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Before we begin a discussion about how to approach building applications for the future, it’s important to take a moment to examine our changing audience, most of whom now fall into the generation called “millennials.” Who are "the millennials" and why should Enterprise Business Application vendors care? Millennials are those born after 1980 and are the first generation to come of age in the new millennium. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that millennials make up 25 percent of the workforce today and will become 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025. According to Payscale, 15 percent of millennials are already managers. Since most app users are likely millennials, the question then becomes, “what do they want?” Research from Oracle reveals that nearly 55 percent of millennials are less likely to use a company’s products and services if they have a poor experience of that company’s mobile app. Thirty-nine percent would be less likely to recommend the company to others while 27 percent would view the organization negatively.
Many millennials are going to be users of your applications, and some will even be part of your organizations building business applications. Millennials have grown up using smartphones and consumer applications with modern experiences, and have high expectations for business software performance and usability. So, meeting the needs of this group is critical to the success of your applications in the near future, and will also drive the future of your business applications. Based on this demographic, it’s evident that “business as usual” with business applications isn’t a good strategy for future success. While business applications need to keep pace with the fast changing demographics, technology paradigms and changing business needs, we at Progress realize that modernizing business applications with millions of lines of code isn’t a small feat either.
We all want to protect and grow our business, right? And for most of us, growing means we need to leverage our competitive advantage and adopt the needs of the market. Business application vendors need to keep up with the technology changes in the industry and also provide the latest and greatest features to run the business in an effective manner.
When we talk about business applications of the future, we have to start with user experience, micro-services (API driven applications), security and standards as some of the big drivers in business applications these days. Of course, this conversation would be incomplete without the mention of mobility, cloud, social business, Big Data/analytics and Internet of Things (IoT). So obviously, the topic of “business applications of the future” is large, and I can’t even begin to scratch the surface in a single blog post. That’s why I plan to make this blog a series and cover different topics on the various business and technology drivers that every business application provider should consider. I’ll be mainly focusing on the technology platform needs of business applications.
Stay tuned for my future blogs in the “Building Business Applications of the Future" series, where I will cover user experience, application servers and security topics. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on various topics so we can make progress together. Feel free to chime in and respond with your business and technology perspectives.
Sunil Belgaonkar brings more than 22 years of software industry experience to his position at Progress, and is currently responsible for the strategy and direction of OpenEdge business.
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