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February 12, 2019

Are Your Critical Business Applications Keeping Up with the Times?

Most businesses today have at least one (and likely more) business applications that they use to move information, connect with customers, process transactions, monitor systems and more. These critical business applications are essential to the health of your business. In many cases, vital parts of your operation may completely shut down if these applications were not available. But how much do you pay attention to the health of these applications? And, are you making sure that they are keeping pace with new developments in technology? In this post, we’re going to explore three elements that pressure your critical business applications.

Three Pressures on Your Critical Business Applications

  1. Changes in your business process. Over time, business processes change for a variety of reasons, such as shifts in customer needs, regulatory requirements, data collection/storage, and workflow. If your critical business applications do not adjust to fit these changes, it will get harder to work with them. For example, your business may have shifted collection and management of customer information from a call center to an online account through your website. If your core business systems storing that data are not redesigned to work with the web front-end, you will soon experience large gaps in customer information. This will threaten your ability to run your business processes efficiently.Solution: Periodically review your critical business applications against your workflow with the assistance of an application architect. This will identify the gaps and engineer solutions that will keep your applications aligned with your workflow.
  2. The Rise of Mobile. Smartphones and tablets are so integral to our daily routines that we are almost lost without them. Your customers and your workforce both expect to interact with you via mobile. Are your systems mobile-compatible? Have they been designed to be responsive to the needs of tablet and smartphone users?Solution: Start by determining whether mobile is a critical part of how users interact with your business applications. For any system that needs a strong mobile component, you should work with user experience specialists and developers to re-engineer your application to work in the mobile environment. For example, if the user is required to enter too much information into a single screen, you should break out your input requirements across several screens.
  3. The Importance of Speed and Access. In today’s business environment, speed is one of the most important performance indicators. If your applications are fast and always available, you will reduce friction and satisfy the needs of your customers and your workforce. Unfortunately, too many critical business applications in use today were built for a different era. And as a result, they cannot keep pace with the demand for speed. Today, many new business applications are designed to work with cloud platforms, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). This improves critical performance measures such as uptime while reducing lag (loading time). It can also improve security and help you better manage your infrastructure costs.Solution: Work with a qualified Web hosting engineer to explore the available hosting platforms that can house your business applications and meet the performance demands of your business. One of our clients, WBAL, experienced this first-hand earlier this year when they saw a 2000% increase in traffic to their core news website during the Baltimore riots. We architected their system on the AWS platform to handle such demands in traffic while balancing their need to continue publishing updated news stories to the site.

Ready to Modernize Your Critical Business Applications?

At Atlantic BT, we specialize in solving your toughest digital problems—including making your critical business applications drive the success of your business. If you’d like to learn more about how your business applications can perform better in today’s business environment, contact us today. Our consultants can conduct a thorough evaluation of your applications, help you explore the options available to you, and put together a roadmap to transform your critical applications for near- and long-term success.

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