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Best Practices for User Profile Page Design [with Examples]

If you want to grow your company, having an eye-catching, outstanding user profile is mandatory, so the target audience can be turned into a loyal audience in a quick way.

This leaves us with a question: how can the profile be designed in a way to attract the interest of the user? There are no specific rules but there are some best practices of designing a user profile page that may be worth considering while you create it. We are here to guide you through the user profile page design best practices.

What is a user profile page?

A lot of services create and manage user profiles so their clients or target audience can efficiently interact with a specific business, therefore its owner can collect and analyze data useful for his or her company.

A user profile is a set of components and information related to a particular user. Usually, it contains important information (name, age, picture, and other characteristics)
that is used to identify a person. The set of elements depend on the purpose of the page (whether it’s social media, dating app, or employee profile)
Who benefits from user profiles?

  • App or website owners as they constantly get valuable customer data.
  • Customers as they receive personalized service.

User profile page: mobile and website version

Of course, there are major differences between not only the mobile app profile page and its web version, but in design in general. One of them is that the two are accessed through different devices, a computer, and a smartphone respectively.

When you are trying to access a specific website on your mobile browser, you don’t reach a regular page, but its mobile version which contains a smaller interface, to be used on phones or tablets. Other differences between the two include

Screen-size

There are always changes in the screen size of the two interfaces. While accessing a website you use a keyboard what is impossible to manage the same with your smartphone. So, this impacts some aspects of the interface, for instance, the location of buttons.

Contextual

As a designer, you have to take into account that these two devices may be accessed in different positions. Usually, people use websites from their PCs, while being seated. And for mobile apps, they are used on the go and mostly with one hand. So, you have to remember these differences and ensure that both webpage and app design are convenient for users in any scenario.

Different processors

What works for your website wouldn't work for your app. Smartphones have slower processors than computers, and that's why demanding a simple layout for applications.

To continue reading this article, please visit our blog.

Publish Date: November 24, 2021 11:38 AM


7 Key Property Management Software Features [Complete List]

With the global digitalization, adoption of different technologies, the need for top-notch Property Management Software has become critical within the real estate industry. To remain competitive on the market and facilitate your workflow, consider upgrading your software to a more automatic and innovative cloud-based solution. We are here to guide you through the process of choosing key features of property management software.

Who needs a software solution?

  • Real estate companies
  • Property owners and managers
  • Tenants
  • Hotel managers
  • Retail

The reasons you need to employ property management software

Before jumping into the world of property management system features, let’s start with the basics and discover the meaning of it.

Usually, it is a web platform, mobile app, or even both, with a set of tools that were developed to help real estate companies automate corporate procedures. Some of them may include properties (residential\ commercial) management, leads attraction, communication between landlords and tenants, rent payments tracking, etc. Real estate agents face already mentioned business operations on a daily basis. Manually performing this process demands a lot of effort. Why do you need to employ software? Let’s take a look at a couple of things that most realtors struggle with.

To continue reading this article, visit our blog.

Publish Date: November 8, 2021 2:12 PM


CRM for Real Estate: What Is It & Tips for Choosing the Best One

Most of the time real-estate agencies manage and respond to lots of incoming requests, sell properties, get in contact with current and potential customers, etc. All of these processes can be optimized with CRM software for property management that helps you seamlessly manage your business from one platform.

What else real estate CRM system can offer you? Let’s see, how about Digital Marketing Automation, Service Personalization, closings management, etc. The software helps to manage relationships with customers effectively, whether they are buyers, renters, owners, tenants, and so on. CRM software is expected to reach over $80 billion by 2025, this tool seems to be useful and frequently used.

We are here to help you understand what does CRM mean in real estate, what it will cover, and how to use it. CRM belongs to the new product development process of today! So, let’s proceed.

Main goals of using CRM software for the real estate industry

Wondering what is CRM in real estate? Let’s explain it with reasons why it builds better relationships with your customers.

Well-organized business processes

A CRM software manages huge amounts of data and stores it all in an organized way. Your business must keep your internal information organized and be able to access it in just one click. Saves time and makes engagements with your leads and customers smooth.

Risk monitoring

With efficient CRM platforms, companies analyze the market and forecast potential risks or even future trends.

Data-driven decisions

With the help of CRM platforms, companies convert the unstructured data into a structured format to visualize it and generate actionable insights. It let you forecast future revenue, improve the effectiveness of sales, and other operational activities.

Lead generation

A management system helps you gather new leads in a cost-efficient way. Based on online interaction with your website, CRM software analyzes user activity, provides you with insights about their interests, and sets an approach to reach them.

Increased revenue

Custom real estate CRM allows you to generate extensive reports for your business. What can it bring to your business? Let’s see. With reports based on sales, property, seller, and customer data., you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current roadmap and come up with one if necessary. This leads to optimized internal processes, sales, reduced operational costs, and increased revenue.

Managed deals

Real estate CRM software lets you close deals in a quick way.

Are you still interested in the meaning of CRM for real estate? Let’s find out what other features it can offer.

CRM software for property management has to offer you:

  • Customer support desk
  • Closing deals tracking
  • Market automation tools
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Email marketing
  • Customize workflows
  • Social media management
  • Tasks assignments
  • Invoices tracking
  • Follow-ups sending

CRM software for property management includes the following benefits:

Contact management

One of the core features of a CRM system is to store and use details to support your relationships with clients. Additionally, there is a possibility to facilitate work for your sales team by integrating with social media accounts or contact applications.

Deal management

By setting tasks, and deadlines, this feature helps your team increase productivity to close the deal.

Workflow automation

Automation is always an advantage. For instance, scheduling emails to contacts can advance relationships and save your agents a bunch of time and let them focus on more critical tasks.

Emails and call logs

CRM platform keeps track of customer communications, updates information, and reduces human mistakes.

Reporting and analytics

Customized reports on your sales and marketing activities are a tool for doing business. Plus it’s a convenient way to keep your team on the same page.

Third-party integration

Integrating with other business software increases the information you have on contacts and lets you add additional features to the system.

Common types of CRM software for real estate

There are different types of CRM for real estate. Usually, they are divided into specialized CRMs that are built for realtors, and general - customized for real estate businesses. If you’re looking for a CRM solution, you can consider either approach but bear in mind that general platforms require some configuration, but can easily be adapted for your needs.

Cloud-based applications

This type of CRM for property management runs over the web. As long as you have an internet connection and permission to log into the system, you have access to the company’s data anytime anywhere.

Desktop software

This type of CRM is considered to be a program that runs on a laptop or desktop computer locally. As for us, it is an inconvenient approach for the real estate industry because users can access applications only from a host computer.

Cross-platform solution

In our opinion, this is the most useful solution you can offer your company. Imagine, that you and your agents can access the CRM system from their desktop and mobile devices simultaneously. This brings lots of advantages, for instance, time-saving as you can quickly perform your daily tasks from every location you need to.

Iamge — Top 6 advice for new developers

Our tips for choosing CRM software for real estate

The process of selecting CRM software for property management includes a few things to consider.

Check out the top benefits of CRM in the healthcare industry.

Identify business needs

Determine what you want out of your CRM platform before making a final choice. Please note that no CRM system fits everybody. All of the CRMs have their pluses and minuses. So you have to decide what is the most you want to get out of this, whether you want to manage your contacts in a convenient way or track deals. Narrow it down and decide which CRM is going to be your best choice.

Work with a CRM platform that is easy to use

Once you’ve determined your needs, you may deploy a CRM that is customized to your working environment. It has to make your work easier by centralizing all the information you need in one place. So choose it wisely or even better is to turn to experts to create a custom version.

Include specific features

One of the main advantages of a CRM is the ability to deliver reports and comments in real-time. Access to such valuable insights strengthens every team. It also may provide you with pathways for business development, help to boost performance, and survive in a competitive marketplace.

Don’t forget about a security

With the help of the CRM system, you have access to the internal data stored in the cloud from every device, anywhere, at any time. Especially, it can concern a real estate industry as agents are moving from one property to another most of the time. So, security is a crucial thing you can’t work without. And your CRM must satisfy these basic needs.

Develop a custom CRM

There are plenty of different CRM systems available on the market. But not to adjust the whole company to the existing platform, adapt it to yourself instead. To satisfy your specific business needs, consider hiring a partner to outsource the development of a custom platform that will be designed just for you.

What Business Needs does it Cover?

Before choosing a CRM for real estate services let's discover who are the objects that use it.

CRM for real estate provides value for various teams within an industry:

Real estate agents and realtors

This group uses a CRM to:

  • Discover valuable information about the property they are showing
  • Get insights about potential buyers, sellers, and renters, including their specific needs
  • Maximize closing rates by matching the right property with the right person

Administration team

  • Manages properties, adds them to the system, so every team member has access to an updated information
  • Follows the policies
  • Sets up appointments
  • Interacts with clients
  • Creates reports (leads, clients, closures, and revenue)

Marketing team

  • Advertises property for the right audience
  • Identifies the properties that will benefit the most
  • Segments the audience and launch marketing campaigns for each
  • Tracks the success of the marketing campaign
  • Generates leads

Sales team

  • Gathers information about buyer, seller, and renter to manage them through the closing process
  • Interacts with third parties
  • Ensures law compliance
  • Manages real estate transactions

Customer support team

The customer service team will use a CRM to:

  • Answer questions from clients with personalized responses
  • Contact customers in multiple ways and through different channels
  • Informe clients of updates
  • Identify and resolve issues

Our Experience

Inoxoft has 7 years of experience in the global software development market. In particular, our experts provide custom real estate software development services and create the finest CRM solutions to lead real estate companies through the challenging process of property management.

Want to have a closer look at our projects? Check out our portfolio.

Final words

CRM for real estate services is the groundbreaking solution to enhance the positive experience within the industry. If you are considering becoming a realtor, real estate agent, or company owner, you need to know how to choose CRM for property management that will help you manage, attract, and retain clients. Contact us to get insights from our experts!

Originally published at https://inoxoft.com/blog/what-is-crm-in-real-estate-and-what-business-needs-it-should-cover/

Publish Date: October 22, 2021 1:50 PM


3 Best Practices of Implementing DevOps Outsourcing Team into Your Workflow

Today, with so many competitors on the market, you win your customers only if your work is efficient and super fast. Most of the businesses with quality developed products strive to adjust to the fast pace and manage both the development and operation teams. Therefore, we have DevOps. It is not only a job position but also a methodology like, for instance, Agile. But the difference is in the great optimization and speedy solutions this methodology allows teams to achieve.

But, what if it’s too expensive to hire your in-house DevOps engineers for that purpose? What if you’d like to have DevOps on the team and invest a fair share? Then, this article is your greatest asset.

To enhance your SDLC and project delivery workflow, try DevOps outsourcing. What’s DevOps outsourcing and how can you implement it into your workflow - let’s discuss it further.

Why do you need to choose DevOps outsourcing?

According to AWS, DevOps can increase your company’s application delivery speed by 100%. How exactly? Through a sophisticated combination of different corporate philosophies, practices, and tools. Compared to the traditional methodologies and practices of software development, DevOps methodology is way better and a step higher. Speed, quality, and effective market competitiveness make the DevOps model of work satisfying for customers. And, not only for them. Teams also feel at the top of their excellence. They get to do more in less time and waste fewer costs and resources during development.

The need for DevOps outsourcing comes from the fact that there is a rise in scalable and cloud development. And, we are pretty aware of the most popular public clouds today. These are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

DevOps outsourcing is an approach that essentially fuses DevOps into SDLC, without the need to hire DevOps engineers on permanent terms. However, you still need to hire a person with DevOps skills to implement the potentially beneficial management technique. And, here’s when outsourcing gets all the credit.

There are evident benefits of DevOps outsourcing. To name a few:

Shorter development cycles

With all the processes optimized and working like a clock, it is possible to deploy a product in shorter timelines. This is also because every part of the development cycle is shorter. For example, see the picture below. Every cycle is followed by a reasonable activity making an endless loop of productivity and fast results.

With fast results, it is possible to launch the product faster and gain more trust from your customers. And, DevOps will ensure that fast results are also quality results.

Team is already skilled and knowledgeable

A person, who is DevOps on the team (or the whole team) has to have a lot of experience and knowledge in the methodology. For instance, the average age of a DevOps engineer working for a company is 39 years. Also, the person has to have a degree and polish his/her knowledge to be competitive in the market. Following today’s stats, you cannot become a good DevOps in 6 months. Only DevOps of 3+ or more years

  • get to see 66% higher-quality deliverables
  • have a 45% lower rate of failure during releases
  • experience fewer problems by 40%

Real-time feedback and metrics

With DevOps outsourcing implementation best practices, your organization will experience the following benefits:

What’s more, you will always have access to the metrics and increase business metrics. Atlassian says, over 90% of companies mentioned DevOps’ direct impact on business metrics. Also, 61% of businesses produced higher quality deliverables with best practices of implementing DevOps outsourcing.

More focus on improving the business

Benefits of DevOps outsourcing team include a measurement of 99% of businesses that say their development is a positive journey and a definite success. Relying on the effective management of engineering specialists makes businesses focus more on their direction and future values.

How to implement DevOps outsourcing team into your workflow

If you’re asking how to implement DevOps outsourcing team into your workflow, there are some steps to carry out. And, some pros and cons of DevOps outsourcing.

Step #1 Choose the project to implement DevOps on

To make an excellent start together, first of all, your should select the right project. If the DevOps tools and practices are new to you, then it is best to ensure if:

  • the software will be beneficial to your company with regards to ROI?
  • your project requires using of new technology?
  • are there systems to integrate with?
  • your project has a long duration?
  • your project will require numerous stakeholders?

Understanding where you’re at helps a lot to implement DevOps outsourcing.

Step #2 Choose the best vendor communication and location

Among the challenges of outsourcing DevOps services are finding a vendor, who can provide solid communication. Most companies succeed only if their communication works outstandingly great. To understand where you are at, think about the distance, culture, timezone, and mentality differences. If you can handle these and communicate well - then nothing should trouble you! Your remote team should always promote a continuous chance to provide you with the latest feedback and give you the information in the slightest detail. This way you both will be on the same page.

Step #3 Choose the right technical skills of a vendor

Your potential DevOps should have vast technical skills. So, to ensure the person or a team is experienced, you should ask them whether

  • the team has the required skills and tools?
  • the team has a core competency of the small and middle-sized business, startups, etc.?
  • how the company hires new talents that have the exact skills?
  • Are there any certifications?

Also, some questions should be risen according to process automation. For instance,

  • Will the coder be able to automatically promote code?
  • Will the team carry out the test-driven design and development?
  • Will the programmer find features and can he fix the promoted code?
  • Will the service provider be able to perform regression testing?
  • Will the team be able to perform migration?

Most of the DevOps teams have programming expertise in Python, Java, Ruby, and PHP. Also, DevOps will have expertise in software building that is infrastructure-oriented. For this reason, they might be familiar with Windows PowerShell, Docker, Puppet, Ansible, and SaltStack.

To add, DevOps outsourcing services also include experience in continuous integration with the CI Tools like CruiseControl, Jenkins, Travis CI, TeamCity, and GitLab.

The outsourcing DevOps team certifications to look forward to, are:

  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (Associate)
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (Professional)
  • Scrum Master (SM)
  • Project Management (PMP)

Successful examples of projects where DevOps outsourcing team was used

Inoxoft has valuable experience in DevOps outsourcing. However, most of the projects we did are under a no disclosure agreement. So, let us speak only about the services we focus on providing.

Our company provides top DevOps outsourcing services. For example,

  • Kubernetes clustering

Get to know how to run containerized apps on any machine or in any environment.

  • CI/CD pipeline setup

We help automate delivery processes by creating continuous delivery and integration pipelines.

  • Microservice architecture

The fast and frequent delivery of an app is done through the enhancement of a tech stack in a complex app with microservice architecture.

  • Serverless architecture

We can help you build apps and run them without the need to manage the infrastructure (scaling and maintenance).

  • Infrastructure as code

We ensure cloud resources provision and management by written human and machine-readable code.

  • DevSecOps

Inoxoft carries out the best security practices integration for your SDLC to ensure 100% security.

To start cooperation right away, hire Inoxoft’s DevOps via a dedicated team, rent-a-team, or project team cooperation models.

You can read everything about our work on Inoxoft’s website. Our major success stories can be viewed following the link. What our customers think about our team and cooperation - look through here.

Consider Inoxoft your trusted partner

Inoxoft is a company providing custom software development services. We believe that it is important to go with the pace of time. And to choose software development models that suit both your business and your team. See the examples of software development models here.

However, today, we have DevOps practices that disrupt the software development cycle we are used to. First of all, with DevOps, you will get things done faster and still at high quality. Second, your customers will be satisfied and come back to you again.

So, you either hire DevOps to have an in-house specialist or outsource one. And, Inoxoft can help you with the latter. Contact us to get the most out of your software development journey. Excel and scale with Inoxoft’s DevOps solution.

 

Originally posted on https://inoxoft.com/blog/3-best-practices-of-implementing-devops-outsourcing-team-into-your-workflow/

Publish Date: October 18, 2021 8:19 AM


Software Development Time Estimation: Best Ways of Calculation

Have you ever been in a conversation where you are discussing a brilliant idea, all the details are clear and there is only a need to create software. So, you have a business idea that is easy to implement, the vendor you are going to outsource your project to. But here is the main question, how long will it take? Can you have it ready for next week? Next month? Year? This question is always a tough one to answer. So, how to estimate hours for a software project in the right way?

Estimation is a complex matter and can’t be precisely defined. Usually, there are lots of changeable factors that impact the result. Incorrect estimation leads to lost revenue, enlarged budget, missed business opportunities, and so on.

So, we are here to discover how to estimate software development time.

The Importance of Software Development Time Estimation

First of all, let us share what we mean by software development life cycle time estimation. It’s the process of determining the amount of time required for a software engineer to complete a specific task. The estimation has to be applied also to each subtask. If you don’t want to lose time and additional money during the implementation phase, accurately calculated time of the project is the key. According to research conducted by Project Management Institute, 25% of projects fail due to inaccurate time estimation.

Underestimation of time can cause money loss. While the overestimation of the time and effort can lead to the fact that you will not get the project. Here are a few reasons why it is important to estimate programming time. It:

  • provides a guideline. It’s impossible to recognize a problem without first establishing all the expectations
  • helps manage uncertainty. It’s more convenient to know what can get done next week than it is to know what will get done next quarter
  • helps a team to be on the same page
  • helps adjust the roadmap

Estimating time for IT projects is beneficial to clients. Let’s see why:

  • They can visualize the whole scope of work and plan the launch date
  • There is transparency in the whole development process that positively impacts your business relationship

The main benefit for software development companies is that they know where to spend their time, what to prioritize and how much.

Here are a few software development time estimation methods we use.

Guidance on How to Estimate Time for Software Development

The project timeline depends on the following factors:

  • The team’s experience, seniority, and velocity
  • The project’s complexity
  • Risk factors

Usually, this process takes a couple of steps and we are here to share with you our software development time estimation template.

Requirements gathering

Try to understand the essence of the client’s idea. Discuss the details like

  • Technical documentation
  • High-level requirements
  • Wireframes/Mockups
  • List of competitors/Analogous websites
  • Personal preferences

Ask as many questions as you can: clarify the vision, discuss functional and non-functional requirements. All of these help with the most accurate estimate.

List the details

Another useful software development time estimation example is to list all the details and activities you can remember regarding the future project and put them in the order in which they need to happen. Set a technical plan, the scope of work, work out of scope. Then perform business analysis, and prepare to change your list with effort estimation. Also, don’t forget about non-technical tasks like:

  • meetings
  • holidays/ sick leaves
  • administrative work

Requirements elicitation

At the next stage, we process information that is available and set up final data requests if needed. If the requirements are complete we move forward to the next phase. But in case the obtained information is raw and lacks project specifics, we recommend initiating a product discovery service.

During this process, our business analysts perform an evaluation of the business, functional and non-functional requirements, and advise on the functionality. Search users’ pain points and get the best solutions to satisfy their needs. It is a cost-saving, risk-free input into your project development.

Technical vision

Software project time estimation also depends on the best tech stack for wanted functionality. Define your objectives to understand what you are going to deal with. For example, whether your project will be a web platform, a mobile application, or a cross-platform solution. Then, do research, discover what are the technologies used by your competitors in similar cases. Find out the reason they use this and what results they get in the end.

Example of how technology stack may look like:

API Application

  • Web framework: Django,/.NET Core...
  • Programming language: –Java/Python...

Front-end Application

  • React/ Flutter....

Data Storage

  • AWS S3...

Software Project Time Estimation Challenges

There may be lots of twists and turns that make the estimating process complicated. Usually, it’s difficult to answer how to better estimate software development time, as it changes every time the initial requirements are changing or other unexpected dilemmas appear. What other challenges can impact software development estimates?

  • Engineers availability
  • Different approaches to building software
  • The productivity and experience level of the team
  • Leaving quality assurance to the last day
  • Unforeseen defects
  • Issues with system/environment, software/library, design/architecture, etc.
  • Non-engineering related questions

Software Development Time Estimation Methods

There are common software development time estimation techniques. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Method of Analogy

This method is mostly used when you have limited information about the project and based on the experience of work on previous projects. By using this method the time and cost of developing similar projects are compared to a current one.

Poker estimate method

So, how to estimate a software project in man-hours? We say try the approach brought by Agile project management. It works in a way that a team of engineers and business analysts based on the client's request, do estimation separately. Then each team member declares how much time she or he needs to spend on a specific task. Questionable estimations are discussed together.

Work breakdown method

According to this approach, you divide the whole project into smaller manageable deliverables. This gives the opportunity to predict how much time a small task would take rather than calculate a project. Also, with this method, the client can see constant progress.

Tips from Inoxoft Expert

Before estimating time for software development, consider the following:

Project roadmap

So, let start with the basic time estimation techniques in software development that is a creation of the project strategic plan: objectives, milestones, deliverables, resources, and timeframes.

Break the whole project into smaller milestones

Another useful step of estimating a timeline for a project is to break down the project into elements. This process brings clarity to what specific features need to be developed.

Project size and type

You can’t estimate the project based completely on your previous experience of working on similar cases. The size, type, and scope of each project impact the estimation. The bigger the project is the more integration it requires. The type of project matters as well, because developing mobile applications may need more time to complete than web platforms. All of this leads to the increased estimated time required to finish the project.

Don’t forget to leave a buffer time

Analyze your previous experience: how much of it is done, the estimated time for that project, and the actual amount of time it took to finish the project. Experts advise keeping a 15-20% time buffer to deal with any unexpected situations without lots of stress.

Analyze the requirements once again

To create the functional breakdown of your solution in the most efficient way you need to know the difference:

  • Functional requirements base on the final perception of the future product. It is possible to visualize the final result by showing key business processes, sequence diagrams, and functional decomposition.
  • Non-functional requirements define the system’s quality characteristics attributes (installability, performance, interoperability, usability, scalability, security, etc)

Get different perspectives on the idea

Each perspective looks at the idea differently and this can provide a lot of interesting insights on the things that need to be done. The more viewpoints on the project you have the easier it will be to choose the best approach.

Adopt different techniques

Our team uses a business analysis as one of software development time estimation tools for product discovery. Some of them are:

  • Prototyping for system capabilities functional decomposition
  • Interface analysis
  • Feasibility Analysis (whether the solution is practical)
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Scope Modeling and Root Cause Analysis
  • RACI Matrix, Roles & Permissions Matrix, Personas for Roles evaluation
  • User Stories (how the functionality works to satisfy the user)

Consider Inoxoft as Your Trusted Partner

Here at Inoxoft, we provide clients with estimation during the initial stage of our cooperation. Let’s walk you through our software development time estimation best practices.

During our first meeting, we introduce our company: our principles on delivery, expertise, and relevant experience. Then we ask our clients lots of relatable questions, e.g. a business need, and the idea they want to implement.

After receiving all the necessary information regarding an idea (high-level requirements, personal preferences, list of competitors) and requirements elicitation, we can provide an approximate quotation. This document may include the scope of work, work out of scope, team composition, and of course project cost and timeline.

In case you have a unique concept you’d want to test, our team offers services of developing a Minimum Viable Product. It’s the process that will impact the timeline of the project but at the same time, it will strengthen it a lot. MVP is a simple version of a product that has just enough features to stay viable and meet core functionality. MVP development is sometimes considered as a safe boat, especially for startups. As per statistics, 20% of new businesses fail after one year of competing on the market, and about 50% of startups fail after four years. So choose MVP when you need to:

  • check if users are eager to use it or buy it initially
  • show potential benefits to early users
  • develop a product with a set of features essential to cover users’ needs
  • give an understanding of product usability and market demand
  • avoid wastage of development efforts time and costs
  • verify product viability and assumptions

Still in doubt? Here are our top 5 reasons and steps to build an MVP. 

If you are looking for an outsourcing partner – check our tips on how to hire software developers and enjoy the results!

Final Thoughts

This was our time estimation for the software development template that varies depending on the project and its requirements. These approaches will be especially helpful for Agile teams. If you are interested in custom mobile applications development, web, or UI/UX design and development service, don’t hesitate to contact us, Get expert advice, and choose the best approach for your business needs!

 

Originally published on https://inoxoft.com/blog/software-development-time-estimation-how-to-calculate-hours-for-building-product-mvp/

Publish Date: October 11, 2021 12:45 PM


Best Practices to Sign Software NDAs with External Developers

A non-disclosure agreement is also known as NDA or a confidentiality agreement is an important part of every business relationship. It ensures that two or more parties who have no other contractual obligations will protect confidential information that passes between them. In other words, it's essential at the outset of a deal if you're trying to protect yourself and your business ideas. What are the situations that require you to sign an NDA? In case you

  • hire an employee that will be involved in internal processes
  • work as a broker who wants to keep insider information private
  • include the third party into business operations
  • share your business ideas and company operations with an offshore vendor

When it comes to software development, it is a common legal practice to sign NDA when you are working on a web platform, mobile app, etc. It is done to

  • keep the project secret before launch
  • protect any sensitive information
  • secure your financial, marketing, or other internal strategies

Once a software ndas is signed, it becomes illegal for anyone to expose any information that is related to the project. Whether it is source code, documentation, inventions, or research results. So, let’s proceed to the article to discover what a non-disclosure agreement for software development is.

Importance of Signing Software NDAs

One of the foundations of a full-fledged business partnership is signing a mutual agreement and any company owner or startup founder can’t neglect such an important process.

Software ndas best practices set the basics by

  • defining what confidential information is
  • ensuring the sides understand the importance and confidentiality of shared information
  • establishing terms on how that confidential information should be protected

If you want to outsource your project and hire a remote team a Non-Disclosure Agreement makes even more sense, so it’s important to discover how to write an nda with external developers. Here are some cases of what it can protect:

  • Patent rights
  • Сlients’ list
  • Business strategy
  • Internal processes
  • Any financial information (income, expenses, etc.)

 

If you are looking for ways to improve the sales processes, here is an example of creating an enterprise system.

Benefits of Signing Software NDAs

Smooth Communication

One of the benefits of software ndas is that it simplifies communication between all sides. Also, it is a useful tool for clarifying the expectations of the parties from the very beginning.

Data Security

Another reason to sign an NDA is to provide complete security for the data you share with the vendor after giving him a job. Don’t forget that it also protects trade secrets which can include anything from customer lists to financial reports.

Your Company’s Name is Protected

In case you don’t want to disclose the fact that somebody else helped you to develop your product. Or if you are a promising startup seeking investors, you can easily create an NDA that requires your vendor not to mention your name anywhere.

So, how to write software ndas? Let’s move forward to discover more!

How to Write a Non-Disclosure Agreement for External Developers

Software non-disclosure agreement rules can take various forms: definite and indefinite. The first one obliges the other party for a fixed period, the other one binds a person forever. That means, the signer cannot disclose confidential information even after the contract has ended.

Most importantly in the creation of software non-disclosure agreement is to define answers to the next questions:

  • What needs to be protected?
  • How should it be protected?
  • What are the timeframes of the protection?

Usually, best practices of software ndas include the following parts and steps:

Define what your NDA covers

Normally, all the parties agree about the scope of confidential information.

Parties to the Agreement

Let’s start with the fact that you need to sign an NDA whether you are working with a vendor or with your in-house programmer.

In terms of software development, it is better to sign an NDA with those who are included in the delivery process (have access to the source code, mind maps, product features, etc). These may include engineers, the QA team, designers, project managers, and so on.

Timeframe

The time frame indicates when the information is no longer protected by the law.

Obligations

Every party signing an NDA must follow previously discussed obligations. Usually, they are concerned to keep the confidentiality of the information and restrict its use. Restrictions also include:

  • sharing the confidential information with the external person
  • using the information only for the purposes listed in the agreement
  • not sharing it with those who can this information to serve the purposes not listed in the agreement

Consequences

Breaking an agreement by any party has consequences that are discussed and outlined in the document. Usually, the implications mean financial compensation (set by the contract). Also, there is a possible alternative to conflict resolution. For example, negotiation to resolve the dispute by two parties themselves. Or mediation that includes a neutral person who helps find a solution.

Consider Inoxoft as Your Trusted Partner

With a legacy of many years in software development, we established trustworthy relationships with our business partners as one of our main priorities. Each document is taken into account and in addition to signing an NDA with our clients, we do the same with every IT expert and other team member related to the project. So, don’t worry, your data is protected with us!

To Conclude

Non-disclosure agreement in software development is an essential part of business relationships. It helps to maintain your trade secrets and secure your ideas safely. Here at Inoxoft, we offer services to companies that are looking for a dedicated coding team with expertise in a variety of technologies. Contact us, so our web and cloud software developers and business analysts provide you with all the insights about the implementation of your business idea and our potential cooperation.

Originally published at https://inoxoft.com/blog/best-practices-how-to-write-an-nda-with-external-developers/

Publish Date: October 4, 2021 2:00 PM


The Ultimate Guide to iOS App Development Process: InoXoft Tips and Methods

There are 6 378 billion smartphone users worldwide now. Approximately, 73% of them are preferring devices with the Android operating system. The rest 27% are dedicated to Apple technologies with iOS. One common thing between the users of both platforms is that they would like to receive a great experience in their mobile application usage. And, we can help out with that 100%. This article focuses on iOS technology and is the ultimate development guide for the ones that

  • would like to know more about the phases of iOS application development
  • are willing to create iOS application for their business to grow
  • would want to know the Android and iOS app build process difference

Thus, we will focus on the iOS mobile application development process and provide all the valuable information you should know about the iOS development services. Stay tuned!

Why develop an iOS app for your business?

An iOS application is the type of application specifically built for the Apple iOS operating system. It works on iPhone, iPad, and any Apple device there is. It belongs to the OS family of macOS as well. Thus, the application has all the iOS-adherent features. And they aren’t anywhere similar to the ones of the Android OS.

Today, iOS is not the leading mobile platform in the world. The first place belongs to Android with 72,18% of user preference. iOS occupies only 26,96% of the global mobile operating system market share. However, even taking second place, iOS remains one of the most successful mobile operating systems among its competitors.

It’s quite interesting, but Android and iOS user preference worldwide is based on the particular country. The occurrence of iOS vs Android usage per country is in the chart below. Countries like Japan, U.S., and the U.K, and, partially, Germany tend to buy Apple devices more, while the rest of Europe and Asia choose Android devices. The choice of iOS prevails in countries with better law adherence and economic situations. Android phones are cheaper in a way.

Despite iOS being not the leading OS, it is not the least favorite among users for sure. So, it might be beneficial for your business to engage in the process of iOS app development after all. Why? For the reason that iOS is:

  • innovating and progressing at a fast pace
  • gaining more solvent tech-savvy clients
  • providing excellent consumer experience
  • being user-friendly with its Apple interface
  • reaching out to the markets of the developed countries
  • suggesting high-security opportunities
  • requiring low fragmentation
  • being easy to test in the testing phase
  • receiving higher ROI
  • offering better security during transactions

Jesse Feiler, an Apple technologies expert, also believes that iOS superiority lies in its being:

  • the size of a bite, which is quite small to get to use it
  • user-focused and gives flawless experience
  • developer-friendly providing iOS SDK to ease up development
  • available for app distribution in the App store
  • among productivity and business tools
  • not that expensive in app development

Hence, there are numerous benefits of developing an iOS app. But, what are the iOS app development stages to consider? Let’s explore how to create an iOS app!

Important stages in the iOS application development process

Every software development vendor has his/her specific process of iOS app development workflow. However, there are 6 main steps you should focus on in your iOS development process. These are:

Requirements analysis

To understand what has to be built in particular, it would be best to communicate your iOS app idea to the software development team in detail. The more you can share your thoughts and insights with the team the better. However, to analyze these requirements correctly, you need to make market and competitor research as well. There are more than 1.85 million applications in the App Store today and yours should not copy-paste any idea but be innovative and useful for users to enjoy it.

In a software development company, the person, who takes care of the detailed requirements analysis is a business analyst. Only this person can make deep research of your needs and the needs of every stakeholder, and come up with the best solution recommendations. If you’re having an idea you would like to test first, don’t rush into development. Try out the discovery phase services to eliminate risks and find out all the pitfalls of your future application.

Proper preparation prevents poor performance. - James Baker, former Secretary of State

Learn about the app store guidelines

This is an important step in iOS application development as you need to know about the app’s

  • design criteria
  • review of the tech content alignment
  • integrated images, videos, badges marketing criteria
  • important security criteria to follow

and more. There’s even a page dedicated to the accepted method of app store application submission with the best practices and case studies to help you out.

UI/UX design

Part of your app’s success will be based on your design choices. Designing an interface for iOS differs greatly from the other platforms. The three native principles this design is based on are clarity, deference, and depth.

According to TYB, users abandon the application if the design irritates them, there’s poor navigation through the app, and the content structure is rather complex. To get to know the full picture, see how UI/UX impacts the product’s success.

To ensure your users would access the app, consider wireframing, following the iOS style guide, mockups, prototyping, and planning mobile software architecture.
What concerns the design,

  • Wireframes are the digital design sketches of your future mobile application that will be a fundamental visual in the app’s user interface and user flow.
  • A style guide is essential in iOS development as it smoothes the app’s design according to the principles of the Apple interface.
  • Mockups finalize your mobile app design by combining the first sketches (wireframes) and the obligatory style guidelines. The modifications afterward should aim at the aesthetic part of the UI, seamless UX workflow, and architecture.
  • A prototype is an active clickable version of the static mockup. So, viewing your app’s prototype you can see the user workflow and initiate early testing to make sure the design is functional in every way.

The architecture planning will ensure the app’s stability and scalability. Certain patterns in architecture building help set up and match such important items as data, users, and software. For example, let’s consider a model view controller.

MVC software development pattern is only a small version of the major architectural design that will look like this:

See iOS mobile application architecture to find out more on the topic.

MVC building is the primary and the most essential step that matters in the iOS mobile app development process. Consult our UI/UX development services to get expert help in design development. Develop the best with the best developers.

Application development

The development stage should start with you setting the right

  • tech architecture features
  • technology stack
  • priority of development stages

There are three necessary components of any mobile application that the iOS application development process consists of. These are:

  • Front-end development

In mobile development, the front-end is the side that directly interacts with users. Thus, the code should be flawless to make the user experience smooth will all the elements written in flawless code and seamlessly synchronized.

  • Back-end development

Back-end development is responsible for the interactions between the front end( user interface) and the server. The better are the server’s responses to user requests the better the user experience will be. Also, back-end deployment includes core functionality management and third-party integrations into the app. Its main criteria are to be responsive, fast, and performative. Users like it when the app works like a clock.

  • APIs

Application Programming Interfaces or APIs link the front and the back sides of the application. Usually, APIs are used to transmit any type of data to the hardware of the app. For example, videos, music, make us of a camera, etc.

Your iOS app development process should also focus on the agile development methodology, use the iOS-applicable programming languages - Objective-C and Swift, and the XCode, which is Apple’s integrated development environment.

Mobile software testing

Mobile software quality testing is a stage that should be initiated early in the process of planning. Here’s why. With the early testing you will get to know:

  • your apps speed and response time
  • who is your dedicated user audience
  • whether your app is scalable and won’t crash with the maximum user presence
  • if you can score top rates among users and be highly competitive on the market
  • everything about the app’s stability under different workloads

For this reason, there are different types of testing you can choose from. For instance,

Get to know more about why performance testing is crucial in mobile app development and what automation testing services we provide.

Maintenance and support

The final stage of the app development is in supporting it by constant updates, configurations, securing the app, and meeting the iOS App Store rules. Most of the clients hire a software engineer, who is responsible for application support 24/7. With the help of monitoring and maintaining issues immediately the mobile app will

  • have a vast field for advancements due to valuable customer feedback
  • never crash all of a sudden
  • be updated and innovative
  • meet user expectations and needs
  • be secure and scale further

And this list is rather extensive as app maintenance is worth all the efforts.

Inoxoft’s advice on the custom ios development process

Developing a mobile app in the 21st century revolves around being fast, designing high-quality software, and making the user experience seamless. Inoxoft helps businesses get to the Apple App Store with their custom iOS apps.

To be highly rated on the market and meet high numbers of user download cases, the iOS application should:

Focus on usability and simplicity

Always think about your app’s potential from the end-user perspective. What would they want to see in the niche you choose? Would this or that feature be functional and relevant or not? And, so on. The more features you will get simple but functional the more users will be fond of the ease of use they get. To achieve this, begin with the identification of every requirement, goal, users’ need, project time, and budget.

Arrange agile project workflow

From the beginning of the project workflow, choose the agile methodology and project management techniques that are the best in promoting flexibility, open-mindedness, time and cost optimization throughout the whole development process.

Make the app scalable

Even if you think your niche is narrow and there will be no more users or features to add - still make your app scalable. Within the time you won’t regret this decision. More than 70% out of 90% of smartphone users are active users of iOS devices.

Meet end-user expectations

Before going into the development with your head, define your audience and gather valuable feedback according to the iOS app you’d like to launch. Most of the users will give you a hint on what features they are expecting to have and which ones should be left behind. Don’t underestimate the power of users as most of the app brands design for tech-savvy people. Your users are the ones, who make in-app purchases, so he that pays the piper calls the tune.

Here are the most common features an app should include:

Consider clients’ vision of the product and personal views or unique ideas as the essential basic starting points in designing the software.

Deploy the app with professionals

The team you choose to outsource your software development impacts the end result greatly. The team has to be notified about the slightest details you wish to implement and not just be on the same page with you but recommend obvious things and would make your end product more worthy of end-user attention. If you have no idea where to look for such a team, we have a rent-a-team, project team, and dedicated team to meet your development needs.

Choose a monetization strategy

To receive revenue from the product, don’t forget to choose the mobile app monetization strategy at the beginning. This stage won’t wait and it is essential if your monetization approach needs to integrate a third-party service. We can always suggest improvements in your app’s functionality and adjust project planning so you could get the most benefit out of your iOS app. Your business growth is important to us!

Consider Inoxoft your trusted partner

Inoxoft can become your trusted partner and help your business grow with our iOS app development services. Our company offers 100+ certified engineers that develop for iOS, meet all clients’ requirements, satisfy end-users, help your business grow in revenue, and many more.

Clients from the USA, the UK, Israel, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands trust us with their software development ideas. Inoxoft delivers top cross-platform applications for both Android and iOS platforms. Also, we have a separate custom iOS app development life cycle, where we use Swift, Xcode, and Objective-C programming languages - the most innovative and up-to-date technologies. By so far, we have deployed an amazing deal of mobile applications. Visit our app cost calculator, to find out more about pricing. Contact us to make your business idea into a fully-fledged iOS application.

Final thoughts

Perhaps, iOS is not the leading mobile operating system in the world, but it is the one with the most dedicated users. To ensure, your app development is unique and worthy of attention always try to:

  • build a high-class solution for iPhone and iPad
  • make the interface user-friendly
  • think about feasible architecture
  • deploy clear code
  • approach each client individually

With the help of this guide and Inoxoft’s experts, you will opt for success.

 

Originally published at https://inoxoft.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-ios-app-development-process-inoxoft-tips-and-methods/

Publish Date: September 22, 2021 1:10 PM


How to Build a P2P Payment App for Money Transfer Like Venmo

Almost every day people have a necessity in peer-to-peer money transfer services. The most common reason to transfer money is to pay for a service/product, to repay a debt, to send money to relatives or sellers. And this list has many more options because it’s not just a one-time activity.

If you try sending your online funds to peers once, there’s a big chance you’ll never use any other payment option. Why? Online paying is an easy, convenient, on-the-spot, and contactless transaction. The world needs this technology more and more these days. Covid showed that digital payments were more popular due to less physical contact with ATMs and banknotes. In 2020, there were about 760 million users of contactless mobile payment methods worldwide according to Statista.

Thus, startups try to build a payment app like Venmo, because they understand that the type of payment application is in-demand and there’s a target audience to use it. If you are a startup or an existing business, who wants to know how to build a p2p payment app, specifically how to make an app like Venmo, this article is what you’re looking for! Here, we will talk about

  • what is a peer-to-peer payment app?
  • payment application’s market share
  • P2P payment app features
  • how to create a p2p payment app like Venmo
  • Inoxoft’s experience with payment apps

Let’s proceed!

What is a peer-to-peer payment app?

A peer-to-peer payment application is a user-oriented platform that allows two peers to send each other money via a bank account or debit/credit card. So, this app connects a buyer with the seller directly, and vice versa. Washington Post displays the top 3 P2P payment apps that are currently disrupting the world’s markets. These are:

PayPal

The motto of PayPal is

PayPal is for everyone who pays online.

PayPal connects sellers and buyers and has more than 200 million active accounts all over the world.

The benefits of PayPal are in:

  1. buying online
  2. sending money
  3. buying directly on eBay
  4. making secure transactions
  5. being simple and convenient in use
  6. being cross-platform and available worldwide
  7. being free-of-charge and upfront

Cash App

Cash App is the P2P payment application that makes it easier for you to

... send, spend, bank, and invest.

Among the benefits of Cash App you can find:

  1. A QR code to download a mobile app
  2. Send payment to anyone instantly
  3. Design a style-matching debit card
  4. Direct deposits time is way faster
  5. Use a minimum of $1 to buy stocks and bitcoin
  6. Each transfer is highly secure

Zelle

Zelle is a financial payment app that allows sending money to

... repay somebody or be the one to get paid back for your contributions instantly.

The benefits of Zelle are in:

  1. Sending money for all kinds of things
  2. Reaching an account within 1 minute
  3. Transferring money safe
  4. Being present in numerous banking apps
  5. Working between U.S.-based banks
  6. Being free-of-charge to use

Features of a P2P payment app

A payment app like Venmo should include the following features to be in-demand and quite popular on the market of competitors:

Real-time payments

An option to make payments to accounts or private debit/credit cards in real-time and without fees. This will ensure users will not waste hours waiting for the transaction to be a success. Especially, when digital cash has to be sent and received immediately. Here, speed is the priority.

Money transfer to any person

An option that links payments to a bank account or debit/credit card and allows sending money from your account or card to the other person’s account or debit/credit card of another bank. Of course, transactions between banks will require a fee, but this option is essential.

Cash transfer security and user authentication

Encryption of fintech data transfer by providing security of connection and data protection with blockchain technology is one of the most common things in P2P payment app. Also, an authentication option that will be confirmed only by a unique pin code or your fingerprint should be implemented by the development team. This will eliminate the possibility of account attacks by cybercriminals.

Simplicity of usage with seamless UI/UX

An easy and convenient money transfer process that has a few steps to follow should be a priority. Users like it when the app is simple to navigate through and the actions are logical. And the design of the interface has to be app-specific, i.e. it should contain a digital card or a prototype of a wallet.

Transfer tracking

Tracking your money transfers based on days, weeks, months, and so on should be also taken into account. Perhaps, you have sent money to a seller and the seller did not get the costs and won’t send you the products you’ve ordered. What’s then? Your operation has to be visible in the history of transactions so you could deal with this issue and understand where and when you made different payments.

Customer support

Customer support is what makes your app extra approachable. Thus, with the help of customer support, your users will feel taken care of while asking about transaction status and unexpected technical issues, or anything else. What’s more, if this is a mobile app and you’d like to store it in Google Play or the App Store, customer support will be one of the crucial factors your app will be accepted to these application storage platforms.

Push notifications

Push notifications will inform users their money transaction has been successful both in receiving and sending cash. And this is great to be notified right away instead of wondering if it was successful or whether the person received your transaction at all.

Account personalization

Account settings personalization will make it easier for users to set up their accounts and choose the preferred payment option. Also, they will be able to fill in and manage their personal details like age, location, status, etc.

Scan and pay touch-free

Paying for the products or services using a contactless payment method that requires only your setting up of the online P2P payment account is the technology of today. Of course, to pay with the smartphone your device should support NFC.

Steps to create a P2P payment app like Venmo

Now that you know about the most needed app features of how to create a mobile payment app, it is time to focus on the very process of app development. So, consider the following steps to build an MVP and also:

1. Research your target audience and set up the purpose of the app

If you’re having that contagious idea to create a p2p payment application but aren’t sure how to create a payment app and if this app will be feasible and in demand on the market, then start from a product discovery service to be on the safe side. The discovery phase allows gathering valuable product analytics and user feedback. It is risk-free and will cost you less than deploying an MVP or a full product without being sure of the final results. By making a discovery phase you will understand your target audience better and will certainly define the aim of your app both for yourself and your users.

2. Choose a development team and a technology that will match your needs and expectations

Selecting a team to bring your project idea to life is as essential as everything else. A team of software engineers should know how to build a payment app with seamless mobile application architecture and a great UI/UX design. They should not only be experts in software development but also be on the same page with their clients so that the final product was in everyone’s best interest. The features that should be present when you build a peer-to-peer payment app that will impact your technology choice are:

  • notifications and push messages
  • unique ID and fingerprint verification
  • digital wallet account
  • bill and invoice sending
  • Money transfers (sending and receiving)
  • transaction history

If you need tips on how to hire software developers or hesitate which technology to choose, you can always view our guidelines according to the choice of a team to outsource as well as how to hire a CTO for a startup.

3. Implement various online payment methods for your users

If you want your app to bring profits, have a look at the possible mobile app monetization models and try to meet as many reasonable user expectations as possible. And, also, the main methods of online payment are:

  • Online eCommerce payments
  • On-the-spot payments at retailers
  • P2P payments within the system’s network

Thus, in your pursuit of how to build a mobile payment system, don’t forget these payment options.

4. Think about the best ways to enclose a user’s account or card details

Data encryption, two-factor authentication, PCI-DSS, and other regulations compliance adherence are the main pillars of how to create a money transfer app. Also, get to see our post on Mobile Banking App Security to get more insights.

5. Engage in performance testing to ensure your system works well under different loads

Performance testing should start parallel to the development process. It is best to ensure your app is

  • fast and responsive towards user actions
  • in-demand and has a good feedback
  • effective with a max amount of simultaneous users
  • innovative, simple, and gets user preference among competitors
  • stable under different loads

To ensure all these factors are met, don’t underestimate the power of performance testing and the work of testers.

6. Make sure to use ready-made solution APIs or build your own

APIs can cut down the development time. The APIs are already the ready-made solutions you can integrate into your P2P payment application. However, some of the APIs like in Cash App and Venmo cannot work outside of U.S. So, to be on the safe side and work according to your needs, you can always build your own APIs. But, everything depends on the niche you choose, type of app, development team, technology, security, and so on.

Consider Inoxoft your trusted partner

Inoxoft is your international software outsourcing partner that can help you implement your best ideas into real life. We provide custom mobile applications development, QA automation testing services, UI/UX design and development services, and other services.

Inoxoft has experience in working with the financial industry and integrating different payment systems into applications both in mobile and web development. Our success can be measured with the help of our satisfied clients, who obtained not only a product to grow and develop their businesses further, but a sophisticated, innovative, and user-friendly application that impacts the daily lives of users in a simple but effective way.

So, if you are looking for a company to build you a peer-to-peer payment app - choose Inoxoft. Contact us to receive a detailed consultation, initiate a discovery phase, or build an MVP based on your requirements.

Final thoughts

The article has spoken about the most common aspects of how to develop a peer-to-peer payment app. In developing an innovative app, better than Venmo, it is vital to understand what your audience desires to see, what are your requirements, what technologies to choose, and what features would positively impact your users. P2P app development is a process you should approach with reason. The more your app will allow you to do, be user-friendly, and be easy to use, the more you will win among your competitors.

Originally published at https://inoxoft.com/blog/how-to-build-a-p2p-payment-app-for-money-transfer-like-venmo/

Publish Date: September 22, 2021 1:05 PM


How to Develop a Successful Business Intelligence (BI) Strategy

Every organization has goals and plans how to reach them. To determine which actions to take and what approach to choose they gather the needed data. Because we can't deny that the insights it provides are powerful tools for organizations on the road to success.

So, lots of companies started to implement BI strategy as they consider it as an opportunity to increase profitability, optimize internal processes, discover new revenues, identify market trends and detect business problems through the effective decision making and data analysis.

Starting such an approach requires preparation. Let’s discover how to develop a business intelligence strategy.

What is BI strategy?

Before jumping straight to the strategy, let’s define the term. It appeared in the 1950s as a technology called decision support systems. Over the next decades, these systems turned into a comprehensive tool mainly due to the increase in the amount of data that companies can collect on their internal processes their customers (the rise of the internet and computer usage accelerated this process)

Additionally, it became cheaper to store data in larger quantities than it used to be. Companies received access to endless sets of data (internet usage records, social media activity, etc). BI aims to find patterns and trends among all this data.

Business Intelligence revenue in software is projected to reach US$23,258.94m this year.

Here are a few explanations that we consider relevant. To put it simply BI is about delivering relevant information to the right people at the right moment to achieve better decisions in a faster way. To perform this BI has methods to collect unstructured data and convert it into information to improve business decisions.

BI may include:

  • Performance management
  • Predictive modeling
  • Analytics
  • Data mining, etc

BI exploits the data your business generates in all of its activities. Then it analyzes and visualizes this data to understand it and get valuable insights to make your business evolve by making better decisions. Basically, by collecting, structuring, and analyzing, BI converts raw data into meaningful information.

The BI process is usually divided into the following stages:

The reason companies invest in BI is data analysis. No matter how companies process their data, the insights from analytics reports affect all company’s processes. These two terms are often mixed up. BI uses past and present data to inform current decisions, while business analytics uses past data to explain current data and predict what will happen in the future. BI uses different analytics methods, including:

  • Data mining (or discovery) includes automated analysis of large sets of data to find patterns.
  • Text analytics combes through textual (unstructured) data (e-book or research paper) to find patterns. This can be used for linguistic analysis or sentiment analysis on social media or online customer feedback, etc.
  • Business analytics draws connections between data and companies that use it to predict future trends, and reveal unknown inefficiencies in their systems.

Why business should implement BI?

Consider business intelligence if your company suffers from:

  • Underperforming employees
  • Loss of customers
  • Wasted resources and time
  • Under/overstocking
  • You produce tons of data but don’t know how to use it.

The data-driven decisions can help your company by

  • Tracking performance
  • Optimizing operations
  • Foreseeing trends
  • Planning approach to increase profit
  • Analyzing customer behavior
  • Analyzing competitors data
  • Discovering problems and their solutions

Other benefits include:

Profitable business decisions

As we’ve already mentioned, BI helps to gain insights from your data to make smarter business decisions. For instance, graphics and charts in dashboards don’t give a visual representation of your business performance. Visualization makes it easier to read and understand data, to observe trends, and see things that are going well and those parts that need improvement.

Accurate reporting

Business Intelligence uses financial, operations data to generate accurate reports, visual representations (charts or graphs), or written information. In this way, every stakeholder (especially business owners) is every of every little change within the company.

Identify trends

BI analyzing an industry, markets, your competitors, your strengths and weaknesses and define trends. Be the first one who knows the future trends and uses opportunities.

Risk management

Every industry suffers from its own risks. It can be cyber threats, data leaks, etc. BI allows organizations to uncover, identify and reduce them in the most efficient way. For instance, with BI fintech institutions create secure intelligence platforms, reduce fraud and cyber attacks what was possible in a harder and longer way.

Budget

If you run a business, you might think that implementing BI would come at a great cost and therefore be a luxury investment. But we can assure you that the gained insights will not only help to make smarter business decisions but also improve performance or reduce costs by spotting areas where money might be saved, so as a result increases your revenue. Moreover, there are BI tools that cost little or are even free of charge (e.g. google data studio), so the budget question won’t be an issue.

Data accessibility

Most of the business data is easily accessible. There's no need to code, perform data mining or hire experts. The data can be exported from where it is stored (e.g. excel) via the BI tool within a few minutes. Then you need to crunch the numbers, analyze and visualize the data to start taking advantage of BI.

Time efficiency

Once the data is visualized through dashboards, there is no need to spend time trying to make sense of the data. As the idea is that these reports will control your business activity.

Business intelligence cycle

Its life cycle includes several important stages:

  • Direction- determining the direction of development and goals.
  • Collection - gathering data and information from all relevant sources.
  • Processing - transforming raw data into a format, ready for analysis.
  • Analysis - interpreting the processed data.
  • Dissemination - communicating the newly-found insights to people.

How to build a BI strategy

The business intelligence strategy is considered as some kind of a roadmap that aims to help businesses measure their performance and strengthen it with architecture and solutions. Here are few steps to follow when building a business intelligence implementation plan.

Define your current state

To obtain the full potential of business intelligence and take your organization to the next level, you need to define simple questions:

  • where you are at this moment?
  • what do you want to achieve?
  • what’s possible to achieve?

An efficient business intelligence implementation strategy will enable your business to grow and, so as an owner, be ready to answer some questions:

  • Machine Learning - What, When, Why it will happen?
  • Predictive Analytics - What may happen?
  • Descriptive Analytics - What happened? What's happening now?

Build a BI Roadmap

Strategy for business intelligence starts with a plan. There are many phases to implement BI at any organization, so the project roadmap should contain the why what who when, and how the implementation is going to happen. No matter which project management approach you use( agile, waterfall, etc) it is a smart decision to communicate when milestones and tasks of the project are completed.

A roadmap is the outlook of the milestones and deliverables in chronological order. The point is that it helps every employee to stay on the same page, be aware of what's been done and what's coming up, and enable them to adapt to changes.

Present BI to the stakeholders

The other thing to do before implementing a business intelligence plan into your company is to set the terms and define the meaning of BI with all your stakeholders. As lots of employees are involved in the data processing, make sure that everyone is on the same page and has a mutual perception of what business intelligence development strategy is.

Set the KPIs and Requirements

At this stage, you need to define the problem and think of the business goal you are going to reach with the help of BI development strategy. Setting the plans help you determine further parameters for BI such as:

  • What data sources will be used?
  • What is the business analytics you want to keep an eye on?
  • What metrics can improve your performance and strategy?
  • What are KPIs and evaluation metrics that define tasks as accomplished?

Select the Tools

Selecting the tools for BI infrastructure usually depends on the industry, the size of the company, and your business needs. To understand what tool you need, it’s worth composing a requirement list for your business intelligence system and performs market research.

The BI market offers a number of tools that are available both as embedded versions and cloud-based (Software-as-a-Service) technologies. Some of the most used BI tools are Google Data Studio, PowerBI, Tabulae, Looker, Charito, Periscope Data, etc.

Create a prototype

It is a short project to verify tech concepts by proposing numerous simplified features, validate assumptions, test the product's functionality and ensure the concept is implementable or vice versa. Also, it helps to find the source data and where there can be some transformation to secure massive amounts of data while the end-users will get access to it.

Set the team

Business intelligence strategy and roadmap can’t exist without people. The best way to create a team is to gather experts from different departments of your company who give specific insights, have a different vision, and make architectural, technical, and strategic decisions. Usually, there are five main roles:

  • Head of BI- the person with business and technological skills, who generates insights and drives BI implementation.
  • BI engineer - the person who design, build, implement and set BI systems (the most common technologies used are SQL, MySQL, AWS Redshift, Hbase, BigSQL, Oracle, Apache Spark & Hadoop, SSIS, SSAS, Pentaho, Tableau, Power BI, etc).
  • Business analyst - the person who provides the rest of the team with expertise in data validation, processing, and visualization. And transform the analytics into actionable insights.
  • Data Scientist - the person who uses analytical, statistics tools, and machine learning to pull out actionable value from big data.

If you don’t have an in-house expert team, there is always an option to hire a vendor who will offer solutions that best suits your business needs.

Consider Inoxoft Your Trusted Partner

Lots of industries, including healthcare, education, and fintech have adopted BI to use data and transform operations. Let us share with you our experience in implementing BI in fintech. So, our project is related to a small industry of currency trading that includes mechanisms of capital gain due to price shifts in currencies. The substantial income depends on the immediate adoption of an apt financial plan. Due to the quick fluctuation in the currency market, a group of traders launch their business, develop unique strategies and increase revenue. They trade at the world's major stocks (New York, London, and Tokyo) and involve potential investors.

Despite the fact that traders had relevant experience, and developed custom strategies to gather revenue, the process of currency data analysis and price monitoring, was still performing manually what was time inefficient. So, our BI team developed a Software web application that eliminates manual work and instead creates sheets with optimized exchange rates info and enlists all generated orders for profitable purchases according to an established business strategy.

The benefits of outsourcing BI

  • Cost and time savings
  • Fresh, independent view from the outside of the company
  • Expertise and professionalism
  • Focus on core processes while the BI team perform its job
  • Accuracy and scalability

Doesn’t matter whether you are a small business or large enterprise, you will enjoy the benefits from implementing Business Intelligence. Partner with a reliable vendor to manage the business data and take advantage of the valuable insights it brings.

Final Thoughts

So, BI is the practice of analyzing the data your company generates to produce actionable insights that drive business decision-making. It may sound simple in theory, but it required lots of computer processing power, coding knowledge, and advances statistical skills. So, leave this big decision to us. Our BI team offers big data business strategy and big data development services to make sure your company adopts business intelligence in the most convenient way. Contact our CTO Brad Flaugher to get all the information.

Originally published on https://inoxoft.com/blog/how-to-develop-a-successful-business-intelligence-bi-strategy/

Publish Date: September 7, 2021 1:17 PM


Complete Guide to Predictive Analytics and Big Data Analytics

Do you have a business of your own that you’d like to enhance and expand? Or a product to develop? If you have a plan where to start from - that’s great. If not, you should do some analytics. Big Data Analytics can help with obtaining potential user data, processing it, cleansing it, and receiving a valuable output. And, predictive analytics can make predictions according to your past, present, and future business events. Wonder, how big data and predictive analytics work? Get to read this post now to answer this question.

Where does Big Data Analytics Stand on the Market today?

Big Data stands for raw and voluminous sets of information that become valuable in studies and analyses. The more new technologies we have the more capacity of data these technologies accumulate. So, it is of great importance to make use of these large amounts of information by analyzing them. And, this type of analysis requires specific tools and automation as humans cannot process big data manually, because it’s impossible. The process of automated big data analysis is called big data analytics.

Big Data Analytics is a vast complex of processes that analyze Big Data from different perspectives to make sure there are patterns and correlations, market trends, and customer preferences with the help of which organization can make the right business decisions. So, data analytics is one of the biggest priorities of all organizations in any industry there is. To learn more about how big data analytics impacts industries get to read our topic-related articles:

  • How To Build A Big Data Business Strategy
  • Big Data In Financial Services
  • Impact Of Big Data On Education
  • Benefits Of Big Data In Healthcare Industry

What are the benefits of Big Data Analytics?

Allied Market Research reports that the big data and business analytics market worldwide is forecasted to reach $420.98 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 10.9% from 2020 to 2027. And it’s no wonder, as organizations can benefit from using big data analytics software and tools and make data-driven decisions to improve business outcomes. The most common improvements might include efficient marketing, new revenue, customer personalization, and improved effectiveness of operations that could lead a business to the top among its competitors.

Among the potential benefits of Big Data Analytics you can find:

  • A quick analysis of large amounts of data that exist in different sources, formats, and types
  • Ability to make fast and better decisions to strategize more effectively, improving areas of strategic decision-making such as supply chain, and operations
  • Possibility to save costs savings, with the help of effectively optimized business processes
  • Deeper knowledge of customer needs, behavior and emotions, that positively impact marketing insights and give extensive information for further product development
  • More efficiently conducted strategies of risk management that are extracted from large samples of data

Analytics Insight reports 10 Big data analytics technologies to look up to in 2021. These are:

  • Apache Hadoop, a software library that uses simple programming models to carry out distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers.
  • MongoDB, a distributed document-based database with the main purpose to assist modern application developers in the development and work with the cloud.
  • R, a free-of-charge software environment created for statistical computing and graphics.
  • Tableau, a visual analytics platform that helps to see and understand data that can solve potential problems.
  • Cassandra, an open-source NoSQL database manages large amounts of data with a significant speed, and with the highest performance possible.
  • Qlik, an end-to-end, multi-cloud data integration analytics solution that turns raw data into valuable insights that might close all the informational gaps.
  • Splunk, a data analytics platform with extra security, observability, IT operations, and everything that includes data processing.
  • ElasticSearch, a distributed, analytics engine with RESTful search that can address the increasing quantity of use cases.
  • Knime, a software that creates and produces data science with an easy and intuitive environment, enabling big data stakeholders to focus on their core input.
  • RapidMiner, an end-to-end transparent data science platform that is integrated and optimized for building ML models, design these models using a visual workflow designer or automated modeling, and deploy ML models turning them into beneficial actions.

How does Big Data Analytics Work?

Mainly, Big Data Analytics makes use of 4 key processes as Bitnews Today states. These are collecting data, processing information, clearing out, and analyzing. Let’s look a bit closer at each of these processes.

Collecting data

Mobile records, customer feedback forms, mail threads received from the customers, survey reports, social media platforms, and mobile applications are the sources data analysts can collect specific information from. Different businesses try to make use of data collecting and extract all the valuable information there is to gain insight, advance, and prosper. Big Data analyzed from the older enlisted is quite chaotic - unstructured or semi-structured. Thus, this information is not readable without using specific tools.

Processing data

After the data is collected, the next step to make use of it will require data storage in the data pool or warehouse. Being located in one convenient place allows analysts to organize, configure, and group parts and bits of big data to draw a larger picture per request that will be also more accurate with regards to final results.

Cleansing out

To make sure the processed data analysts work with is complete and feasible, it has to be clean from duplications, watery inputs, system errors, and other sorts of deviations. So, this step allows to polish big data to receive more accurate results afterward.

Analyzing

This is the final step, where the raw data that was collected, processed, and cleansed can be analyzed with the possibility to extract the much-needed results. Here, you can use:

  • Data Mining (helps extract useful and feasible data patterns)
  • Artificial intelligence (using human-like thinking to explore and extract deep data analytics)
  • Text mining (with the help of AI it is possible to get meaningful informational insights out of a pool of unstructured textual information)
  • Machine Learning (using AI to make computers learn based on their past experiences)
  • Predictive Analytics (great predictions and future insights for a business based on past and historical data analyses)
  • Deep learning (analysis and extraction of huge and unmanaged data)

Although Big Data Analytics has numerous possibilities and methodologies to analyze data, let’s focus on predictive analytics and its manifestation in 2021.

Where does Predictive Analytics stand today?

According to IBM, big data predictive analytics belongs to advanced analytics. It is able to predict future results with the help of historical data, statistical modeling, data mining, and machine learning. Businesses use predictive analytics to understand their risks and opportunities with the help of the data patterns it is possible to predict.

Predictive analytics also belongs to big data and data science. Today, businesses use transactional database data, equipment log files, images, video, sensors, and other data sources to gain insights. You can extract information from this data with the help of deep learning and machine learning algorithms. What can you get out of extracting data? You will see patterns in the scope of data and will be able to forecast future events. For example, the algorithm approach includes linear and nonlinear regressions, neural networks, support vector machines, and decision trees.

Predictive analytics is most helpful in such industries as Banking, Healthcare, Human Resources, Marketing and Sales, Retail, and Supply Chain. By 2022 the market forecast promises Predictive Analytics $11 billion in annual revenue as more and more businesses make use of predictive analytics big data techniques for almost everything: from fraud detection to medical diagnosis, according to the Statista report.

What are the types of Predictive Analytics?

Generally, there are three types of predictive analytics businesses can apply to:

  • predictive modeling
  • descriptive modeling
  • decision-making modeling

Predictive modeling

Predictive modeling needs statistical data to be able to predict the outcomes. The main goal of predictive modeling is to make sure that similar units in different samples have similar performance or vice versa. For example, you can predict your customer’s behavior and credit risk with the help of predictive modeling.

Descriptive modeling

Descriptive modeling tends to classify customers into groups to describe certain relationships within a dataset. So, as a result, you get a summary of different relationships between customers and products, e.g. product preferences accounting for age, status, gender, etc.

Decision-making modeling

Decision-making modeling shows a clear relationship between elements in a decision. These may be the data, the decision, and the forecasted results. The relationship between elements can potentially predict future results, increase the probability of the needed outcomes and decrease the others.

What are the benefits of Predictive analytics?

According to the G2 catalog, there are the main 8 benefits any business can obtain with the help of predictive analytics. So, applying to predictive analytics can:

  • Make you more competitive on the market
  • Open up new product (service) opportunities
  • Optimize performance of the product (service)
  • Gain insights according to customers’ preferences
  • Decrease cost waste and risk occurrence
  • Address problems immediately
  • Meet user demand 100%
  • Improve collaboration

The other potential benefits of predictive analytics are in the detection of:

  • possible fraud to be warned against it
  • pattern consistency so they could be improved
  • Illegal actions that can be prevented
  • marketing campaign flaws that can be optimized
  • сustomer purchase preferences to know about
  • planning workforce pluses that can be enhances
  • churn rate that can be analyzed
  • сompetitor progress that can be analyzed

How Predictive Analytics Works?

To make use of predictive analytics, every business should be driven by a business goal. For instance, the goal might be in cost reduction, time optimization, and elimination of wastes. The goal can be supported with the help of one of the predictive analytics models to process an abundance of data and receive results that were desired initially.

Based on the explanation above, let’s define some basic steps of applying to predictive analytics. For instance, to predict the sales revenue it is obligatory to:

Step 1. Take data from multiple sources, especially the ones with product sales data, marketing budgets, and the national gross domestic product (GDP) value.

Step 2. Cleanse the data from any unnecessary constituents and accumulate it or group it according to similar data type.

Step 3. Create a predictive model. E.g. neural networks can be applied to revenue forecasting.

Step 4. Develop the model into the environment of production and make it accessible through other apps.

Big Data Analytics and Predictive Analytics Comparison

Big data and predictive analytics sound similar in some cases, but they are definitely not. So, let’s look closer at predictive analytics and big data comparison to understand what’s different.

How the world is using big data for predictive analysis?

To predict future events, predictive analytics identifies patterns of Big Data that are meaningful. Predictive analytics can be applied to unknown data in the present, past, and future. Predictive analytics using big data is capable to provide valuable business intelligence.

To make an impact, predictive analytics in big data has several working models. These are:

Decision Trees

This model looks like a tree, where the branches of the tree indicate available choices, and individual leaves denote a decision. This model is simple to use and can save you time in urgent decision-making, predicting the best outcome in a short time.

Regression

This model is used in statistical analysis, where you have large sets of data and need to determine certain patterns. Also, there should be a linear relationship between the inputs. The model makes up a formula, which shows the concrete relationship between all the inputs found in the dataset.

Neural Networks

This model imitates human brain work in a way. It deals with complex data relationships applying to AI and pattern recognition. Having a problem with voluminous data that requires understanding the relationships between inputs and outputs or a need to predict events makes this model a helpful tool to use.

Industries and projects that Utilize Predictive Analytics

Industries that have voluminous data to analyze are actively using big data for predictive analysis. These industries are:

  • Health Care
  • Retail
  • Banking
  • Manufacturing
  • Public Transportation
  • Cybersecurity

Projects that are the most suitable for using big data and predictive analysis are:

  • Big Data for cybersecurity
  • Health status prediction
  • Anomaly detection in cloud servers
  • Recruitment for Big Data job profiles
  • Malicious user detection in Big Data collection
  • Tourist behavior analysis
  • Credit Scoring
  • Electricity price forecasting

And the list can go further. Predictive analytics is applicable to almost anything and everywhere.

Inoxoft’s Experience

Inoxoft provides Data Science and Big Data Analytics services that can help you enclose valuable insights from data and apply effective solutions on strategic, operational, and tactical levels.

Inoxoft offers expertise in

  • Natural Language Processing
  • Computer Vision
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Sales prediction
  • Pricing analytics
  • Marketing optimization

Also, our engineers have expertise in Data Analysis Services For Logistics, Healthcare Data Analytics, Fintech Data Analytic Services, Big Data Analytic Services In Education, and other industries.

If you search for custom Big Data services or Data Science services, contact our expert now. Inoxoft offers consultations with all the details and comprehensive answers to help you achieve your goals as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Data analytics big data and predictive analytics can both help you advance your business with the help of consumer data sets that are being analyzed, grouped, and cleansed for all the irrelevant information. Predictive analysis on big data allows businesses to look ahead into the future and grow basing on past and present experiences and pre-planned future direction.

Originally published on https://inoxoft.com/blog/complete-guide-to-predictive-analytics-and-big-data-analytics/

Publish Date: August 28, 2021 9:42 AM


5 Steps Guide of How to Build a SaaS Application

A lot of us are familiar with the world-famous SaaS applications. Moreover, we are using them in personal life and at work on a daily basis. Not knowing that these are examples of software as a service model.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a new approach that is extending rapidly and affecting different industries. Service providers, small companies, and large enterprises use this model to boost their performance and get easily predictable income.

According to research, the total size of the cloud Software as a Service worldwide market reached the level of $157 million in 2020 and is expected to reach 166.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.

Let’s dive in and discover what SaaS means, how to create a saas application, and what are the steps to do so.

Building SaaS Applications: facts and benefits

What is a SaaS platform?

SAAS stands for software as a service and generally speaking it is a new method for delivering software applications over the internet via a subscription model. This is a game-changer compared to the traditional software model where users have to manage, install, and constantly update the software themselves on computers or local servers.

Back in the day, all the features on your computer used to be installed on local servers and use a client-server window to get access to the servers. Nobody even thought about how to build software as a service. Probably you didn’t notice but for instance, the financial institutions used to have terminals with black screens and texts and they would hit the F1 button because that computer was connected to a more powerful server.

The companies had to buy servers, software from its creators, then install them in a server room, set them up, get people to access to the server, and only after such a long process people could work: with the accounting, the management, and so on.

What changed now in the delivery approach is that it started using the internet to get access to these applications instead of the local network. Now in the middle, there is an ASP (application service provider), that works in case the company doesn’t want to invest millions in servers and software licenses, so they just pay another company to host it all for them. And then they charge for subscribing to it (usually they pay only for the amount of usage).

The benefits of using SaaS web app

SaaS solutions can positively affect your business. Here is why.

  • Cost efficiency

A cloud service provider would be maintaining and managing the application for you. And SaaS application is typically consumed on a subscription-based model which is either on an annual basis or a monthly basis. There’s no need to buy and maintain expensive hardware, and you only pay for the resources your app uses.

  • Scalability

Users pay only for services they receive. If something needs to be changed, just switch the subscription plan.

  • Security

Cloud service providers ensure security to the data that is stored on their servers.

  • Reliability

SaaS is a cloud-based solution. So, it has its system of servers located in different places, which prevents an application from falling.

  • Accessibility

Users always have access to the latest version of such applications and can use them on every device in any part of the world.

  • Updates

Users don’t need to update, install and receive annoying notifications about the latest version of a specific service. All the up-to-date versions are already there.

  • Bigger customers base

Following lower costs and trial periods, applications attract a lot of potential users.

Types of SaaS Applications

There are few types of cloud-based saas applications.

  • Customer relationship management software (CRM) - an efficient tool for management. It automates sales and marketing processes, stores all customers’ data, and helps improve user experience.
  • Enterprise resource planning software (ERP), which is mostly used by business giants to manage a variety of operational processes such as budgeting, forecasting (in some cases), risk management, etc.
  • eCommerce software and CMS - a great tool to save money on website development but sell your products in any way. It covers product management and payment integrations (e.g. Shopify)
  • Communication platforms which are mostly used as an internal communication tool within companies. (e.g. Slack)
  • Project management software, which aids PMs in collaborating with their teams eg. Jira or Workflow
  • HR/HRM solutions that are managing human resources within the organization. They can include a variety of features such as data storing, performance tracking, recruiting, productivity management, etc.

Still, thinking about how to create a saas platform? Keep up with us and soon we will share a top-notch saas web application we’ve already had a chance to implement.

An example of this model application in the B2C segment is Google Docs. You get the functionality of a text editor but there is no need to specifically install the program on a computer and use only a browser.

Another well-known example of SaaS products is Google Drive. It is a cloud-based platform that allows you to store files on its servers, share them with other accounts and synchronize across all your devices.

Other prominent SaaS applications include:

  • Grammarly
  • Netflix
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Amazon Web Service
  • Calendly

How to develop a SaaS application

There is no doubt that it is a challenging and complex process to create a saas application from scratch. Here are a few steps you should take into consideration to make the saas development process smoother.

Deep dive

Market research is an essential part of any business idea and not just in building SaaS applications. Not only to define the latest trends, more important requirements, competitors. If you have a unique business idea, but still have difficulties crystallizing it, take advantage of discovery phase services our team will perform for you. Our business analysts, software engineers, and UI/UX designers will provide you with a detailed report on your product, identify challenges, risks, and product feasibility.

Business plan

In case you don’t want to act spontaneously and wish to avoid unnecessary mistakes (including extra time, costs, and efforts), strategy preparation sounds like a plan. The key aspects that you should go through in your road map:

  • Set a budget
  • Define monetization strategy
  • Collect project requirements

Technical vision

The technology stack is a list of the programming languages, frameworks, and tools used in software development. Defining the best stack for desired functionality is another crucial step. The tech stack is divided into two different sides: the front end and the back end.

  • The front end refers to everything the user can see on the screen. The frontend technologies include HTML, CSS, JavaScript, frameworks, and libraries.
  • The back end refers to the part for developers and includes frameworks (Node.js, React.js), programming languages (JavaScript CSS), operating systems, databases, and servers.

Also, to build a cloud-based SaaS app it’s necessary a database for back-end data storage. MySQL and PostgreSQL are the two acceptable databases.

Last but not least is to choose a reliable provider. Amazon Web Services (AWS), for instance, offers a bunch of cool tools for SaaS developers. And it’s architecture is a reliable service for cloud software maintenance.

Basic SaaS app features

Important requirements regarding effective support of different payment systems, secure cloud hosting services, data analysis tools, risk management, are the advantages you provide to the target audience. We have no idea how to develop a saas product without these crucial elements:

  • Focus on security

Storing customers’ data in the cloud, and integrating with any third-party brings potential security risks. You have to ensure that sensitive user data is encrypted against the threat of leakage and hack attacks. It includes multi-factor authentication, identity management, etc.

  • Authentication

An easy, but reliable authentication process gives an impression of a secure platform. The app can support access from numerous accounts with two-factor authentication. Or access activated via email, phone number, etc.

  • UI/UX

How to build a saas app without paying attention to UI/UX. It’s more convenient to make your application user-friendly and easy to use and appealing to the end-user. Who needs complicated navigation or an old-school design in 2021?

  • Frequent updates

To keep up with competitors and remain successful on the market, updating your SaaS app regularly is a must.

  • User activity monitoring

Analyzing user’s logs allows predicting changes, tracking changes, and preventing intrusion. It plays a huge role in data protection and dealing with integrity and access issues.

  • Define an MVP

Minimum viable product development is a feature-limited version of your SaaS application that offers enough functionality to users so that they provide valuable insights. Actually, it is often considered as a safe boat, because of the ability to check your idea on feasibility.

The benefits of launching an MVP before the development phase are

  • In providing valuable information on usability, functionality, and user experience by collecting and analyzing feedback from test groups.
  • In reducing additional expenses as Developing an MVP is a tool to prevent spontaneous costs during the development process.
  • In trying different concepts to measure the effectiveness of business models.

How to create a saas application

The pricing of creating a Saas application like any other software depends on the product itself: its features, complexity, technology stack, integrations with third parties, and whether it is going to be cross-platform. Also, the costs vary on the type of the app, the industry. Simple web apps, progressive web apps, and native apps require a second thought as with implementing features and add-ons the cost of each type will differ significantly.

Don’t hesitate to use our App Cost Calculator to check the approximate cost of your potential application.

Consider Inoxoft Your Trusted Partner

Inoxoft is an international software development company that offers custom web application development and mobile application development services to build a saas application. Also, we propose our UI/UX development services to enhance the user experience by means of a seamless design. Our team provides clients with expert solutions in various industries and a variety of technologies. For instance, to build one of the world’s finest SaaS applications, our node.js development company uses the latest technologies, among which you can choose our react.js development services.

So, as we promised earlier, we want to share with you our relevant experience of developing software as a service application or to be specific, a Scalable Platform for Data-Driven HR & Consultancy Services.

Our client is a Netherlands-based company experienced in providing HR consultancies that make personnel management systems for enterprises. The initial business idea was to create a platform that allows other companies to avoid employees quitting and achieve a maximum of their satisfaction. This encouraged the client to automate the process of consultations. Features of web application aimed to help HR experts to manage the system of questionnaires and measure results. Through a mobile app, employees could respond to the questions as well as keep in touch with consultants, company leaders and coworkers.

Inoxoft team delivered the SaaS solution that consists of a web application and cross-platform mobile app. The web was created to manage and provide HR services that are managed in the form of custom questionnaires, talent analysis, and individual feedback.

Mobile apps are for employees who connect the system, respond to questions, and get feedback on their results from the HR team. So, Inoxoft's engineers produced an on-demand web and mobile application that allows:

  • Each organization has its own database in the system
  • Opportunity to create custom questions and schedule them for each employee
  • A transparent system of accessing users' results and managing permissions
  • Convenient feed page with prioritized questions by date
  • Possibility to chat and send tips, compliments, or complaints to people

If you are interested to know how to build a saas product, contact our team to get more details and insights from our experience.

Final Thoughts

The SaaS model has quickly grown in popularity due to the benefits it offers to users, application developers, and business owners. Follow our guide on how to make a saas application to provide convenient services to your clients.

Looking for a development team that knows exactly how to create a saas product. We can scale your team or create cutting-edge custom solutions for you.

Originally posted on https://inoxoft.com/blog/5-steps-guide-of-how-to-build-a-saas-application/

Publish Date: August 18, 2021 11:34 AM


Benefits of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) - Advantages and Disadvantages

Digital 2021 global overview research reports that there are 5.22 billion mobile users today, which makes 66.6% of the total population. Most of these people use the mobile internet connection on their smartphones to browse different websites and media resources. Thus, most of the websites are built as user-friendly and performant as possible to provide the best user experience. Why is it important? Because it takes several seconds for a user to get interested and engage further with the webpage. 1% of website visitors tend to abandon it based on their first impression. 94% of visitors stay if the website meets their expectations.

According to Clutch.co, half of the small businesses have a mobile app, and the other half plan to develop a mobile app in the future. Mobile app development offers valuable opportunities for a business: from going digital and competitive and showing the presence on the market, to attracting more customers. To win from the start, businesses launch and offer Progressive Web Applications (PWAs). But what exactly is a PWA? What are the PWA benefits? Why is it different from a Single-page Application (SPA) or the advantages of PWA over native apps on the market? Let’s find out the advantages and disadvantages of pwa over traditional apps in this article.

What stands behind a Progressive Web Application?

A Progressive Web Application (PWA) is a web application that uses web browser APIs and features to make a cross-platform web app look like a Native one and bring the same experience. In the other words, it is sort of a Native app that opens with the help of a browser, it is possible to install it on the mobile home screen, access it offline, and receive push notifications. Among the most successful PWAs, there are Pinterest, Starbucks, Twitter Lite, The Washington Post, Forbes, and more.

In comparison, a single-page application is a web page, where the middle part reloads based on your inquiry, without reloading the whole page. SPAs are also accessed from a browser and dynamically upload the requested data from the webserver. For example, some of the well-known SPAs are Gmail, Google Maps, Facebook, Linkedin, and GitHub.

What concerns Native application, it is the software program specifically developed for a particular operating system and device. Mainly, for Android and iOS. Native apps can be uploaded to your smartphone using either Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. After the installation, the app will be accessible from the relevant icon on the phone’s home screen. For instance, native apps include WhatsApp, Spotify, Pokemon Go, and others.

What Makes a Web App Progressive?

Not every web app can be called a PWA. The real PWAs consist of encrypted HTTP protocol (HTTPS), one or several service workers, a manifest file, and a fast-loading time due to its core architecture. Let’s look closer at these pwa features.

Encrypted HTTP protocol (HTTPS)

Any web application should be a secure site and browsed through a secure network. This makes a website a trusted place and allows users to make secure transactions without having second thoughts.

Service workers

Service workers are scripts that control the way a web browser handles network requests and asset caching. With the help of service workers, web developers create reliable and fast web pages that can work offline as well.

Manifest file

The manifest file is a JSON file. Its main role is to control the way an app appears to the end-users. Also, it ensures PWAs discoverability by describing the name of the app, the start URL, icons, and any additional information to shift from the website format into an app one.

Core Architecture

Due to being deployed in a smart and seamless way, the PWA’s major feature and great advantage among the others is its loading time.

Сommon Advantages of PWAs that positively impact businesses

Of course, there are several types of apps besides PWAs deployed today: native apps, single-page apps, and hybrid ones. However, the type of app that will suit your particular business should be chosen based on your business needs, requirements, and the key features an app will offer to your customer. For these reasons, let’s discuss the benefits of progressive web apps. A among the PWA advantages are:

1. Like a Native App

Nowadays, there are users that choose mobile apps over web browser ones and vice versa. Everything depends on the convenience of use and personal preferences. However, there is a tendency that makes mobile applications a far better choice. What’s more, the number of application users is expected to amount to 1,033.3m users by 2024. Hence, PWAs look both good and feel like mobile apps with website-like performance. In addition, the design of PWAs is similar to the Native apps’ design, PWAs and Native apps have a similar effect on user experience, the same speed, responsiveness, and comprehensive capabilities of websites with database access and automatic data. For this reason, Bing, Google, and other search engines index PWA pages and find them in no time.

2. Quick and Easy To Install

PWAs are installed straight from the web browser to any device. Having this feature, user abandonment of a web app is significantly lower with vividly enhanced advantage towards user experience. The installed app remains on the desktop or mobile device home screen and can be easily accessed from there. Also, it is not obligatory to install the PWA app to access it as it can be done via an URL as well. Due to the simplified ways to access the app, users find it credible, flexible, and reliable.

3. Enhanced Performance

The running speed of a progressive web app improves due to the fact that this app can function in an efficient manner, operate like a website, cache, and serve text, images, and other content. This type of software enhances not only the page-load speed but also user experience, improves retention rates, and promotes customer loyalty. Thus, if you have a business in retails or content provision, this type of app is just for you!

4. Working Everywhere

PWAs have the ability to work everywhere. Users, who often switch between their devices can receive cross-support anywhere. This is done to meet the consumer needs, to make sure they receive a continuous experience, to contribute to business automation, especially when it comes to companies that rely on PWAs as it is vital for them to understand that the software their employees’ use performs its best be it a platform or an app version. PWAs are highly responsive to various form factors, as they adapt properly to various screen sizes.

5. Operating Offline

Besides working everywhere, PWAs can operate offline. Thus, when your network connection is unstable this type of app will still work as a clock, but in offline mode. Due to the built-in service workers, the features and information of the PWA are saved and cached. This allows accessing the PWA without downloading it, especially in terms of poor connectivity. In the retail industry, the app is worth all the gold as in the case of internet crashes, it still allows viewing information users accessed previously and if the information is new - they will be redirected to a custom offline page. This way consumers will not abandon the catalog and this will enhance customer retention.

6. Updating Silently

Progressive Web Apps updates are automatic. The app does not notify its user about the upcoming updates and does not require user permission to update itself. The trick is that every time a user opens the app it updates immediately without downloading any batch changes and installing them. However, not all the PWAs update silently. If such a feature exists within the app, it will send its user a push notification informing about the new update arrival.

7. Sending Push Notifications

Commonly to the Native applications, PWAs also use the devices push-notification feature. This is a perfect capability for companies and their advertising campaigns. Why is this opportunity so great? Because users allow their PWAs to send them notifications and these notifications are highly noticeable on mobile screens. Thus, the companies have a chance to access their target audience, reach out to their users more often and become more recognized as a brand.

8. No App Distribution Platforms

Today, we can download apps from different distribution platforms. For instance, the App Store, Google Play, or the Microsoft Store, which have their specific requirements for software stored on them. Sometimes, it becomes a burden to meet these requirements or the app can be removed without prior notice. Hence, choosing PWAs you choose to be free of the distribution platform requirements and possible time waste and cost lost based on missing to meet some of the minor requirements.

9. More Efficient Security

As was mentioned above, PWAs use HTTPS to manage and maintain the safety of data stored within them, eliminate risks of security breaches, snooping, content tampering, and other illegal activity.

10. Eliminating the Development Cost

PWA becomes a good investment when it comes to functioning on different devices and adjusting to the screen sizes. Being so convenient and cross-platform, a PWA reduces developers’ time for its deployment and the customer’s costs.

What makes a PWA not a great fit for your business?

Having a bunch of advantages, PWAs cannot satisfy every business and become a perfect solution. There are also pwa disadvantages to consider. For example, PWAs

  • can function poorly on some of the operating systems
  • add to the fast battery drainage as require intense usage of CPU
  • cannot have such access to the device’s features as Native Apps have

The well-known Companies that Use PWAs to Boost their Performance

Starbucks PWA

At first, Starbucks was a global mobile ordering app. However, the main need - to be accessible to the existing and emerging markets made Starbucks reconsider its application and re-deploy it into a PWA. And, due to the progressive web app benefits the daily active users (DAU) visiting Starbucks increased twice.

Uber PWA

Uber happened to be a native app that turned into a PWA. This transition was triggered due to the need to be able to cater to anyone without taking care much about the network connectivity and the device. Thus, Uber’s PWA was designed to work fast even with a 2G connection. Now, the core app takes 3 seconds to load, there is no app download required to get a ride.

Pinterest PWA

Back in 2017, Pinterest owned a mobile web app. However, there was a business need that intended to offer a better experience for people located in the low-bandwidth environments and the ones with limited data plans. Thus, Pinterest had its site rebuilt into a PWA. This was quite a benefit as the site engagement rose to 60%, user-generated ad revenue increased to 44% and the time users spent on the site reached 40%.

Forbes PWA

2017 was also progressive for Forbes. In their aim to re-design the user experience and bring high-speed performance, a PWA was a great choice. On considering the advantages of progressive web apps, Forbes explained their transition and stated that

We spent months implementing best practices for mobile page performance across both iOS and Android phones. An m.forbes.com web page completely loads in 0.8 seconds, considerably faster than nearly all other sites and lightning-fast compared to our current mobile site. In geek speak, our new mobile site is also a Progressive Web App, meaning it meets certain Google specifications and can be installed on Android phones faster than native apps on iPhones.

Twitter Lite PWA

In 2017, Twitter decided that its users needed a more robust experience and delivered its Twitter Lite app with instant loading, greater user engagement, and lower data consumption. So, turning into a PWA Twitter has also witnessed the benefits of PWA. Its page session time increased by 65%, Tweets grew up to 75% and the bounce rate decreased to 20%. Twitter Lite is capable to load in under 3 seconds even when the network connection is slow.

PWA SEO Benefits

Among the progressive web app advantages is a possibility to contribute to the Seach Engine Optimization and their content is always featured in the search results. Google tools can even find your PWA score in the search results. The only case here is that the content of the app should be unique and search-relevant.

Inoxoft’s Experience with Progressive Web Applications

Inoxoft company knows all the advantages and disadvantages of progressive web app and has relevant experience with regards to PWA deployment. However, all these solutions belong to the non-disclosure agreement policy, which prohibits us to mention the names, features, and other information about the projects. Despite the fact, Inoxoft takes part in PWA development, advances its skills, and looks forward to developing progressive web applications to enhance your business potential, accelerate your end-user interest and add to your product pay-off. For any information regarding PWAs or consultation on whether this type of app is right for you - engage with our team of experts.

Summing Up

Progressive Web Applications became an amazing choice for numerous popular companies. With the help of progressive web apps advantages, users became more satisfied with the loading speed, home screen access, extra security and data privacy, and offline mode. If you aim at enhancing your mobile app running speed, performance, user engagement, and satisfaction - choose to develop a progressive web app. If you need consultation on progressive web app pros and cons, whether this app is a good fit for your business, and a team of experts to deploy one for you - contact us anytime.

Publish Date: August 10, 2021 12:03 PM


Scaling Software Startup with External Dev Team Engagement: Challenges and Solutions

Launching a new company is hard, but scale a startup is even harder. It requires bigger risks, a more complex organizational structure, and the challenge of “turning a startup culture into corporate values”.

If you’re thinking about moving your business to a new level, there are different options for how to do this.

  • Expand the infrastructure and build an in-house team
  • Scale your company with an external dev team.

Not every startup has the expertise, infrastructure, and budget to turn the idea into a real product on its own. Scaling a company means finding ways to optimize processes. It requires planning, some funding, and the right systems, staff, processes, technology, and partners.

So, let’s discover what scaling is and who needs it, and finally, how to scale a tech startup?

Growth vs. Scaling

Let’s start with defining the terms scaling and growth and the difference between them.

Growth stands for the process when the company’s revenue increases in the exact same way (with additional investment in technologies or human resources). In this case, the formula may work like this: more orders lead to the need to hire more workers, which brings more revenue in general.

Scaling refers to the process of increasing a company’s revenue exponentially (without additional investments) To get a maximum income with minimum expenses.

Prepare Your Startup to Scaling

According to Forbes: your company is ready to scale “when you have a proven product, proven business model and about to expand to new geographies and markets”.

The first thing you need to do before starting this process is to ask yourself whether your company is ready for this. There are a lot of startups that failed because they started this journey too early with the same approaches and didn’t realize that all the business processes have to evolve as well. Basically, what got you here won't get you there. So, be ready to pivot.

Are you preparing your startup to scale up? Here are a few thoughts:

  • When you start to scale up, your business turns from a building-a-product approach to a distribution one. Once you get to the point where you sell your product, the next challenge is how do you get people to buy more or how do you get that distribution? Whether it's through some channels, direct sales, or through marketing. It's difficult to build a very scalable distribution channel quickly, so think about it in advance.
  • It's expensive to scale. If you run out of cash, it's a real problem, that’s why plan new monetization methods in case of emergency.
  • Establish rules and processes. Make sure everyone is on the same page by following the rules while you scale up business. Firstly, it will give you time to concentrate on core issues. Secondly, such a company remains strong even if the CEO pays attention to other projects. And finally, making sure that you have rules, gives people the structure to be more successful.
  • It’s all about the people. Do you have a strong team that will run the company without you being involved in every decision? If not, hire the best out there.
  • Think about the offshore strategy. There are challenges like time and culture differences but good management, and outsource development team will definitely strengthen your organization.
  • Find functional experts with relevant (preferably, successful) experience and a professional management skillset. Pattern recognition helps not only in big data but while scaling up software startup too.

According to Michael Alter, a clinical professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth:

“Business is really a movie, sometimes the plot's a little different. But once you've seen the movie, there's real value. And the issues you have around scaling are very similar across businesses. So finding somebody who's seen the movie is really helpful, and when you get somebody who's seen the movie, it's like, it's magical.”

  • Define and reinforce the values that will maintain the business.
  • Last, but not least, remember that you can't run in lockstep anymore, so you need to start establishing new systems and processes to build a scalable startup.

When Should You Scale Your Startup?

From the very beginning, every startup evaluates the same questions: how to get to the next level, how to reach the audience, does the business has the capacity to grow? 90% of new startups fail, 50% of businesses make it to their fifth year,40% of startups actually turn a profit.

How can you know when your startup is ready to scale? Here is our list of the signals that you are ready to expand:

  • Your product is validated and ready to expand to the new marketplaces.
  • You’ve already fulfilled the initial business goals
  • You have a strong core team that can handle rapid changes
  • You have too many clients to handle them by yourself
  • You’ve created a positive cash flow for your firm
  • You are ready to expand your in-house team, external dev team

An example of such transformation is Jellyvision, a software company based in Chicago, Illinois. Initially, it was the company that made games on CD-ROMs. Eventually, those things became outdated, just like the company’s original business model. And so, there was a critical need to change. Jellyvision went from a hits-driven B2C gaming company to a B2B enterprise SaaS company. They got into health insurance, and this transition is recalled as their scaling.

If you filled out the checklist mentioned above and are still wondering how to scale a startup, let’s proceed to the next part.

How to Scale a Startup

Once you decide to scale the software startup, here are the steps worth taking.

Make a plan

It may sound obvious, but start with the basics and come up with a startup scaling strategy that shows continuous innovation.

Attract Additional Investments

To expand your business you need to attract new investments. Build a thoughtful business plan of the exact sum you need for development. The most convenient way to do so is to reach out to investors and your ability to justify a strategy will definitely help.

Consider outsourcing

To strengthen the team, you may consider hiring globally with lower rates but the same work quality. It’s a great tool that gives the opportunity to concentrate on core processes whether you delegate some company functions or hire a vendor to conduct the full cycle of product development.

Imagine if you need to develop your product or you have an idea to launch a new one. Of course, you can rely on an in-house team or even expand it. But to do so you need to recruit and train a staff of developers. Set up a workplace, think about the HR team to keep work-life balance within your company. The strengths of external development are the ability to quickly attract specialists of the desired industry and the ability to optimize costs. When working with vendors, you pay only for the working hours of specialists and do not cover other expenses.

Besides, if at first, outsourcing was mostly used to save costs, now startups and little businesses are delegating not just non-essential activities but those that demand high-quality performance.

Other benefits of scaling up startup with dev team

  • Quick start of a project
  • Access to a larger talent pool
  • Opportunity to hire the most efficient vendor
  • The attraction of resources such as fresh view, experience, and knowledge
  • Dedicated, flexible team with a variety of hard skills

Automate the processes

To be scalable, your company should function just fine without you. Trust us, it will save a lot of time if you set up

  • production automation
  • payroll and billing
  • training processes for new hires
  • document processes etc.

Focus on Potential Customers

That is worth remembering that your target audience will be different from the one you are used to. Users have found you and remain loyal despite some of your bugs or other issues. Now it's time to pay attention to those who expect a little more from your product. Turn the focus from a set of customers that got you here because it is usually not the same set of customers that will get you there.

Create Scalable Marketing Plan

The world’s finest products don't always win. Somebody else who may have had a great product but terrible scalability is losing while your plan makes the product recognizable and successful. So, don’t forget about the marketing strategy of how to attract new customers, because what worked to get them earlier differs from modern approaches.

Invest in Technology

Software is fundamental. If you invest in technology, it would make the process of scaling more convenient and less expensive. Automation, for instance, minimizes manual work, runs your business at a lower cost and in a more efficient way. An established CRM system helps with managing customer data and offers them a better user experience.

Final Thoughts

So, how to scale up business or startup? Why does someone succeed and others fail? There is an opinion that winners are those who intersect technology invention with the business invention (that include new business models, approaches, etc) and then they move really fast to establish it. Those who pay attention only to the technological component and forget about other processes (e.g. marketing) don’t keep up with competitors.

The last question is whether your business system and the team will be able to accommodate growth? If so, here is one of the most convenient approaches, hiring a dedicated software development team. It works if:

  • There is a lack of experts in your in-house team
  • You are looking for a fresh view and new solutions
  • You want to strengthen the existing team or create a new team of experts
  • There is a need to speed up the development
  • You plan to scale up the project

Outsourcing vendors have the technical staff and experience that enable them to be more efficient than your company. To incorporate these functions internally takes a lot of efforts, resources (such as time or money). So, the solution is to find a reliable partner that will scale your business if you want it.

Inoxoft stands as a trustworthy software development provider and efficient user experience design company. Our clients obtain the best cost-effective solutions, convenient software development services and build with us long-term partnerships.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Let’s implement your business idea together!

originally posted at https://inoxoft.com/blog/scaling-software-startup-with-external-dev-team-engagement-challenges-and-solutions/

Publish Date: August 6, 2021 11:20 AM


7 Software Development Models Comparison: How to Choose the Right One?

Software development models have been first introduced to the software development community no sooner than in the 1950s-1960s. At that time, it was quite a good practice to structure everything and programming was one of the processes that had to be planned.

Today, this process is much needed in everyday project management as without a certain flow of events, project development can be quite chaotic. Therefore, any activity from project planning and up to its release and maintenance has a conceptual framework everyone needs to use.

So, this article will be useful for you if you:

  • Struggle with the undefined process of software development
  • Lack certain knowledge about the project management techniques
  • Search for a way to optimize and structure the development phase
  • Want to accelerate the delivery process
  • Reduce project risks
  • Shorten the project timeline and excessive costs

Let’s define the software development life cycle, make an overview of the seven potentially used models, and find out their differences and benefits in project development. Moreover, let’s make a comparison of the software models in software engineering to find out which one might suit you best!

Why are the software project development models needed?

Every software outsourcing company has its software development lifecycle (SDLC), which usually encompasses the following phases of app development:

  • requirement analysis
  • design
  • development and testing
  • implementation
  • documentation
  • maintenance

These stages mark the usual process of software project development from gathering client requirements to launching a fully-fledged product with 24/7 support. At present, companies prefer a personalized approach to their workflow, so there are several conceptual models that include these development phases. The models have their key principles, basic flows, and timelines pre-written and established, and, for this reason, we call them methodologies.

Currently, there are seven featured methodologies to pay attention to. These are:

  • Waterfall Model
  • Iterative and Incremental Model
  • Spiral Model
  • V-shaped Model
  • Prototype Model
  • Agile Model
  • DevOps Model

The value of the software development process models lies in the process optimization and, as a concluding factor, team performance boost. Every model is quite specific and implementing it, the company should focus on the same working techniques, vision, mission, and tempo. That’s why we have so many of them to find the one that will work for your company and will be easily adjusted to by your team.

This year, according to Statista, the most practiced software engineering process models worldwide is DevOps taking as much as 36%, then goes Agile covering almost 32% and the third leader is Kanban that is practiced by 13% of the IT community globally.

So, what are the software development models? What are the software engineering models types organizations use today?

What are the software development models and how do they work?

1. Waterfall Model

The Waterfall model is the first of the software project development models that have been introduced in the software development circles. It is also called linear as the model implies each stage to be completed before going on to the next one. So, the model goes linearly step by step giving no possibilities to overlap any stage. Schematically, it would look like this:

Genuinely, the model resembles a real-life waterfall that has a beginning and an end with water falling freely from the cliff without being interrupted or altered.

The Waterfall model is applied to the software development life cycle when it is most suitable for a certain project.

What factors contribute to choosing the Waterfall approach?

  • Short-term projects
  • Clear, fixed, and well-documented requirements
  • Static technology that is understood
  • Stable product definition
  • A variety of resources for product support
  • Low Product Owner Involvement
  • Strictly-set timeline
  • Fixed budget that cannot be changed

In all the other situations choose the other model to approach your project development.

The main advantage of Waterfall is that the model is in strict order with regards to the tasks carried out and their timelines. Due to being fixed, the tasks can be easily divided between software departments and monitored as to task completion. Clients may find the Waterfall Model a reliable approach as they will be aware of the whole process from the start till finish beforehand. As for the disadvantages of the Waterfall Model, there are some as well. For instance, Waterfall has no revision of a task. The farther the application development goes forward into the other stage the harder it is to go back and change its conceptual basics or documentation.

Waterfall Model Advantages & Disadvantages

2. Iterative and Incremental Model

In the Iterative model, the development starts with implementing several small requirements, and then the product is enhanced with the help of numerous iterations (incrementally). The process of enhancement goes on in increments (iterations) until the application features are complete and it is ready to be deployed. Developing only a small part of the software is a smart approach as you can easily review what was done, quickly identify further requirements and proceed with the implementation or provide some changes to the app and then proceed. Either way, you’ll benefit from the solutions as every new iteration will bring you a new and better version of the software.

Unlike the Waterfall model, the Iterative Model allows carrying out multiple iterations at a time and receives the product output simultaneously. The key to success, which the model offers, is in validating the versions of the software and testing them according to the requirements. This allows a better understanding of where the team is at with the project, the product’s functionality verification, and 100% confidence that the product will be a success.

Where is the Iterative Model applicable in software development?

  • System requirements are clearly defined and fully understood
  • Additional requirements can occur with time
  • When the team learns new technology and works on the project simultaneously
  • Specific resources are to be used only when they are required for specific iterations according to the contract
  • When the business goals might change in the future due to high-risk features

The biggest advantage of the Iterative model is that it allows finding feature and design flaws at the beginning of development. Working in iterations and validating every development cycle will result in a risk-free product with the ability to add or remove features as well as alter the costs and timeline of the final product. Besides advantages, we should talk about some of the minuses that are also present.

Iterative Model Advantages & Disadvantages

3. Spiral Model

The Spiral Model is a combination of the Iterative and Waterfall models. From the Iterative methodology, it took the cycled development, and from the Waterfall one, it borrowed a systematic approach and the ability to control the process. The biggest emphasis of the current model falls on risk analysis. Also, it delivers a project in iterations, which swirl around the spiral.

The Spiral Model is designed in 4 stages. The product under development passes all of these stages during its iterations, which are also called spirals in this methodology. The stages include:

  • Identification
  • Design
  • Construct (Build)
  • Evaluation (Risk analysis)

Identification is the stage where it is best to gather business requirements. This is done in a basic spiral. The following spirals identify system, subsystem, and unit requirements. Besides gathering requirements, this stage is all about communication between the customer and the system analyst to understand what is required to deploy.

The design also starts in the basic spiral with the conceptual design and includes subsequent spirals with architectural design, logical design of modules, physical product design, and the final design.

The Construct (Build) stage is the development of the actual software product at each and every spiral. In the basic spiral, when the concept needs to be evaluated according to its feasibility, you should develop a POC (Proof of Concept) and try to obtain valuable customer feedback.

Getting aware of all the requirements and design details, we produce a numbered software working model (build) version. The customer reviews all the builds and gives feedback.

Evaluation (Risk Analysis) is a process of identifying, estimating, and monitoring the technical feasibility and management risks. For example, schedule overdue and cost overrun.

After the customer has evaluated the build, the next iteration comes forward. This one follows the linear approach to ensure the feedback given by the customer is implemented. The SDLC includes these spiral iterations practically until its finalization.

When is it best to use the Spiral Model?

The Spiral Model is applied when there is a need to “learn with the product’s maturity” and:

  • There’s a budget limit and you need to foresee risks
  • You have a medium or high-risk project to carry out
  • There is a long-term project, and changes might occur
  • The requirements are vague to the customer
  • Requirements need more clarity due to their complexity
  • The primary product has to be released in several stages to get valuable customer feedback
  • You expect major changes to the product during the SDLC

Based on the applicability of the Spiral Model, let’s view its benefits and drawbacks. The main advantage of the model is that you can add elements to the product in case they become available or known. Also, the Spiral Model involves users at the early stages of product development, which allows receiving constructive feedback.

Spiral Model Advantages & Disadvantages

4. V-shaped Model

The V-model allows a project to be carried out in a sequence and according to the V shape. The other name of this model is a Verification and Validation Model because it is based on the Waterfall Model. However, here, in the SDLC, every stage of development includes testing as well. So, you carry out a phase, complete it, test it and only then go to the next phase that will look identical to the previous one with regards to its structure.

In the V-shaped Model, the development phase corresponds to the testing phase and they go parallelly. This means you can see the Verification phases on one side of the image and the Validation phases on the other. These sides are being joined with the Coding Phase.

Based on the picture above, there are 4 Verification phases. These are:

  • Requirements analysis
  • System design
  • Architectural design
  • Module design

The validation phase also includes 4 stages:

  • Unit testing
  • Integration testing
  • System testing
  • Acceptance testing

The Coding Phase, as it is seen in the picture, combines the two other stages and makes a V shape.

The V-shaped model has the same applicability as the Waterfall Model. Requirements have to be clearly defined from the very beginning of the SDLC as going back and making changes will increase the product development costs. This model suits best for the healthcare industry.

When to implement the V-Shaped Model?

  • There are clearly defined, documented, and stable requirements
  • The technology used is also stable and the project team has a full understanding of it
  • All of the requirements are extra clear
  • The project is short-term and not complex

The best advantage of the V-shaped Model is that you can both understand, apply to, and manage it in an SDLC easily. However, on the contrary, the model lacks flexibility when changes are on the horizon and it is quite expensive for the customer to implement those changes as they trigger additional development costs.

V-shaped Model Advantages & Disadvantages

5. Prototype Model

Prototyping is the creation of software application prototypes that show the visual representation of the minimal features of the incomplete product. This enables understanding customer requirements early in the development stage and getting valuable feedback. The model includes:

  • Identification of basic requirements
  • Initial prototype development
  • Prototype review
  • Prototype revision and enhancement

There are different types of software prototypes. These are:

  • Rapid Prototyping - on understanding requirements the system is built with a clearer understanding of user needs
  • Evolutionary Prototyping - development of functional prototypes with limited functionality based on the understood requirements and adding the other requirements in the process
  • Incremental Prototyping - building numerous functional prototypes that form a system and putting them together
  • Extreme Prototyping - it is a web development domain with three phases: basic prototype in the HTML; prototype service layer; implementation and integration in the final prototype

Where and when is the Prototyping Model applicable?

Prototyping is applicable to online software system development where there is a high level of user interaction. For example,

  • Systems that require users to fill out forms
  • Software that requires lots of data processing

The Prototyping Model also has its advantages and disadvantages. Of course, they depend on the organization’s needs and are considered before choosing this model.

Prototyping Model Advantages & Disadvantages

6. Agile Model

Agile methodology is based on the iterative and incremental model but it is more adaptive and delivers working software at a speedy pace. Due to meeting the clients’ requirements and being very flexible, the Agile methodology brings customer satisfaction. Agile projects tend to break the production process down into incremental builds or we call them iterations. Every iteration has a timeline of 1 to 3 weeks and includes different teams working on various project areas simultaneously. This allows a decrease in the time of production and it may lower production costs as well.

Every iteration consists of the same processes, which are:

  • Planning
  • Requirements Analysis
  • Design
  • Coding
  • Unit Testing
  • Acceptance Testing

At the end of every iteration, you get a working product, which is presented to the customer to understand whether the application is built according to the customer's requirements and receive feedback on the work being done.

Agile methodology is divided into several methods that have their own principles. For instance,

  • Rational Unified Process (RUP)
  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • ScrumBan
  • Extreme Programming (XP)
  • ScrumXP
  • Iterative Development
  • Lean Software Development

When can we use the Agile Methodology?

  • In small to medium-sized software projects
  • To produce the required multiple variants of the product
  • When you need to break down the development process into smaller parts - iterations
  • When there’s a need for software delivery acceleration
  • When the team needs to be flexible in changing priorities
  • When the need is to enhance software quality, productivity, and predictability in delivery
  • To promote project risk reduction and achieve cost reduction possibilities
  • To manage the distributed teams effectively on the project

To learn more about Agile Methodology, get to read our Agile Software Development Life cycle Phases article.

Like any other methodology, Agile has its positive and negative aspects. For example,

Agile Model Advantages & Disadvantages

7. The DevOps Model

The DevOps model has its unique principles that promote automation and team collaboration. Therefore, the primary focus of the model is the enhancement of collaboration between teams that are driven by sequential feedback. The DevOps model resembles the Agile methodology, but differs due to the collaboration focus between technical team members and managers, while Agile focuses on client involvement.

What does DevOps carry out?

  • Continuous Integration and Delivery
  • Microservices
  • Infrastructure as Code
  • Monitoring and Logging
  • Communication and Collaboration

When can we apply the DevOps Model?

  • In complex projects
  • Projects that require QA and testing
  • Projects that include large teams from multiple departments

Being quite popular, the DevOps Model also has some pros and cons. It depends on what projects you are planning to adopt this model and whether you are prepared for the quite hard adoption curve. Let’s see what the model has to offer with regards to productivity from both sides.

DevOps Model Advantages & Disadvantages

Top used software development models comparison

As the most used methodologies worldwide are DevOps, Agile (Scrum and Kanban), and Waterfall, here’s a closer look at these software development models comparison.

This table with methodologies comparison shows all the distinctive features of the delivery models.

In 2020, 62% of teams evolved with the help of the DevOps model adopted to meet their company's needs. However, Agile is stepping on DevOps' feet with a 71% possibility to reduce production costs and the same number of organizations adopting it. Are Agile and DevOps friends or foes? The answer is that DevOps is agile-driven beyond the software team.

As for the Waterfall, its success rate is equal to 26%. So, let’s compare Waterfall and Agile to find out which one is better.

And again, the Agile model wins here.

How to choose the SDLC Model that will suit you best?

There is no right or wrong software development model if you approach the process of choosing one with several important steps.

Step 1: Look through all the existing software development models to understand which one is closer to your beliefs and principles as well as business needs.

Step 2: Are there any needs of Stakeholders you should listen to first? Hear out every stakeholder as they can make a difference to your final decision.

Step 3: Think about the acceptance criteria and try to answer the following questions:

    • Is the model suitable for the size of the team and their skills?
    • Is the model suitable for the technologies used in the project?
    • Is the model suitable for both the client and the stakeholders?
    • Is the model suitable for the project size and its complexity?
    • Is there a project risk if we choose this model?
    • Are there going to be any changes in the process of product development?
    • Are the requirements fixed or flexible and may emerge during production?

Step 4: Decide which model fits your intentions

Step 5: Optimize the model according to your project

Now, as you have acknowledged all the project development nuances and found the model that will make a performance boost - select it and proceed with the product development.

Consider our company as your trusted partner

Inoxoft is an international company providing best practices of software development. We offer mobile development and custom web development services. Inoxoft receives numerous projects from different countries that surely require software development modeling. At most of the projects Inoxoft carries out, we adhere to the Agile Methodology. Why? Because it allows a good level of flexibility, works in development iterations, and involves continuous customer feedback. The customer can see a potential working product within a short period of time and provide us with constructive insights on how to enhance the product or approve that we are on the right track. Our team has a positive attitude towards Agile Methodology and admires collaborating with the customers to advance communication skills and acquire valuable experience from the first source.

Due to the NDA being signed at every project, Inoxoft cannot share any project details. However, we ensure that our clients are always satisfied with the way we approach project deployment processes. What our clients have to say about our young and forward-thinking team can be found at Inoxoft’s main source of client feedback - Clutch Reviews.

If you have a project idea and would like to implement it using Agile principles of development and with an outstanding team of committed developers and managers, let’s talk! Contact us and you will get an expert consultation from our teammate!

Final thoughts

Software engineering modeling is a good practice worldwide as it ensures the best quality of product development. Software engineering models comparison is among the most useful tools that allow choosing a methodology based on your needs. Project activities are dependent on a planned scheme and the better the team works according to this plan the better is the software processing. To choose your software model based on your internal SDLC, get to know what each model stands for, and then you will be able to define which one is the best fit. The biggest part of developers and managers in the world use DevOps, Agile (Scrum and Kanban), and Waterfall. All of these models are different according to their processes, but all they have in common is a strategic approach to product development that is successful at the output.

Publish Date: July 28, 2021 12:44 PM


How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Mobile App Developer?

Mobile App Development Market Outlook in 2021

It’s 2021, and people are going more digital around the world. Everything considered convenient, like the internet connection and mobile devices, are in great demand today. And, it’s no wonder. According to DataReportal, in April of the current year, there were 4.72 billion internet users and 5.27 billion unique mobile phone users in the world.

In comparison with April 2020, the global digital growth rate of new internet users was +332 million (7.6%) and unique mobile users + 97 million (1.9%), which is a significant increase over the year. The Ericsson Mobility Report on smartphone usage predicts a 25% increase in mobile traffic by 2025.

And what about mobile apps? The number of applications downloaded on mobile devices was almost 250 billion in 2020, is approximately 270 billion downloads in 2021, and is projected to reach 300 billion up till 2023, as Statista suggests.

Who’s to give credit to for mobile app production and release? Of course, mobile application developers. Based on the mobile usage analytics, it is evident that these professionals are highly demanded in the software development market.

Things to Know about Mobile App Development

Business News Daily defines mobile app development as the process of software creation. The created software is meant to run on mobile devices and be optimized with unique features and hardware. Smartphones of today have Bluetooth, NFC, gyroscopic sensors, GPS, and multiple high-quality cameras. They can be used almost anywhere and do lots of things instead of their owners with the help of different apps: e.g. virtual or augmented reality, barcode scanning, and more. Oracle has produced a report, where millennials were said to spend 90% of their mobile time in apps and only 10% in web browsers. Mobile apps utilize a whole range of smartphone features and are divided into several types. The applications developers create on mobile platforms are of four types:

  • Native Applications
  • Hybrid Applications
  • HTML5 (Web) Applications

Native App Development

Native apps are usually created for iOS or Android platforms with the help of specific development languages and tools applicable to each OS. For instance, the iOS platform requires the use of Objective-C/Swift in Xcode, while Android prefers Java/Kotlin in Android Studio. One of the pluses of native apps is that developers can utilize the device to its full potential, create unique applications that include smart home device management, integration of wearables (smartwatches and trackers), IoT sensors, smart screens that are popular and beneficial only for particular businesses. All the Latest Trends in Mobile App Development can be found by following the link. One of the minuses of native apps is that their development costs and time are extremely high. The fact is that the apps have the highest performance and best user experience, but also have to be redeveloped, supported, upgraded on every platform to be equally accessible for every OS user.

Hybrid App Development

Hybrid apps are a combination of native apps and web apps (HTML5, JavaScript, CSS). The hybrid app is practically a web app that includes add-on native features. Hybrid applications work across multiple platforms but behave like native ones. Among the pluses is the simplified codebase as it is single for every OS, it is easier to upgrade apps and scale them making minimal customizations. The minus of hybrid apps is that their performance loses to native apps performance and, sometimes, the apps’ consistency is altered due to specifics of each mobile device: the features that can be implemented on Android might not work on iOS and vice versa.

HTML5 App Development

An HTML5 app is a web page that can function on a smaller screen (a mobile screen), i.e. it is optimizable for mobile devices. HTML5 apps are accessed through the browser of any mobile device, can send desktop notifications, and trigger interactions through email and other means. Their biggest plus is in having better functionality and interactivity than the whole website. Also, due to the single codebase, the development process of web apps is easier. The minus is that these apps cannot be downloaded like the native ones and might also lack available features to promote their functionality, and cannot use mobile device features other apps use. Web apps potentially require an excellent internet connection as they reload every time users click on something they’d like to see or read more precisely.

The process of Mobile App Development

Any software development project, which requires building a mobile application has, but is not limited to, six main steps, which break it down into smaller parts.

Clearly defined Project Idea

Before starting your project with a concrete idea, do research the market for its existence and demand. It is vital to understand, what problem would this app solve for its end-users? Who will be these end-users? What features are important to include and why? Are there any competitors you need to outsmart?

User-friendly and seamless UI/UX Design

After the idea is being researched at it has a strong potential to be popular among its end-users, it is necessary to think about a pleasant user interface (UI) and a smooth user experience (UX), which will ease up the app’s navigation for the end-user and make a good impression of the app itself.

Application Development

This process requires code writing and testing the code for flaws. The more accurate your code will be the better. And initiating testing at this point will not only allow us to receive valuable development tips from testers but also achieve a great output from the start.

Application Testing

Testing the mobile app you’re deploying will showcase to you its quality, possible malfunctions, and locations that have to be improved. Testing is an irreplaceable process that makes the mobile app seamless in its functionality and design for the end-users. The better the testing process is conducted the lesser malfunctions the app will have or will have none at all.

Launching the Mobile Application

After the testing phase shows that the app is ready to be released and has no potential bugs, you publish it on the Apple App Store and Google Play, which are the most famous mobile marketplaces. Publishing your app will allow users to download it and use it daily. As for you, you’ll start receiving mobile application metrics you should be measuring. If you have no clue what metrics to measure, read the corresponding material here.

Mobile application Marketing Campaign

Unless you have a marketing strategy, users won’t have a chance to get to know your app. Nowadays, everything revolves around commercials and ads, which light up user interest and make them want to buy or download something innovative. Users, who will like your advertising will surely download the mobile app you deployed and leave positive or constructive feedback on how to improve user engagement.

Mobile app development is a prospective business, which is projected to reach $407.31 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 18.4%, as Allied Market Research estimates. Thus, it is best to consider where to find mobile app developers and how much does it cost to hire someone to build an app.

How much does it cost to hire a mobile app developer?

A mobile app developer is a person who deploys mobile applications. According to Stackoverflow, 19.2% of survey responders are mobile developers. These developers report an average coding experience of 8.4 years. The tendency on the job market is that 19.1% of the mobile developers are in constant search of a new job. How much does it cost to hire an app developer according to Stackoverflow? The research results claim that globally the average salary of an app developer is $43 000 annually, while in the U.S. this number is higher when compared to the global developer population - $120 000 of annual profit.

According to Upwork, the software development hourly rate of hiring the best mobile app developers varies from $15 per hour to $75 per hour. Of course, the better the mobile developer meets the requirements, deadlines and the cleaner is his/her code, the more costs will be accrued per one hour. So, while choosing developers it is necessary to understand your budget capabilities and choose either a mobile app development freelancer or outsource one. Or, maybe, even the whole team. The latter seems to be more time and cost-efficient.

How much does it cost to hire someone to make an app?

The cost of hiring includes not only the software developer salary per hour but also additional costs if to speak about outsourcing or team augmentation.

Outsourcing is the practice in the software development business that allows hiring a software engineer outside a company. This engineer has to perform services and create products that could have been performed by the company's in-house employees. However, outsourcing projects makes companies save their budget as in-house developers are costlier.

Team augmentation is one of the outsourcing strategies that evaluate the existing employees and determines additional skills that are required. So, team augmentation may leverage the existing employees in the company or use the outsourced/contract workers.


To outsource a developer, it is necessary to think about the following characteristics:

Type of application to deploy

Is your app an extension or a completely new startup? Will it be simple or complex in its architecture? If you need to dive deeper into what’s a mobile app architecture - find all the relevant information here. What industry should it belong to? Give answers to these questions and you will make the search circle narrower and more focused.

Tech Stack of the application

Now, when you understand what is your app about and how to deploy it, choose a tech stack correspondingly. Is it going to be Flutter or React Native or a cross-platform app? Make a market research and analyze, which technologies suit your business and the chosen industry to disrupt the most.

Communication/Remote work

When you outsource developers, communication becomes a key to your future success. If the communication is open, clear, with notes of respect and trust, the work of the developer and your team of experts will be smooth and productive.

Budget

Costs should be discussed on mutual terms ahead of the development process. Consider spending on design, maintenance, testing, deployment, and other services such as, perhaps, additional hiring. But never choose low pricing over quality as in the end, this choice will be misfortunate. Also, get to know mobile app developer rates and decide whether they meet your budget expectations.

Timeline and Deadline

Discuss what your app should include, how many mobile software engineers are on your team and whether it is possible to meet a certain deadline. Request an estimation of your project and see whether the timeline proposed matches your best interest, and even more.

Developer CV

Look at the cv of the mobile app developer you would like to hire. Are the education, experience, knowledge, English skills of the developer according to your expectations? What about the mobile developer’s code? Look through his/her Github account or through the list of apps he/she deployed. Are they relevant to the one you’d like to develop? And, also, don’t forget to check the salary of a software developer.

Adhere to the feedback

If you have doubts if the developers are the right people, always ask for feedback. The best references can be found on Clutch.co. Also, if you have such an opportunity, ask your business colleagues about mobile software developers you’d like to hire. But this is applicable only if you have colleagues that worked with the same team and have comments to share.

Compatibility issues

Sometimes, in outsourcing time zones, English speaking skills and outreach become the barriers on the road to success. So, speak up about your values, what you’d like to achieve, and how for the team to acknowledge and adjust.

Our Experience: What else defines how much does it cost to hire a programmer for an app?

At Inoxoft, we expertise in providing mobile app development services. Clients from all over the world approach us with their various business needs and requirements to develop mobile applications. Mobile app developers at our company are certified, implement clients’ ideas, and design tailor-made software having years of experience. Inoxoft mobile developers produce bug-free code and practice fast performance. We understand what it takes to choose the best-fit tech stack for the project, what languages to include, and which activities to plan according to the project specifics.

Thus, our mutual road to success with the clients looks like the following:

  • Requirements analysis
  • Hiring Process
  • Team Integration

Requirements Analysis

The first step of the development process requires us to gather as many details about your mobile app as it is possible: e.g. MVP description with minimal visualization, probable team, necessary and agreed on workflow, iterations checking, etc. you don’t need to worry too much about everything as we are here to ensure you we have set a workflow and act accordingly.

Hiring Process

Our People Operations team has an eye for detail and chooses developers that are the best match for your needs. For instance, they are guided by your preferences in experience, hard and soft skills, tech stack knowledge, English skills, interpersonal communication, and Android developer price or iOS developer price that will best suit your interest. If there are no matches within the company, we initiate the hiring process, which takes up to 1 month.

Team integration

Inoxoft acts according to our mutual best interests and has a refined scheme of team integration and work with your in-house team and partners. This way you receive a dedicated team that will be at your service according to the terms and conditions we have agreed upon. Scale with your outsourced team and be one step ahead of your competitors.

Summary

To conclude, the cost of hiring a mobile application developer varies according to the clients’ needs and possibilities. For someone, it is great to hire Upwork freelancers, for the others to hire in-house developers, and for the rest - to outsource a team. In any case, it is inevitable to have an experienced mobile app engineer on your team. The process of hiring is challenging, but yet, if your priorities are set correctly, the process itself will be smooth and easy. Developers and their hourly rates differ according to the country, years of experience, and type of project to carry out. So, we understand that your requirements matter and define every detail in the mobile software development process. If you need expert advice or would like to hire a great team of mobile application experts - contact us right away and let’s discuss the detail.

Publish Date: May 25, 2021 12:23 PM

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