Oct 22, 2020

Apps can play a key role in digital transformation

Digital Transformation
Greig Johnston
4 min
Greig Johnston
Apps open the door to more diversified and personalised content and services to drive new revenues, says Greig Johnston...

As we become increasingly inseparable from our mobile devices, apps can very often be the key to connecting technology with human behaviour. It is this connection that makes them a perfect binding agent to sit at the centre of digital transformation strategies. 

App development is now incorporating extremely clever software engineering, strategic insights and ever-more inventive UX and UI solutions to satisfy rapidly changing business and consumer needs. We continue to see apps deliver real benefits for end-users and our clients across a variety of sectors. These include:

Generating revenue 

Digital transformation is attractive for a number of reasons, but there’s no doubt that generating more income through either existing or new revenue streams will be top of the list for many commercial organisations.  

The way consumers behave has changed and we no longer use just one platform to engage with brands and their products. Today the experience needs to be across multi-platform and accessible for the end-user’s convenience. 

Apps not only enable the link between platforms, connecting the physical experience with the digital, they also open the door to more diversified and personalised content and services to drive new revenues. 

This could be anything from follow-up sessions and tutorials, access to community networks, exclusive content, games, or incentives and rewards on the go. The key consideration with any of these will be how to create an onward journey with a customer that turns a purchase into a relationship. The mobile nature of an app – accompanying users wherever they go – makes this possible.

Improving efficiencies   

A significant challenge for many organisations is dealing with outdated legacy IT systems. It can be especially prominent where budgets are limited, such as in the public sector. Upgrading or replacing these systems can be an arduous and expensive task, while continuing to work with them for as long as possible will only result in costly inefficiency. 

Mobile apps can be used to fast-track this change without the need for a large investment in a complete overhaul of IT systems. Simplifying and combining different platforms and databases into a single and easily accessible source through an app offers one of the most straightforward and effective ways to overcome the challenge of failing and cumbersome IT. 

The result is a more modern and flexible solution that taps into the growing familiarity users have when completing administrative tasks using a mobile device, from managing expenses to scheduling appointments or monitoring data.

Connecting people

Culture is fast becoming one of the most central pillars of organisational strategy. How do you develop culture? How do you maintain it and what can be done to facilitate it?

Getting people to engage in company culture can be a difficult process. Content not only needs to cut through, but it also has to bring a company’s personality and values to life. Getting this right can prove crucial to building employee engagement and loyalty. 

Through digital transformation you can both simplify how your company communicates with its employees and adopt creative ways of making the content more engaging. 

With so many of us having access to smartphones it means organisations can now deliver information directly to individuals, whether it’s a company update, payroll alerts or notification of a meeting. This is all done in a way that is more personalised and interactive and, as a result, more engaging, which helps to develop stronger relationships between employees, management and business leaders. 

By creating more digital connections between an organisation and employees in this way, apps can act as a platform for building workplace culture and community. 

Facilitating behavioural change

By embracing the very best mobile app design technology and building solutions that encourage positive behaviours with end-users, apps can provide a platform for digital transformation at a very personalised level. 

Thanks to technology there is an array of tools to support people in making positive changes to their lives. Whether it’s personal or professional development, learning new skills or improving your diet, there is an app to help.

Achieving these goals will often require a shift in an individual’s behavioural patterns, which can be challenging. Apps that adopt specialist behavioural science tactics such as the HOOK canvas approach can prove most effective in helping users make changes and stick to them. 

This approach works by identifying internal and external triggers that provoke actions from the user and then rewarding the positive and repeated interactions. It has proven extremely effective in helping individuals to achieve goals to improve their experience of life, such as quitting smoking, improving their diet or taking up a healthy new challenge such as running.

Technology has the power to bring about positive change and improve people’s experience of life. Today more than ever the path to digital transformation involves designing new processes to reflect modern lifestyles. This can act to connect people, make their lives easier, give them access to more varied and useful tools and information, and inspire them to stay engaged for the long term.

Greig Johnston is CEO at Vidatec

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May 14, 2021

Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF

U.S Air Force
Dark Wolf Solutions
2 min
Dark Wolf Solutions is small and agile, its partnership with the US Air Force is helping to deliver critical security faster and better than ever before

As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.

The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”

It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.

“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”

The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”

Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.

“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”

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