For over a decade, DFSL has been involved in technology transformation projects. From the days of digital pens to the advent of our customisable mobile application, Formworks – we have seen several technological shifts that are radically changing how companies work.

What might tomorrow hold for how organisations heighten efficiency? How will hardware and software evolve over the next few years? Join us as we explore the possibilities that range from a single device future, to increasingly customisable software that renders out-of-the-box obsolete.

The Principals of Efficiency Don’t Change

For businesses that make daily use of spreadsheets, mobile applications and SaaS, an underlying objective is ubiquitous – gathering and sharing data as fast as possible for accurate record keeping, compliance and enhanced decision making. The desired result: a competitive edge, along with growth & profitability.

Hardware and Software are simply defined by their ability to deliver insights, improve the quality of the information we have access to and help us determine how we should respond. With this in mind, what should organisations be considering if they wish to prepare for how emerging technologies will affect operations?

Hardware Convergence and Mobility

Many professionals make use of 3 devices in their day-to-day work – a phone, tablet and a laptop. Current predictions suggest that the future will see the merging of these different pieces of hardware into a single device that is adaptable in design and offers the combined functionality of a phone, tablet and laptop.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro can be seen as an excellent forerunner to this idea, as can Samsung’s Galaxy Fold – while Apple is enhancing the next generation iPad range with mouse support. This may seem like a small change for the iPad, but when one considers that iPad Pros currently outspec most entry-level laptops and can now be used with a mouse, the movement to a single device future seems a step closer.

Tomorrow is Mobile

The global mobile workforce is set to increase from 1.52 billion, to 1.88 billion in 2023, accounting for 43.3% of the total global workforce. If this trend continues, half of all employees within the next 10 years will no longer be office-based.

Increasingly, organisations have environments where tablets are the primary means by which data is captured, validated and processed – this principally due to the portability of tablets, as well as their cost effectiveness. Compound this with a growing mobile workforce, and suddenly flexible mobile applications that can be rapidly customised to meet mobility demands start taking on a more important dimension.

According to Gina Luk from Strategy Analytics ‘Globalization will continue to drive the growth of mobile office workers in all regions. The latest mobile devices and technologies are increasingly able to meet the demands of mobile workers of all types…’

Customisation and Integration will Deepen

There are three main options when it comes to provisioning software to improve business processes:

  1. Build it yourself
  2. Buy an out-of-the-box solution
  3. Buy a configurable/customisable solution
As solutions proliferate that offer greater flexibility and allow for high levels of customisation, building internal solutions, or using generic software will most likely wane.

With software solutions that are built in-house, the cost of ongoing maintenance can quickly compound and become exceptionally expensive. While out-of-the-box solutions hinder processes due to pure inflexibility and an inability to solve specialist process automation requirements.

The Formworks platform solution, as well as many other emerging solutions that offer rapid customisation, allow business challenges to be solved at a fraction of the cost of building a bespoke solution – while still offering the same benefits.

The Software of Tomorrow is No-Code

‘No-code’, or low-code* are terms in software that refers to the ability to configure and build applications using a graphic interface. Formworks’ ability to rapidly create custom data capture applications for field staff is a prime example of how no- code can practically be applied to automate processes.

Research firm Forrester estimates that the total market for low-code development platforms will grow to $15.5 billion by 2020. This means that instead of painfully having to write software applications from the ground up, functionality can rapidly be configured by non-technical staff, or junior developers.

The benefit for the organisation is that the bottleneck placed on IT, or internal developers, can be reduced while business challenges can be solved much faster. What’s more, most solutions now offer sophisticated APIs integrations – allowing for integration of systems and seamless data flow for real-time reporting. In short a single integrated ecosystem for many organisations is finally becoming a reality.

For mobile workers, soon the need to use clunky spreadsheets, PDF’s (or even worse, paper) to send data back to the office will belong to yesterday. Companies that harness mobility, automated processes and smart analytics will gain both a competitive edge as well as the benefits of a much leaner operation.

*No code requires no bespoke development, while low-code requires minimal software coding. Both technologies eliminate the need for programming solutions from scratch

In Summary

The future of process efficiency is likely to be defined by highly-configurable software that reduces the need for bespoke development. In turn as the mobility of workers heightens, traditionally, work that would have been undertaken in the office will be executed in the field.

Customisable mobile applications will gain both operational importance, as well as become key in the transfer of field data from remote workers to internal operational software and business intelligence platforms.

The fact that data is instantly captured and reported upon, means that businesses that embrace mobile technologies will benefit from increased reporting speeds while senior stakeholders will gain access to validated data that offers real-time performance insights. What is Formworks? Watch our video.

Need Some Help and Advice?

If you would like to find out more about how you can empower your organisation for mobility and rapidly solve process automation challenges, contact us to find out more about Formworks.

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