Over the last decade the tech industry has exhibited wild success, along with increased scrutiny and expectations. The top competitors are well known (Google, Apple, Microsoft) as well as emerging trends (cloud services, social media), but what's the current landscape of the Tech industry?
Beyond the current players or trends, the tech landscape would be the setting for which tech exists. For consumers this means the best products ever, from smartphones and tablets to wearable tech and free/open-source services. Yet businesses remain the number one beneficiary of the current tech landscape.
For large businesses there is more opportunity than ever to deliver services to consumers through the internet and cloud computing. Dropbox, Twitter, Amazon- so many companies have found huge profits by providing services online.
Smaller businesses can prosper from the ripple effects. Any company now has the means to start their own services through cloud computing provided by companies such as Amazon or Google.
For businesses that don't have a large investment in propriety technology and have less than a million customers, there is no reason why you cant host a majority of services on commercially provided cloud systems. While scalability should always be accounted for, it's a great resource for businesses to have low cost development opportunities.
Want custom development on your own app server? Physical boxes no longer required.
No expertise required database engineering, no physical real estate required for large server installations, no consultant fees or maintenance costs. There has never been a better time for businesses to set up their own services and platform to showcase their products.
All is taken care of and provided for when you sign up with companies like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform; competition has improved the services offered to consumers.1readwrite.com- Amazon gets serious competition in the cloud
Do you know what the initial costs are for a small business looking to create their own servers or apps? Free. Free to develop, free to test, hell free to launch if your customer base is small enough. By the time costs must be accounted, a profitable business plan should already be soundly structured.
Free, the best price there is.
With resources readily available to absolutely anybody, the barriers to competition have never been lower. What's required on behalf of businesses is simply a design and staff to get things started.
For larger companies the stakes have never been higher and the amount expected is relatively astronomical. Smartphones are expected major updates annually, services are expected to be cross-platform, and customers continuously crave improvements or they move to an ecosystem which will provide them.
At that stage every piece of software is intricately placed, updates must by systematically planned and executed without error. Companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft are competing over billion dollar pieces of pie; the efforts at level are as high as they come.
The effects are felt throughout the tech industry. Resources are provided by these corporate giants to lure 3rd party support, providing opportunities to smaller companies to capitalize on.
Apps, social media, websites are all tools easily assembled in today's tech world, and it's only getting easier. Fortunate are the early adopters to quickly act on these available opportunities.
Implementation still requires a good idea, thoughtful concept, and sound design. All of which can be reached through due diligence.
With the truly difficult tasks of database structuring and server configuration taken care of, business are free to concentrate on the efforts of software development and quality, comprehensive QA testing to ensure bug-free environments.
Another benefit to small businesses is that flashy gimmicks are no longer required to create a web app or website; interfaces are trending as crisp, flat displays. With the right tutorials, free templates, and web-hosting services; it has never been easier to create a web presence online. Of course the best tool at all is the large amounts of free, open-source tools and code widely available on the web.
For small businesses, the best advice is to start small. Create a functional in-house app and utilize current staff as QA testers. Build up use-cases over time and expand to your customer base. Transition should be fluid and natural, as in-house operations support customer behavior.
Following the proper development schedule, an app can become an asset within a year or two for minimal cost or upkeep. Once an app has reached a point of profitability, expert support can utilized for scalability concerns and cross-platform support.
When you combine all of this, what is great for small businesses is that costs are nominal to begin with, only becoming a concern once a customer base and forward roadmap is established; at which point a profitability structure should be spec'd out.
In addition to easier development, businesses also benefit from more accessible platforms for reaching customers. The biggest trend right now is the rise of mobile apps and devices. Different from personal computers, smartphones and tablets are carried everywhere, increasing the amount of services which can be utilized. Whether it be transit, restaurants, location-based product marketing; businesses have never had greater access to potential customers.
Companies such as Netflix, Yelp, and Twitter did not become wildly successful solely due to their core product, but also because of their mobile availability.
A business can target their specific demographics for low costs by offering simple functionality and market in focused outlets such as blogs or YouTube commercials. By targeting viewers by age, gender, location, or video category, companies can utilize data analysis to get great value, only paying for the amount of customers watched the full commercial.
So everybody has access to easy development and customer access. For the cost of two developers, any company can create a cross-platform app and reach a significant portion of it's market. Two qualified full time employees will run a minimal of $80,000 with benefits with $10,000 for targeted ads. Again, services can be acquired for free during development, those costs only become relative for production environments which collect offsetting profits.
If a company doesn't have a concrete plan which would warrant two full-time developers, a project can still be started with the resources available. Likely every company has a couple tech-savvy employees who aren't fully utilized. Have them spend some time to run through free app-developing courses and tutorials. Give them an extra $10k bonus upon completion of certain target goals for the first year. It'd also be wise to set up reviews at set intervals and revisit the project's performance.
5 years ago setting up a database server with virtualized processes was a daunting task. Now it can be done with a couple hours and a free account.
The costs behind implementing database solutions and automated processes have fallen drastically, but companies aren't prepared simply because they have no experience. Since this is the first time related costs have fallen, it's taking companies time to adjust their tech infrastructure.
Regardless of a companies current capabilities, it is straightforward these days to integrate third party services to establish a tech workspace for your company.
What's unique to the current tech landscape?
The tech boom began with a false start in the 90's built around the early internet before it was fully realized. Now there is more quality tech and resources available to deliver valuable services and products to consumers with ease and error free.
Today's landscape has every success story constantly looking ahead to their next great product. To go more than a year without a relevant top product is to begin the process of considered irrelevant. A startup can become a $1 billion product in the span of that time.
Opportunity is widely available but capitalized. Businesses are having a difficult time shifting processes quickly enough, and due to a still hesitant market, new businesses are not being started that quickly.
The tech landscape is still wide open, a gold rush waiting to happen. The drive to create content, cross-platform apps, and new gadgets will open opportunities in the upcoming stage of the tech revolution. It's a beautiful sight.