Businesses rely on technology to make their operations as efficient as possible. One of the major changes this upcoming year will be the emergence of the platform as a service (PaaS). Platforms will allow businesses to congregate several tools together, improving the behind-the-scenes infrastructure that drives growth.
Efficiency is a major theme in these trends, and they reach every avenue of the business.
Improving Usage of Tools
One of the big HR tech trends involves giving employees more control over scheduling. More software suites are allowing employees to clock in via mobile devices, monitor sick and vacation days, request time off and review upcoming schedules. However, users only want to use this software if it’s intuitive.
One of the major trends in business software this year will be presenting a consumer-like experience. The user interface of the average tool will become easier to use, with key actions quickly available for review.
Tool usage also extends to how employees interact with customers. At the retail level, lots of hardware changes have already happened to make shopping more efficient. For example, mobile devices to scan and charge items, or mobile wallets that utilize location data to give customers coupons.
Solving Customer Problems Faster
Another major trend driving business software development is automation with efficiency. The chatbot is perhaps the perfect example of this, and you’ve probably already interacted with one. Chatbots can be taught to solve simple customer problems based on keyword usage, such as “my phone line is down” or “I want to make an exchange.” The chatbot “reads” these words and provides some canned responses. This way, your support people only speak to a customer with a serious issue.
Much of the efficiency revolves around machine learning, which allows AI to take care of the low-level support tasks and produce results quickly. This technology is already available, and it’ll only get refined as time goes on.
Better Utilizing Big Data
Big Data has been a trend in business for a while, but many fail to truly utilize it to its full potential. New software suites provide a more granular view of every aspect of the business. Project management is a good place to start. The software allows a project manager to evaluate hours spent on projects, estimate time to completion, view roadblocks and coordinate across teams from a single application.
Better reporting options also mean high-level thinkers get reports that give them actionable data. Reporting is easily underestimated, but key metrics provide decision-makers with a clearer picture of what the business is doing.
Open-Source Software Adoption
Another trend that’s beginning to catch on is the adoption of open-source software. The way that open source licenses work allows businesses to build off of these tools and scale appropriately. Essentially, open-source is like someone already starting the work. With a few modifications, this software can be converted to solve the needs of your business.
Expect open-source software to catch on this year, as more businesses begin trusting it. IT departments don’t like a lot of unexpected applications, so it can take time to adopt open-source software company-wide. However, there are a growing number of applications that solve small problems for everyday use.
Business software development in the coming year will focus primarily on efficiency. Open source adoption rates are increasing, a signal that companies are thinking outside the box about scaling solutions.