With Halloween right around the corner, most of us are bound to get a good scare, whether we want to or not. While we can’t promise that your friends or family won’t jump out from behind a bookcase or plant a fake spider nearby to give you a fright this season, we can help when it comes to real-life work scares. Check out these five nightmares to avoid when you’re building and customizing your enterprise applications.
1. The user-friendly app in disguise.
Just because an application has a slick user interface doesn’t mean that it will actually help users get their jobs done. Just because you can design something doesn’t mean you should. Good design starts at the organizational level, asking if a process is even needed before it’s put into action through software.
Good design also asks what the user truly needs to do and the information they need to access in order to fulfill their role, and even what they need to be happy at work. It’s time to pull the mask from the user-friendly apps in disguise through good ol’ fashioned user research.
2. The ghost of code from long ago.
Ever had a really great developer who wrote a ton of beautiful code, in a rare or ancient language, that supported key business processes, and then… the developer disappeared? As employees move on and companies adjust, that code may come back to haunt you.
We all know that even the best code requires ongoing maintenance to keep things humming and fast, especially as business needs change. When the only people who know how to update the code are long gone, organizations can find themselves in quite a pickle. By designing and developing your key applications with less code, you can operate with less risk.
3. The Frankenstein of siloed apps and data.
At previous companies, I had an app for everything, and none of them were connected seamlessly. There was one for the company intranet (where I’d have to search for the 200+ process documents that helped me do my job), one for my timesheet, one for my email, and two that I had to jump between to accomplish my most important daily tasks.
Each application had a different user experience, a different way to log in and access data, and there was little to no integration between apps that shared similar data. Now, imagine me dealing with all that while a customer was on the line. Yikes. That’s one scary Frankenstein. The most productive companies I’ve seen are the ones that can unify multiple applications and experiences on a single platform.
4. The vampire project.
Building your own custom enterprise applications can produce significant benefits. Rather than be bound by the limitations of off-the-shelf software, you get to decide the purpose of your application, who it’s for, and exactly how it works. But customizing with code doesn’t come without substantial risks. Most custom projects drag on beyond projected timetables, sucking budgets dry and thieving time from other projects, and the cost of failure is high.
Whether it’s due to changing needs, lack of user research, or miscommunication between IT and business, failure means starting again from scratch when you’re writing code. Just as we learned from the ghost of code from long ago, enterprises would do well to invest in faster, more adaptable ways of application development.
5. The curse of the legacy system.
So, someone signed a software contract in the 70s, built your entire business around it, and suddenly it’s 2018 and everyone’s talking about moving to the cloud. You might feel like your business is cursed to live in the past forever. But there is hope.
The vast array of application program interfaces (APIs) and web services, which provide access to data where it resides, have shifted focus for competitive database software. Companies no longer need to migrate data with rip-and-replace database decisions. Instead, it’s more important to access data wherever it may be, and make that data useful in real-time, transactional ways.
With APIs and web services, apps can now be built without changing the system of record. Are you currently experiencing any of these nightmares? Learn more about how you can solve them here.