As 2017 comes to an end, now is the time to think of what 2018 is going to look like for your digital presence. Staying up to date with the latest technology and most innovative solutions is almost impossible as the tech industry is changing every second. With all of these changes, it has many wondering how to plan for so many unpredictable tech trends. We’ve pulled together this three step guide that will provide you some insight on what you need for 2018 to be catching up, right on track or way ahead of the curve.
Step 1: Your Budget
The cost of building and maintaining a website or app can vary depending on the features your app must have. What features are absolutely needed for your business to be successful? Once you have a list of features and a budget in mind, your developer will consult you on the best solutions for you. Developing and maintaining technology is not cheap, and will continue to be an investment for your business as technology is rapidly changing.
Step 2: Your Must Haves
Technology has become a necessity for businesses and every business owner knows that staying up-to-date with the latest and greatest is a must to drive success.
Basics: Technology baselines for security and reliability
If you are in the beginning stages of planning your web or mobile app, these four elements are fundamental to your business’ success. Mobile responsive, HTTPS, modern CMS, and Google Tag Manager were must-haves in 2017 and will carry over to 2018.
– Mobile Responsive
Mobile use is high and on the rise, making it vital for companies with websites to cater to mobile users. Having a mobile responsive web design ensures that your user experience is optimized for a positive experience on mobile devices; ease of navigation, reading, and functionality.
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP; an added layer of security protects the integrity of your website and protects the privacy and security of your users. According to Google, HTTPS is the future of the web as it’s a requirement for many new browser features, particularly those required for progressive web apps.
– Modern CMS
A Content Management System (CMS) is an application used to create, customize, and manage digital information. As technology continues to boom, it’s important that your CMS uses modern PHP (scripting language for web development) and latest standards to ensure security for your users, customizability and control.
– Tag Manager (Google)
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a tag management system that sends user interaction data to Google Analytics (GA). Having GTM implemented is important for managing tracking actions on your website such as form submissions, clicks and scroll depth.
Advanced: Stay current with these tech features
If you just launched your web or mobile app and are planning to improve in 2018, these four elements are for you! Since popular apps have already implemented the majority of these, it’s important to consider the urgency of updating your plan. If your budget allows for these four elements, we highly recommend planning for it.
– Native App
Native apps are developed for specific devices (i.e. iPhones and Android) and are beneficial to the reliability and speed of the mobile app. Native apps interact with the device’s features such as camera, microphone, and other built in applications.
– Multi-channel Messaging Integration
To maximize your communication efforts with your users, implementing multi-channel messaging is important. Configure personalized messages to your users through common channels such as email, mobile push notifications, SMS text messages, and in app messages.
– Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As the digital market continues to boom and become more competitive, SEO is now more important than ever. SEO helps users and search engine robots understand your website, ultimately improving user experience, usability, and your search engine rankings.
– ROI Analysis
Your web or mobile app ROI is the compass of your strategy, making it important to map out key metrics such as your business’ goals, developmental and maintenance costs, key performance indicators and customer lifetime value. User behavior and technology trends will continue to change, and your web or mobile app must cater to the newest and best technology.
Cutting Edge: Ahead of the curve and pushing the envelope
The innovative tech giants of 2017 are ahead of the game and have already, or almost, implemented at least one of the following features. If you are thinking of ways to stand out in your industry in 2018, start planning how these features would make sense for your app.
– Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) changes the way we shop, interact, learn, and explore. Right now, there is a huge opportunity to create buzz around your AR product and provide your users with something your competitors don’t have yet. AR is projected to increasingly become more popular in the next three years, in industries such as online shopping, manufacturing, education, and travel.
Chatbots have become a popular source of business-to-user communication within the past year because of the rise of artificial intelligence and virtual communication. Chatbots stimulate a real conversation with users and provide information and support, helping reduce costs and resources. Common chatbot tasks include answering basic questions, providing users with payment information and assisting during online shopping.
– Machine Learning (Deep Learning)
Deep learning is similar to how a human would perceive, think, and conclude. Through deep learning, a machine can process large amounts of data, recognize complex patterns, and provide more detailed insights. Many of us experience apps using deep learning networks in our everyday lives. The Google Translate app uses deep learning to translate images with text in real time to your choice of 103 languages.
Everyone is buzzing about blockchain technology! Blockchain is the heart of popular apps such as Bitcoin which is a form of digital currency that is made, used, and stored electronically. Blockchain is more than Bitcoin, as it has the potential to create social change globally. This technology is predicted to become increasingly popular in industries that involve cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, non-profit agencies, record management, identity, healthcare, real estate and media.
Step 3: Your Next Steps
Planning your tech budget can be overwhelming, but staying up-to-date with the latest technology is essential in today’s modern market. So, what’s next for your app? Know what you want to invest and what features you think will be best for your app in 2018. Find out how BitCot can help you with your project by calling us 858-683-3692.