Countless Backends, Unified Frontend? 6 Challenges That Companies Are Facing Right Now
Wouldn’t it be ideal if you could offer your customers, partners and employees a single point of entry for all your services? So far, however, very few companies have successfully implemented a suitable solution.
This is often due to IT infrastructure that has grown over time and is made up of different applications. This mishmash of systems makes it almost impossible to create a consistent user experience.
The solution to this lies in an aggregation of backend functions under a unified frontend portal. Different features are combined within a customer, partner or employee portal and offer a consistent experience for all users. The result: a digital ecosystem that provides multiple benefits.
Nevertheless, this is easier said than done. In this blog post, we look at the six biggest challenges that companies now face when it comes to implementation. We do not leave it there, however, as we also provide you with solutions for each of these difficulties.
1. innovation is inhibited
Companies must be innovative in order to remain competitive. You may already be working with methods such as design thinking. These focus on gaining a better understanding of your customers and finding new solutions to their problems.
Unfortunately, rigid, internal processes and structures often prevent innovations from seeing the light of day at all. Since the IT department is busy maintaining existing systems, there are no resources available to support the business in implementing innovations. What’s more, due to a lack of standards, the innovation process is often chaotic and too slow.
Solution: Digital factory
Imagine you could implement all digital initiatives and innovation projects in one company-wide platform. From use case evaluation and frontend programming to backend integration, everything is managed centrally. In addition, standardized procedures accelerate the implementation process.
2. speed has become a competitive factor
The competition never sleeps! If you want to maintain your position in the market in the long term, you have to react quickly to new customer requirements and market conditions. This requires ever new digital solutions.
Traditionally, a great deal of time and money has been invested into the development of new applications – before organizations even knew whether such efforts would prove successful. This approach simply no longer works today. Companies now need to validate use cases quickly in order to minimize project risks and maximize the solution’s potential for success. What they lack, however, is the necessary infrastructure.
Solution: Rapid prototyping
Instead of developing a fully-fledged application, you can now create usable minimum viable products (MVPs) in just a few days. The application will only be expanded with additional functions once the customer benefit has been confirmed using the prototype. This means that ideas can now be tried out and implemented much more quickly without wasting precious resources.
3. A jungle of programming languages and operating systems
Java, C++, Swift, Python – there are countless programming languages that can be used to create microservices for the various operating systems. At the same time, users naturally expect a consistent experience, whether they are viewing an application on a device with iOS, Android or on a browser.
However, it is very costly to create these multi-experiences using conventional development methods. For each channel, a separate frontend in a suitable programming language must be set up, which also needs to be able to interact with each other.
Solution: Software development kits (SDKs)
Developers prefer to work with the programming language that leads them to their goal the fastest. And now, thanks to SDKs, they can easily do just that. They contain standards for any target language that frontend developers can use to get straight to work. While the backend is connected in parallel in the background, they generate a standardized appearance for each operating system in the blink of an eye.
4. new channels are constantly emerging
Frontend channels like AR,VR, chatbots, language assistants and wearables were unthinkable a few years ago. Now they are part and parcel of our everyday lives. There will certainly be more channels that companies will have to cover in the future.
Your customers expect to be able to use all available channels. What’s more, your experience should be the same everywhere and, above all, seamless. If they start a booking via a voice assistant on a smartphone, they preferably want to resume it in the browser on their laptop.
Solution: Multi-channel development
To ensure that programs for any type of application can be provided in the future, technologies must be easily interchangeable. For example, new cloud APIs or AI frameworks should be easy to implement. This guarantees flexibility and the future-proofing of your systems.
5. difficult integration into legacy it
Ideally, innovations should be validated independently of current IT systems. However, if this is successful, the next step is to integrate them into the existing IT infrastructure without disrupting it. This is one of the biggest challenges that many companies face.
In most organizations, the IT infrastructure has grown over decades. If new applications need to be integrated, many find that the old systems are not designed to handle the load of new services. At the same time, legacy IT is not easy to replace either.
An adaptive integration of new and old becomes a reality through a kind of layer between the systems. So-called connectors provide the right data from the legacy IT for all use cases. This allows you to easily extend existing systems with new technologies.
valueable data is not used
In order to predict and meet customer needs, you need data that gives you insights into the behavior and preferences of your users. Only then can you make informed decisions to improve existing applications and develop new services.
Unfortunately, this data is often not collected at all or is gathered with great difficulty and then not used effectively. Moreover, it is not usually available in real time, but rather after a delay.
Solution: Data analytics
Collecting, processing and preparing data centrally opens up unprecedented potential for optimization. Artificial intelligence can help to evaluate the data and provide suggestions for data-driven decisions. It also eliminates the need for individual analytics tools in separate applications. Everything can be easily controlled via a central dashboard.
The challenges described above are currently still hampering progress and digitalization in many companies. However, there are already solutions that enable you to provide a consistent user experience for your customers, partners and employees.
The benefits are clear: you can finally put innovations into practice and provide your users with new services much more quickly. At the same time, you collect important data to further improve the experiences. This way, you future-proof your company and gain an important advantage over your competitors.