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Ask any app expert and they will tell you that it’s a crowded space — whether you need something simple, like a list of which restaurants nearby can accommodate specific dietary restrictions, or something more complex like an IoT device that’ll connect to your mobile phone, there’s no question about the ubiquity of digital apps and the importance they hold in today’s society.
Reports suggest that by 2020, more than 25 billion different things will be connected to the Internet, and with more and more investment firms getting behind smart technology, the opportunities for businesses both large and small to leverage the Internet of Things is becoming nearly limitless — if your company has the correct outlook, of course. IoT represents the next major evolution of the Internet, and nearly every major corporation is developing business-facing IoT apps. The pivot over the last few years into IoT investment is creating opportunities for new revenue streams, as well as intelligent customer interactions — and of course offers greater efficiency overall. With all of the buzz surrounding IoT growth, you may be asking how businesses like yours can gain a sustainably competitive advantage.
Businesses are investing so heavily in IoT because it creates deeper inroads into customer relations. Creating a connected product using IoT technologies does more than offer a new experience between a customer and a product — it deepens the relationship between the company and the customer, creating an ongoing service experience that boosts both engagement and brand awareness.
As consumers become more and more connected to their services (both by proximity and frequency of use — from parcel delivery to thermostats to fitness apps), the relationship between client and company transforms from a one-time arm’s-length transaction to an ongoing service relationship that deepens brand loyalty because connected products and services no longer offer only an experience, but often a solution to a major problem.Even if a need is distinctive and relatively unique, there’s likely an app out there created to meet it. Take for example Raden, an app that connects to smart luggage allowing frequent flyers to get around smoother, alleviating some of the chaos airports can create.
Raden was created by renowned Toronto and Montreal-based app developer, Guaraná Technologies. They design best-of-class mobile apps for tablets, smartphones, and wearable devices, and have recently been named a Top Application Development Agency for 2018 by CrowdReviews and Clutch. This app allows passengers to track where their case is using blue tooth technology, decipher the exact weight of their luggage (eradicating the potential for overage charges), charge their devices remotely thanks an internal battery source installed into the case, and connect to customer support should they have any concerns along their journey. This iOS app even made Oprah’s List of her favourite things in the year 2016.
Creating a strong and dependable app like the above takes preparation, research, and requires a leading app development company to put its designers and developers in the shoes of the client and their users – providing them with a product that is not only appealing but one that makes sense. Choosing a lean development process for example ensures every feature of the app has a purpose and meets a relevant need; this is accomplished by liaising with the client and making meticulous decisions about what gets included in the design.
A strong developer will craft strategies that put you ahead of your competition. They’ll sharpen your business idea, help you choose the remuneration model that makes the most sense for your business, define the best platform for your app’s launch, and take you through the foundation of how your app will work. They’ll then create a wireframe to define user flow and logic, a mood board filled with inspirations you can add to, and then they’ll begin on the interface design (how the app will look). During the development process the app is coded, units are tested, bugs are tracked and rectified, and then the developer should have their internal users verify the app and give their suggestions before it moves into the launching stages.
The difference between a successful app like Raden, Spotify, or Uber and an unsuccessful one is that the apps that gain traction take care of an existing need users have, making their lives easier. Apps that do not do this often have little purpose and superfluous features that aren’t doing much to improve a user’s quality of life. For an app to have a bright future, it needs bright, intelligent, and strategic minds behind its development; don’t risk putting your business out tens of thousands of dollars by settling for less.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.