The pace of business just keeps increasing. As a result, companies are looking to their technology investments to provide agility, speed, functionality and performance. However, many are struggling to meet user and partner requirements, and to make data ubiquitous and available on any platform, at any time.
According to Rick Parry, CEO of local Progress distributor AIGS, applications, as the tools and vehicles that not only allow businesses to run, but enable growth and innovation, are fast becoming the strategic differentiator many companies are employing to stay ahead.
“Agility is key to the success of any company in today’s fast-paced business environment. At the heart of this is fast application development. Twelve, 18 or even 24 months is no longer acceptable for development timeframes for companies looking to stay relevant.”
Research by Vanson Bourne found that 85% of organisations want to deploy new apps faster, but only 18% had the means and ability to do so. Similarly, a survey of IT decision makers by Progress found that 96% see digital transformation as important or critical, yet 55% say they have one year or less to respond before they financially suffer.
This, says Parry, need not be the case. “Cloud-based development tools and on-premise rapid application development (RAD) platforms are providing the ‘secret weapons’ that are allowing companies to leverage applications fast to achieve business value. With these tools, access to data across all on-premise and cloud-based applications is simple, and applications can be built in days and not weeks.”
He explains that application Platform-as-a-Service (aPaaS) solutions such as Progress Rollbase not only allow for the creation and deployment of web and mobile applications much more rapidly than with traditional technologies, but they enable companies to gain the benefits from fast deployment much quicker than would be possible using traditional coding tools and techniques.
“aPaaS solutions such as Rollbase are templatised, customisable, drag-and-drop tools that feature all of the base functionality required to develop new applications fast. They connect to all third party apps and other critical business data, don’t require highly specialised development skills, and don’t require the deployment of any new hardware because they are cloud- and on-premise based.”
Using tools and platforms such as these have proven benefits in terms of speed of development and the levels of agility that an organisation can achieve, Parry adds. A survey by IDC of the aPaaS solutions offered by Progress Software showed that development cycles could be cut by as much as 55% and application coding productivity increased by 66% when using their solutions. A similar survey by Vanson Bourne of the benefits organisations found when using an aPaaS such as that offered by Progress found that over 50% benefited from reduced timescales and costs, and 29% cited an increase in operational agility.
“Applications have become critical to the running of an organisation. While no business wants, nor can afford, to be left behind, many find it hard to deliver apps at the speed of business. With aPaaS solutions such as Rollbase, the technical challenges companies face in speedy app development are a thing of the past,” Parry concludes.