Over the last couple of years, as the pandemic spread across the globe, the world of work was forced to change. Many businesses turned to technology to enable remote working, whilst others scrambled to develop online experiences for customers.
Whereas once tech solutions were preferred by early adopters, nowadays they’re critical to keep businesses productive. But with the average enterprise business using 175 different applications, it’s important to understand the risks, especially when it comes to ”off the shelf” solutions.
Risk 1 – Security
As reliance on business apps to support core business functions increases, so does the risk to security. Cyberattacks targeting sensitive private information such as human resources data, personally identifiable information or intellectual property and are commonplace, with 49% of organisations saying they suffered a data breach over the past two years. The costs of a security breach can be critical resulting in lost business, reputational damage, and downtime to business-critical applications. When selecting an application, it’s critical you do your due diligence and ensure your data is properly secured and backed-up and that access to confidential information is protected. All apps have multiple stakeholders, each with different requirements. Business stakeholders may desire feature improvements that deliver value to the end users, whereas technical stakeholders may focus more on security and resilience – between them, they should be building a roadmap for the ongoing development and security of the application.
Risk 2 – Inefficiency
Often, the need for a business application spins out from a spreadsheet that has been outgrown. Businesses are willing to invest in low code type tools but end up with resources tied up looking after these systems. Businesses will often ”make do” with existing apps and systems even if they’re no longer fit for purpose to cut costs or to avoid the friction of change. This results in inefficiencies which can overcomplicate processes and hamper operations. Other inefficiencies come from using too many apps, lack of integration, missing insights or having difficult to use systems or processes. So, when adding another application into the mix, it’s important to carefully consider your business’ objectives as well as the functional and technical requirements of the application, keeping in mind potential integrations required as well as scalability.
Risk 3 – Scalability
As a business grows, there are frequent changes to its requirements. Not only do products and services change along the way, but teams also need to adapt to changes in the way a business operates, particularly when a new business application is introduced. With that in mind, business apps need to be scalable and flexible. Businesses that depend on too many applications may be more at risk when it comes to scaling, particularly if they lack integration. As such, when choosing a business application, you should think about your short-term needs as well as your longterm goals to ensure you can continually optimise performance and increase productivity as the business grows. Your business apps should be able to handle a growing number of customers, clients or users whilst maintaining performance and data consistency. A healthy business application will always need feature enhancement and ongoing maintenance but being able to change with the business needs and maintain performance through the application’s lifecycle is a must and often not considered. In today’s landscape, businesses depend on critical applications to remain productive, to better serve customers and to keep up with demand. By addressing the risks involved with a business application early, businesses can grow whilst limiting the risk of damage to the brand, bottom line or compliance procedures.