various bugs throughout their development life cycle, I'd be lying if I said I don't myself. Bugs, coupled with hardware and platform architectures that may be 3 or 4 version out-of-date with developers inexperienced in modern advancements, will really hinder your growth in the long-run. Websites as standard should be responsive, HTML5 compliant and properly integrate all XML schema's that allow search engines to truly index your business and store 'Rich Snippets' about you, your products and your data.
A Dynamic Business in the Cloud
Your entire development platform should integrate directly into your CRM and be accessible from anywhere at any time, or should I say ... 'in the cloud'. This is brilliant if you're currently finding your business spread over multiple locations, platforms and applications.
Businesses seem to love the word 'cloud'. It immediately sparks the light bulb of growth and staying with the modern times. Though, if you ask them what the 'cloud' actually is and how it can help them - you'll probably get a widespread mix of responses.
So that's just it. Businesses do need to embrace the cloud. McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm claimed that 80% of large companies in North America that it surveyed are looking at how they can utilise cloud services across their businesses.
Scrap 'Website' Development, Think 'Cloud Development' and Think Big!
Next time you're facing the task of needing a new website, just think about what's current and what you really need.
Website development is a thing of the past. Yes, the principles do and probably always remain the same, but the world outside of single-site development is massive. Scalable cloud-computing and always-accessible apps on all devices is definitely a present day trend. You want not-only the physical hardware that creates your own cloud, but you want the power and scalability to comfortably and successfully grow your business and provide its services to your consumers and other businesses.
Taking it a step further; you've got the cloud architecture? That's right, other businesses want it, so why not step up your game and become a provider? The growth is incredible. That's exactly what we've done to stand out against the other 1500 companies in the market; it's about staying fresh and being able to deliver what's current and not being left in the dust cloud (I had to...).