The cost of software development, upgrade and maintenance projects can be a sore point because they don’t come cheap. Whether you take-on the projects in-house or outs...
The cost of software development, upgrade and maintenance projects can be a sore point because they don’t come cheap. Whether you take-on the projects in-house or outsource them, there are technology and resourcing costs that can spiral when unmanaged, causing them to go over-budget.
As with any project, a quick return on investment is wanted from software projects. When your business is reliant on technology to run and be profitable, extended tech projects that don’t perform or deliver value fast are a thorn in the side of business continuity as well as the bottom line.
In Dubai, the cost of the average app development project ranges from $5 000 to $10 000. For complications and multi-feature app, prices shoot to between $267 000 and $360 000.
Need a website? For a small and simple business website, expect to pay in the region of $15 000. For a conversion or lead-focused website, the cost will be about $30 000, and $50 000 upwards for a complex, feature-rich website.
The average cost of a business software upgrade, from Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management systems to IT security, can range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and the type of business you are in.
Don’t underestimate the time and financial resources needed to build quality, functional software applications. There is a lot that goes into it and costs begin to stack-up when the project doesn’t perform or goes over-budget.
The Cost Performance Index is a measure of the financial effectiveness and efficiency of a project, and represents the amount of work completed for every monetary unit spent. Project managers can use CPI to measure the cost efficiency of software projects against the work actually completed for an early flag that budget or scope adjustments need to be made. Simply put, it is a way of demonstrating whether or not your project is on budget and performing.
Using the CPI will give you an honest view of the cost efficiency of budgeted resources as a ratio of earned value to actual costs.
You can calculate the Cost Performance Index by dividing the Earned Value (EV) by Actual Cost (AC). When we talk about Earned Value (EV), we are talking about the amount of the task that is actually completed compared to what was planned to be done by a particular stage. It is expressed in terms of the budget set for the project. For instance, if the budget is $10,000 but only 20% of the work has been completed halfway through the six month project timeframe, then the EV is $2,000. The Actual Cost (AC) is the amount of money that has been spent on the task.
So, CPI = EV / AC
For example, if a project has an EV of $30 000 but the AC is $15 000, the CPI is 2.
But what does that mean?
CPI < 1 – a CPI that is less than one means the earning is less than the amount spent. You can say the project is over budget.
CPI > 1 – a CPI that greater than one means the earning is more than the amount spent. This is when you can happily say that the project is under budget.
CPI = 1 – a CPI equal to one means the earning and spending are equal. Everything is going according to plan and the project is performing well.
In this digital age, you know that technology not only enables your business but powers it. There is a downside though. Software needs constant maintenance and frequent upgrades. Don’t consider maintenance or upgrade projects as a nuisance. Instead, see upgrades as an investment into better efficiencies, seamless continuity, improved productivity, more features, greater functionality, happier employees, more engaged customers, tighter IT security and reduced risks. The list of rewards from optimised software goes on, and they translate into business growth. Maintaining your software systems will ensure that they are up-to-date, bug-free, cyber-secure and working as they should.
Budget, skills and resourcing constraints will impact the progress and ultimate success of your software projects, whether it’s a new app development or a website upgrade. Poor planning leads to slow progress and failing to reach the goals you want to achieve. You want a CPI equal to one or more if you want the most bang for your buck.
Not your forte? Hand it over. At Digital Grind we eat, sleep and drink this stuff. We have an established team of tech experts who understand the software development, maintenance and user experience design landscape. We also know that getting ROI on software projects is important to our clients. So planning and sticking to budget and project timelines is non-negotiable. We aim for a CPI of one or more on every project we undertake. Have a look at what we did for Moro Hub.
Got a goal or a project in mind? Start it now with Digital Grind.
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Digital transformation has become one of the most talked about topics in the last few years. But what does it really mean? What are the key areas where digital transformation is happening? How can you be sure that your business is ready for the changes ahead?
Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to fast track their IT strategies which is evidenced by an increase in global spending. It was reported that IT spending is set to reach 4.1 trillion in 2021, up 8.4% in 2020.
It is something that every business needs to consider or you’ll get left behind and suffer the consequences. But should anyone really be spending so much on their IT? Let’s find out.
Digital transformation is the process of taking your traditional business and using digital technology to modernize it and make it more efficient. It’s a trend that’s happening in every industry, from media to healthcare.
Many businesses no longer prefer the traditional business model and want to adopt technology that will help them sell more, move faster, and solve customer problems in an easier way. Some of them are using Big Data and AI to shape how they do their business and what tools they use.
Research found that 23% of surveyed companies had little to no dependence on digital technologies in some shape or form. The rest are either fully digital or use a hybrid approach. The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to digital transformation’s necessity.
But how can businesses adapt and meet the expectations of their clients? Here’s what you need to think about.
Digital technology entails many changes to how your business works. It will require a lot of resources, like manpower, software and hardware, as well as the different infrastructure needed to operate these tools.
As many businesses use multiple IT systems, it will be crucial for them to have the right infrastructure to meet the changes and make the digital transformation work efficiently.
Companies that are facing digital transformation should aim to make data-driven decisions that improve their business performance. When it comes to data analytics, it can play a major role in taking your business to the next level.
As an example, Netflix digitizes its audiovisual data in order to make it accessible all over the world. In addition, it’s using Big Data to analyze everything that its subscribers watch, using those insights to inform its business strategy.
The same can be said about creating value in every part of your company. Analytics can help you identify how to improve customer service, better adapt your marketing campaigns, and create better customer experiences.
The analytics side of business includes data from A/B testing, customer insights, and social listening. It’s evident that data is at the core of influencing business decisions today.
In order to make data-driven decisions, it’s worth studying your customers’ behaviors across different channels. Track down where they are seeing the most friction or unhappiness around your digital marketing efforts and put processes in place to address it.
One study found that almost 90% of respondents were expecting a digital disruption of some sort. However, less than half could actually say they were ready for this change.
Whether you like it or not, digital transformation is going to impact your business somehow. So how can you prepare for this?
It’s appropriate to start thinking about transformation with collaborative brands, such as Spotify. Here’s why. Sure, Spotify is a music streaming platform, but it also helps you create podcasts, listen to music, watch videos and play games.
Brands, such as Netflix, pride themselves in what they stand for. The company has pulled off a successful digital transformation through collaborative marketing and digital tools.
Collaborative marketing is good business because everyone wins. The biggest win though is that Netflix gained insight into where its users were spending their money and why, so it created its own place.
That insight is priceless, and this is why cultural brands are being actively guarded and developed. Perhaps you remember the first cultural brand you started to work for or one that you realized you could use your creativity to promote? In each and every case, you are helping others realize their career goals.
Companies know that collaborating with other cultural brands is a good investment. From that point on, the collaborations get bigger and better.
It’s important to embrace technology so that you can continue to succeed in your business. If you own a real estate brokerage, for example, you’ll need to use the Internet to market your business, to communicate with your clients, stay competitive, and to find new listings.
The Zillow Group bookmarked certain areas of the Internet where they’re creating new opportunities for the real estate industry. Besides, such sites’ popularity continues to grow, and they can help up-and-coming real estate businesses jump start their digital strategies sooner than is normally possible.
The new technology trends worth your attention include smarter searches, intelligent personal assistants, user-aided home automation, and new forms of cloud-based interactivity. Want to be a part of this movement? Then start doing on-page SEO to make sure that people are finding your business when they need it.
Big-box stores, for example, have started increasing the use of self-checkouts, zero-contact security, screenless entrances, and high-speed internet to serve patrons through the COVID-19 outbreak. In sum, the grocery industry has added high-tech ways to serve its customers in times of high demand.
Since such trends are expected to continue, many real estate transactions might take place online if market participants play their cards right.
Intelligent personal assistants can do much more than help computers with repetitive tasks. They can take the user’s orders and turn them into reality.
For example, smart refrigerators can be programmed to return milk late in the day so it doesn’t go to waste. Digital transformations are happening at a rapid pace, and you need to be sure that your business is ready to take advantage of the changes ahead.
Today, we live in a digital world where the Internet and social media have changed the way we live and work. Digital transformations are happening at a rapid pace, and you need to be sure that your business is ready to take advantage of the changes ahead.
Following these steps will help you see the benefits of these digital transformations. And the most important responsibility is to be ready to make these changes for your business.
Digital transformation cannot be achieved in a vacuum. It also requires the constant changing of business models and having a strong team in place to help you run the entirety of the race. Here are a few things to consider for if and when you decide to embark on your digital transformation journey.
Be prepared. In times of crisis, consumers rush to buy the products and services that retain their loyalty and high price. Make sure that what you sell is of high quality, has a perfect fit for your consumer, and solves a problem.
Digital transformation is an inevitable part of any business or organisation’s operational strategy in the 21st century. It’s been established that this is a necessary endeavour that requires preparation and embracing of technology as you focus on the four aspects.
Digital Grind knows all about your digital transformation journey and is well endowed with the necessary expertise that can take you through this journey. Speak to us to learn about some of the digital solutions your organisation can put in your arsenal.
When it comes to brand visibility, you can’t go wrong with a solid search strategy in place. After all, it involves small tweaks that will help users find you if and when they need to. Of course, there are other elements at play, like your marketing strategy and specific business objectives, but a universal goal is growth and awareness, and that you’ll find on the search engine results pages - if you know-how.
Search engine optimization is split up into two main categories in terms of the logistics. The first is on the backend, where the structure of your site and aspects of your code help determine visibility and give Google the lay of the land. Typically SEO specialists need to interact with this backend to ensure that pages are structured and categorized correctly, that duplicate content is marked as “invisible” to crawlers and that the site loads quickly enough for it to be convenient to users.
These are just a few basic and oversimplified examples for context. However, you don’t need to be a fully-fledged tech expert to make a significant difference to a site’s ranking - as there’s a whole nother element to gaining search cred.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO relates to activities you can do on the front-end to improve your site’s ranking, support link-building strategies and make content more inclusive and easily indexable. It’s also a good place to create mechanisms for users to engage with what you’re publishing and be able to process it all quickly and easily.
Why is this so important? Because it helps search engines like Google and Firefox determine how relevant your content is to a specific search query, which means the people who are looking for your products and services are more likely to find you. In fact, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (BrightEdge)
In order to start improving your presence online and making the necessary changes to become more visible, it’s important to master the basics. Here’s how:
All told, basic on-page search knowledge is a must-have for any marketer or creative working particularly in the digital copywriting space - but it’s also an important part of your content strategy.
Without at least some consideration for search queries, you won’t get the most value from your site, which means wasted resources, missed leads and simply taking up space online. We can help you formulate better on-page strategies and drive new business to your digital doors. Speak to us for more information.
From self-driving cars to the rise of chatbots, we’re seeing a rapid acceleration in artificial intelligence and machine learning — and it’s changing the marketing world.
Tech research firm, Gartner, predicts that by 2020, AI will be a $3.9 trillion business. Businesses need to prepare for this inevitability by taking action and capitalising on the opportunities artificial intelligence can bring to their business.
When it comes to the future of marketing, opinions are divided. Some experts believe that AI will change the way we live for the better and boost our economy. Others see it as a potential threat to humankind and we can understand why, at a cursory glance.
Artificial intelligence is getting smarter. It’s approaching the same level of intelligence as human beings, and there’s no question that it will continue to become more relevant as we find new use cases for it in a digital world.
As it does so, it will continue to have an impact on many aspects of our lives, including on the way we market our businesses and how we interact with brands as consumers. But in a best case scenario, this intelligence will be used to heighten human potential rather than cannibalise it.
AI has been a hot topic for years, but it’s only recently become widely accessible and affordable enough to be utilised in business applications as a standard. What’s more, advancements in machine learning technologies and the rise of big data have fueled interest and sparked new research into AI’s potential for democratising access to opportunities and unifying the world with technology. Let’s get down to what it is at its core and why it’s so relevant to us as modern marketers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines. In computer science, an ideal "intelligent" machine is a flexible rational agent that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximise its chance of success at some goal.
We’re already seeing a number of applications for this in the marketing and comms world - particularly in the social listening and monitoring space. This is, in part, why marketing has changed so much over the last 5 years.
Marketing comprises a range of activities that are typically focused around understanding consumers and their interests in a modern context. By simulating or supplementing human intelligence, we have a range of benefits available to us on both sides of the messaging fence.
All told, AI is no longer a far-off concept that may or may not impact our realities in the near future. It’s very much here in familiar interfaces and chat applications that people encounter on a daily basis. Even companies like Google have incorporated it into their document creation, suggesting words and helpful tools when users start to write. However, as the capability and access grows, so does the scope of opportunity to use this technology in more exciting and novel ways.
Don’t get left behind
Speak to us about your next AI project or how you can incorporate it into your existing marketing campaigns.