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Application Development

6 key enterprise application development trends of 2014

Education“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” –Leon C. Megginson

As we start 2014, I believe that quote applies perfectly to the evolving world of enterprise application development. After all, web application development is undergoing some major changes. For instance, consumer devices have infiltrated the workplace. HTML5 will become the new standard this year. The cloud has matured, now offering even more business advantages. I could go on.

photo credit: sntgmdm via photopin cc
photo credit: sntgmdm via photopin cc

The point is, these recent tech trends will forever change enterprise application development. As technology plays an increased role in business in the coming years, companies that adapt to these changes will have an advantage. Companies that don’t will fall behind.

So, how is enterprise application development changing? What big trends can we expect in the coming year? In this article, we’ll examine some major trends, and explain why they’re so important. While this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, the following includes some of the most important trends to watch in 2014:

6 tips for building applications that last

EducationLet me make a wild assumption: You probably don’t want to replace your business applications every few years. You’d like to build applications that last. You want to build applications that grow with your company and adapt to changing technology.

The big problem: Technology is evolving faster than ever, which makes business application development even more challenging. If built incorrectly, a modern application today might be outdated in just a few short years. Obviously, businesses can’t afford to replace their applications every few years.

How can you build applications that remain relevant for years to come? How can you build applications that scale with your company and adapt to changing tech trends?

To help you answer those questions, I’ve compiled a short list of tips that will help you build applications that last. Now, I’m keeping this relatively high-level. We could write pages and pages on how to implement each point below. Rather than get into all of the details, here are the key aspects to consider when building applications for the future.

Rules for modern web application development

EducationWeb application development has experienced a fundamental shift over the last 5 years. Mobile devices have exploded. Consumer applications have largely surpassed business applications in both capabilities and overall simplicity. Development libraries, frameworks, languages, etc… have evolved.

The fact is, development standards have changed, yet many companies are stuck developing applications based on outdated standards and technology. If they don’t adapt, these companies will only fall further and further behind as technology rapidly evolves.

The big questions: How has development changed? What rules must developers follow when building modern web applications? What current development principles will help ensure success?

To help you answer those questions, here’s a short list of guidelines that you must follow when developing modern web applications. Of course, if you’d like to add anything to the list, please do so in the comments.

Weekly recap: 10 productivity tips for developers, how enterprise IT gets creative, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on productivity tips for developers, how enterprise IT gets creative, and more. I hope you find them useful:

If You Can’t Sell to Me on My iPhone, Best Buy, You Can’t Sell to Me at All
I noticed two key points in this article that businesses can’t ignore: First, the author expects to receive a mobile-optimized experience when viewing a site on his smartphone. Second, he purchased an item from Amazon, using his smartphone, while standing in a Staples store. This ties in perfectly with the article from last week: 3 new trends created by mobile (that you can’t ignore).

Weekly recap: A strategy to improve application development, web accessibility, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on improving application development, web accessibility, and more. I hope you find them useful:

Most data isn’t “big,” and businesses are wasting money pretending it is
It’s all over the tech sites. You’ve heard the hype. “Big Data” is the next big thing. Quick! Buy expensive software to manage all of your big data! Of course, I’m joking. The fact is, most companies don’t actually have “big data.” Unless you’re dealing with absolutely massive amounts of data, you don’t need “big data” software. You need BI software that will let you quickly analyze your data and run reports. If you’re looking for good BI software, here’s a handy guide that will help you choose the best option.

6 strategic development questions that many overlook

EducationI’ve noticed a lack of long-term, strategic thinking in the business application development world. Many businesses build applications for current needs, but ignore the future.

It usually goes something like this: A manager says, “I need an application that does X, Y, and Z. When can we have it?” The developers rush through the project, deliver the application, and everyone’s happy.

Or, at least they’re happy for a year or so. Then the business changes, technology advances, and new trends roll around. Now, the application must also support A, B, and C. But it can’t. It wasn’t built for change. It wasn’t built for the future.

Now what happens? They need new apps. All of the previous work is now wasted because they didn’t build the initial app with the future in mind.

That leads to the obvious question: “How do you build applications for the future?” How do you build applications that adapt to change?

The answer: It starts with asking the right questions from the get-go. Ask strategic, long-term questions before you build your applications. To give you an idea of what to ask, I’ve come up with a short list of strategic questions to consider before building a business web application. While I’m sure there are others, these are all key questions which will help you build applications that last:

How to build applications your users will hate

EducationIT departments are often frustrated by poor application adoption. They spend months building applications for their end users, only to see low adoption rates upon completion. The very users that begged the IT department for the application don’t use it once it’s built.

Why? What causes low user adoption? What makes users dislike an application that they themselves begged the IT department to deliver?

While there’s no single answer, user adoption problems typically stem from several common mistakes. Which mistakes? We posed this question to a few experts and have included their advice (along with some actionable takeaways) below. User adoption problems usually occur when developers…

Weekly recap: 10 development predictions, the need for adaptable ERPs, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on application development predictions, why ERP systems must adapt to business changes, and more. I hope you find them useful:

SMEs must be able to adapt their ERP to business change
A recent study by Aberdeen Group highlights the importance of being able to react quickly/inexpensively to business change without major disruptions. In a growing organization, change is inevitable, and companies stuck with inflexible ERP systems will ultimately suffer. If your company is stuck with an outdated ERP system, this guide outlines one way to fix that problem.

Why development projects fail (and what can IT do about it?)

EducationDepending on the survey you read, anywhere from 25% – 68% of IT projects fail. These failures often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, waste months (or years) of time, and usually lead to people losing their jobs.

The big question: Why do projects fail so regularly?

Today, I’d like to examine IT project failure, but focus specifically on development projects. Why do development projects fail? Perhaps a better question: What can your IT department do to make them succeed?

To help shed some light on why development projects fail, we posed the question to a few experts on the subject. I’ve listed their advice below, as well as a short “take-away” from each point that briefly explains how IT can avoid each problem. I hope you find it useful: