How To Build a Software Development Maintenance Team

There’s nothing worse than having a product break while end-users are utilizing it. It damages customer relationships, hurts your reputation, and clogs your help desk with a backlog of customer complaints. That’s the thing about software. It’s never truly “done.”

Software maintenance is just as important as initial development projects. It’s just like purchasing a car; if you don’t maintain your vehicle, it won’t work as expected. 

Software maintenance prevents bugs and glitches, enables quicker response times to end-user issues, sustains a healthy relationship with your customers, reduces operating costs, and allows the team to focus on other priorities. 

Here’s why maintaining software is critical to your business and how a software maintenance team helps ensure a quality product.

Why Do Businesses Need a Software Maintenance Development Team?

modern technology concept

Software maintenance is just as essential as the initial development of your software. It is the process of checking for bugs and software defects, making necessary corrections and improvements, testing the software to ensure it meets requirements, and maintaining records of maintenance activities. Application maintenance is critical because it is the only way to ensure the software you deliver works as expected and meets customers’ needs. 

Additional reasons include:

  • Keeps the Product Updated With the Latest Technology Trends: With new developments in the software industry happening all the time, you will want to keep your software up to date so that you can take advantage of the latest technology and features.
  • Improves Product Quality: Software maintenance is the process of making sure your software works. It helps ensure you are meeting industry standards and staying competitive in the marketplace.
  • Improves Customer Satisfaction: Software maintenance helps ensure customers are satisfied with the product they receive.
  • Helps Avoid Legal Issues: Maintenance helps avoid legal issues by ensuring you are meeting regulatory requirements.
  • Helps Avoid Security Issues: Maintaining your software through testing, updates, and patches minimizes security risks.
  • Reduces Cost: Regular maintenance keeps things working optimally to avoid costs associated with rework or excess time to troubleshoot complex issues.
  • Improves Customer Satisfaction: Software maintenance is not just about fixing bugs; it’s about improving the product. With every new release comes the opportunity to improve on the last one. Updating the software based on customer feedback or market trends increases customer satisfaction.
  • Leads to Better Business Scalability: As your organization grows, you will have more things to manage, like a growing product inventory or increased customer support volume. Software maintenance helps optimize products for improved performance, which in turn leads to business scalability.

How Does a Software Maintenance Team Help?

software maintenance team discussing a project

A software maintenance team is a group of individuals who work together to maintain software products for a company or organization. The team often consists of developers, testers, quality assurance personnel, technical writers, database administrators, network administrators, system administrators, customer service representatives, and others who work together to make sure a product meets customer needs and stays up to date with technology trends. 

When it comes to building your maintenance team, there are a few important skills the team needs:

  • Strong Product Knowledge: Knowledgeable about the product.
  • Efficient Communication Skills: To assist customers with questions and problems via phone, email, and other forms of communication.
  • Open-Minded: Open to exploring new tools that could help improve functionality and accelerate scalability.
  • Proactive: Ability to address customer issues as they arise, rather than waiting for customer complaints.
  • Sense of Urgency: Provides timely resolution to customer issues.
  • Committed to Learning: Stays aware of and up-to-date on new developments within the software industry.
  • Disaster Recovery Knowledge: Knowledge of disaster recovery resolution, security issues, and software backup planning.
  • Has the Appropriate Skillset: Understands the programming languages necessary; understands the tools needed to update/test/automate any parts of the application.

Tips To Build a Software Maintenance Team

software development maintenance team working in an office

Software development is constantly evolving. Your applications, processes, technology updates, and standards will constantly evolve. Maintaining your software keeps you from falling behind and prevents your product from becoming obsolete. The tips below can help you build a successful team to keep things running smoothly. 

In-House vs. Outsourced

An in-house software maintenance team gives you complete visibility and control. You’ll have flexibility in managing update cycles as patches or fixes arise. In-house maintenance gives you control over tracking issues and ensures they get resolved. However, it can be costly to recruit the right resources and you’d need to find people with the right skillset. Additionally, you would need to train your employees on the product before they become effective at maintaining the system. 

However, your development team may not have the capacity to continuously upkeep your product. In this case, an outsourced system maintenance provider is ideal. With an outsourced partner, you’ll get a team of specialized experts with the suitable skill set and tools to be effective. An outsourced provider boosts internal productivity since your team can focus on other priorities. 

Consider Using the Product Developers as the Maintenance Team

Who better to perform product maintenance than the developers who built the software? 

These individuals have in-depth product knowledge. They already know the ins and outs of the system. As a result, they can identify and fix issues quicker than an outsourced team, helping reduce costs. The product developers will also better understand the optimal maintenance process to support the product. 

Create a Maintenance Support Plan

Your maintenance team needs detailed procedures for supporting the system. The procedures should be fully documented and available to the entire team. Ideally, you should create service level agreements (SLAs) that outline timeframes for availability guarantees and time to resolve issues. Additional things to consider include:

How complex is the overall software infrastructure?

The answer to this question helps you determine the skill set your maintenance resources need to be effective. Depending on the complexity, you may need to invest in experts with specialized skills that are hard to find. Or you may find entry-level or intermediate resources are sufficient.

What’s the estimated number of required resources? 

You also need to consider if you need a few resources or an entire team. The answer to the above question will also factor into how many people with each skill set are required.

What’s our plan for platform updates, security risks, integrations, etc.?

Document your procedures for when updates need to occur—plan for how to manage security risks. Also, as new systems and tools emerge, plan for how your product needs to integrate with them.

How will we handle features and enhancements separately?

Determine the process for prioritizing features and enhancements. How will these items get documented? Where should they be documented for review?

Reasons to Consider Working With a Software Maintenance Partner Like KMS

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In today’s digital era, software updates make all the difference for a profitable business. At KMS, we help keep your product up-to-date so you can maintain your competitive edge. And we don’t just help with maintenance. We can help you build your product from the ground up. 

Our experts can also offer production services, testing, and product implementations. With us on your side, you’ll gain a team of experts with knowledge of your product’s technical and functional aspects. Contact us to discuss your technology needs. 

3 Reasons to Use Digital Transformation Consulting Services

Businesses of all sizes are subject to the never-ending evolution of technology in the digital age. Still, perhaps more than ever before, the speed at which technology evolves is pushing things forward at an alarming pace. As a result, businesses are going through a digital transformation, whether or not they want to.

Digital transformation happens because the market changes and consumers demand new services and digital experiences. To survive and thrive in this new environment, businesses need to embrace digital transformation and make it part of their ongoing business strategy.

If you’re considering a digital transformation initiative but are unsure if it’s the right approach, digital transformation consulting can help your organization unlock new business value through technology. Let’s look at the top three benefits of using transformation consulting services for your business.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Test automation framework concept

Digital transformation is about improving efficiency within your business to provide more value to your customers and ultimately make your business more successful or profitable. Depending on your business, this can mean completely overhauling your IT systems, revamping your sales strategy, updating your marketing plan, or anything in between.

The bottom line is that digital transformation doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul of your entire business model; sometimes, it just means tinkering around the edges to make things work a little more efficiently. However, the most successful businesses are always looking for ways to improve their services and products, and digital transformation is a strategy that can help them do just that.

Key Factors When Preparing for Digital Transformation

Digital transformation concept. System engineering. Binary code. Programming.

Understand what digital transformation looks like for your business.

Digital transformation is an umbrella term that encompasses the adoption of new technologies, the transition to a new business model, and the need to change your strategic planning and organizational structure to keep up with rapidly changing market conditions.

Understand what digital transformation looks like for your business. For example, maybe you want to be able to offer more products and services online than you currently do, or perhaps you’re looking for ways to improve customer interactions so that they can be more seamless, intuitive, and personalized.

What processes will it help modify and strengthen? A good plan involves identifying those areas of your business that could benefit from a digital transformation to determine which processes need to be altered or improved.

Consider the experience you want to provide for your employees and customers, how they interact with each other now, and how different types of technology have changed each experience over time.

Another essential part of digital transformation preparation is determining your ultimate end goal. What’s your long-term vision for your business? What do you want it to look like in 5 or 10 years? When you can answer this, it becomes easier to figure out where your organization should start with its digital transformation journey.

Have a digital adoption plan in place.

When thinking about digital transformation, it’s essential to consider what you’re trying to accomplish and the different factors that can affect whether or not you succeed. Without a plan, you’ll find yourself moving from one initiative to the next without really understanding why or what your goal is with each.

To develop a comprehensive plan, you’ll want to start by considering your organization’s overall goals for digital transformation and then break them down into specific projects. You’ll also want to ensure your teams understand how they can help with this and their role in each project.

You’ll also need to think about budgeting for each project. Digital transformation solutions don’t just mean buying a bunch of new technology. Instead, it should be considered an investment in your company’s future, which means taking time to develop a long-term vision, or strategy, for digital transformation and buy-in from everyone involved.

Prepare for a cultural change.

When leading the charge on a digital transformation in your organization, it’s important to consider the cultural shift that will inevitably occur. In addition, you’ll need to understand how new technologies and processes will affect the workplace, including how long it might take for everyone to embrace the change. Also, be aware that a digital transformation is an ongoing process that will involve both technological advancements and professional growth—it may take time for everyone in your organization to fully embrace these changes.

Finally, remember that not every employee will immediately excel at working with digital technologies,  but that doesn’t mean they won’t ever be able to learn or grow in their careers. Still, it does mean they’ll need more time before they can contribute equally to others. So finally, it’s essential to have patience and understanding as you lead this digital transformation in your organization.

3 Reasons to Consider Digital Transformation Consulting

emerging technology partner concept

1) Get a customized digital transformation plan for your business model

To understand digital transformation, you must look at it from a holistic perspective. It is about more than just a new website or some flashy new mobile app—it’s about an organization’s ability to operate in a way that adapts and improves through technology. It’s about scaling and delivering products and services more efficiently, cost-effectively, and at better quality while improving customer satisfaction.  

Digital transformation isn’t just something that happens overnight. If you want to understand where your business should go with this process, you need a consulting partner who can help you take a broad view of your industry and its direction in the current digital era. Then, they can help you identify critical changes that can help your organization head in a future-proof direction.

A partner will help you understand what technology implementations will allow your business to scale. Digital transformations consultants can also help you answer questions like:

  • Where do I see my business in 10 years?
  • What kind of processes would we like to improve?
  • What resources do we need to implement specific technologies like cloud, AI, and big data?
  • How can I ensure that my business teams and customers adapt successfully to these changes?

2) Discover emerging technologies to implement for digital acceleration

Isometric artificial intelligence. Neuronal or ai technology background with robot head and connections of neurons.

Every organization has unique challenges, and knowing where to begin when implementing a digital transformation strategy can be tricky. While there are many different ways to approach transformation, one of the most effective is leveraging emerging technologies that can help accelerate your efforts and push you closer to your goals.

Every organization will have different needs and goals when it comes to using these technologies. A digital transformation consultant who understands the technology landscape can help you determine which technology solutions are right for you and guide you through your options.

New technologies include:

The right experts can help you make sense of everything out there and give you the information and advice needed to choose the right tools for your organization.

3) Increase revenue by meeting market demand and improving the customer experience

Companies that have yet to adopt digital transformation may not realize the potential opportunities for expanding sales and improving customer relations. But those willing to open their minds and risk a change are well on their way to achieving these goals.

To make this transition successfully, you will need a team of experts that offer digital transformation services at your side every step. These experts will help you make informed decisions about your company’s new direction to best meet market demand and improve your customer experience. In addition, by showing the world that you’re open to change, you can position yourself as a strong technology leader among competitors who lag behind traditional ways.

Drive Digital Transformation with KMS 

The future of the technology industry is changing rapidly. As it shifts from an era of hardware domination to one focusing on software, many companies are struggling to keep up with the speed of this change. In addition, as more and more data becomes available and accessible, new technologies are emerging to make sense of that data.

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That’s where we come in. We have experience working in emerging markets like AI/ML, cloud computing, and big data/data analytics. We’re ready to help you transform your company into one that can keep pace with the changing technology market. We provide more than just consulting services. We can provide teams to support you in bringing your strategy to fruition. Whether your plan involves new product development, software maintenance, testing, or artificial intelligence, we can do it! Schedule a free consultation to discuss your technology needs.

Critical & Emerging Technologies to Capitalize on in 2022

Critical and emerging technologies can be either new or incremental, but they all have one thing in common: they are not yet widely adopted by businesses. Emerging technology is poised to reshape how companies operate fundamentally, and those that get ahead of the curve can look forward to a big payoff down the line.

The critical question is whether the technology can deliver a competitive advantage. As a result, companies need to be strategic about which emerging technologies they invest in because there’s no point in investing in something that doesn’t offer a demonstrable benefit.

Businesses often struggle with this category of technologies because they’re still in the early adopter phase, which means they can be challenging to implement and don’t always offer clear ROI. But there are ways to strategically use critical and emerging technologies and gain a competitive advantage. 

Let’s look at some of the sweet spots of emerging technology in 2022.

 1.) Advanced Analytics

Advanced analytics concept

The inability to scale analytics is a massive challenge for many businesses. They cannot scale it so that each decision-maker has access to the dashboards they require. Data is fragmented across disparate sources that don’t communicate with one another, limiting the scope of analysis. The answer isn’t simply slapping an analytics tool on top of a database; that alone will not result in actionable insights.

It’s not just about having access to big data but also about being able to extract insights from it. One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is how they can make sense of the deluge of data they receive and turn that into meaningful business insights, which then drive decisions.

In the coming years, advanced analytics will be critical to any organization’s decision-making process. However, many companies are still trying to figure out how to use their data effectively and what it means for them to be “data-driven” or “data-informed.”

Advanced analytics is a method of modeling and analyzing data from various sources using a combination of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. A holistic approach is required to ensure that organizations can actually use their data. Advanced analytics, regardless of the analytics tool or platform used, necessitates collaboration among data engineers and scientists, analysts, and end-users, resulting in analysis and dashboards that provide a comprehensive picture of the organization’s performance, answer specific business questions, and generate forecasts.

It’s important to note that this type of collaboration is not new; it has been happening in some areas for years now. However, there will be more demand for this type of collaboration over time as companies look for ways to improve their bottom line through data-driven decision-making processes.

2.) IT Automation

Isometric artificial intelligence. Neuronal or ai technology background with robot head and connections of neurons.

As we shift from a hardware-focused technology world to one that is software-centric, the need for software companies to create better tools for their internal processes becomes a necessity. Software companies that improve the efficiency of their internal processes can speed up the product release cycle, meet 100% of their product requirements, and provide a better user experience to their customers.

In 2022, automation is vital in driving efficiency and cost savings for companies. IT automation can include DevOps process automation, testing, cloud migration, and more. In addition, hyperautomation—the approach of automating as many business processes as possible— supported by artificial intelligence and Robotic Process Automation (RPA)—is trickling down from large enterprises to mid-size companies.

Automation is the future of software development. With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML), computers are becoming increasingly efficient at performing repetitive tasks, such as code testing and debugging.

As a result, automation is no longer a nice-to-have feature for businesses that want to compete in today’s digital economy but rather a requirement. Meaning that automation is not only here to stay, but early adopters are rapidly scaling it up. IT and development departments must take advantage of automation now or risk falling behind. 

Starting with automation testing is a great way to build efficiency into the software development lifecycle, improve the quality of releases, and relieve developers of a heavy QA burden for organizations that have yet to adopt it.

3.) Hybrid Cloud Computing

abstract cloud computing structure. The data transfer and storage concept consists of an interconnected structure of binary polygons and white padlocks. dark blue blurred background.

In 2022, software companies should be prepared to support hybrid working environments, which offer both centralized and decentralized forms of computing. The rise of COVID-19 has prompted many organizations to reevaluate the way they operate. 

As a result, many organizations are abandoning centralized cloud computing in favor of distributed cloud systems and hybrid cloud computing and experimenting with serverless computing to support a hybrid working environment.

To stay competitive, software companies must consider how to best enable remote work, especially during the persistent software developer shortage. A lack of technical support and resources may send strong candidates to other roles that are better equipped to meet their needs.

In order to attract top talent, companies must be able to provide remote work options that allow developers to work where they are most productive — home or office — while still getting the support they need from their company.

4.) Citizen Data Science Tools

Global communication network concept of citizen data scientists

Data scientists are in high demand and short supply, similar to the software developer shortage. As a result, many organizations are experimenting with citizen data science technologies in order to empower non-technical roles. In practice, this entails low-code/no-code tools that enable self-service development, data analysis, and other functions.

In the next five years, we will see more organizations enable their employees to conduct data analysis as part of their daily workflows. As a result, businesses will be able to make better decisions faster, avoiding bottlenecks caused by the search for data science “unicorns” (or the rare individual who’s both adept at data modeling and guiding business leaders in layman’s terms).

Citizen data scientists are people who have the skills to create and interpret data visualizations, but they aren’t necessarily professional data scientists. Instead, they are interested in analyzing their own data or that of others in their organizations to help solve problems and make decisions.

Citizen data scientists make it easier for business and IT departments to collaborate, removing technical barriers that can lead to misunderstanding. To take advantage of this growing trend, software companies should consider how to incorporate citizen data science into their processes and make technical features more accessible to all end users.

Work With an Emerging Technologies Partner

emerging technology partner concept

To sum it up, rapid changes in digital technology and the rise of new competitors are creating an unpredictable business landscape. Organizations of all sizes must embrace and understand the emerging technology that can drive their success, but the road to proficiency is long and winding. The good news is that although emerging technologies present some challenges, businesses can capitalize on them if they anticipate and plan accordingly.

Thus, a technology partner can both guide businesses through this process and implement the solutions. Consider the use cases above and the myriad questions a team must navigate:

  • How should our data be stored, structured, and prepared?
  • Is AI / ML the best solution or would other technology work better?
  • Who is our end user–data scientists or citizen data scientists?
  • How do we get started?

This is a small sampling of a much larger conversation, and an experienced partner can help you answer each one with confidence.

Technology partners can significantly increase the speed of your emerging tech adoption, filling talent gaps and preparing your team for common challenges. 

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KMS Technology helps organizations implement emerging technology successfully, while remaining cost-effective.

Schedule a free consultation to learn how you can best harness the power of emerging technology.

How To Choose a Custom Mobile App Development Company

What is a custom mobile app and why do you need one? A custom mobile app extends beyond native apps created only on popular mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. With a custom-built mobile application, your customers will get a more robust user experience unique to your brand.

The Approach to Custom Mobile App Development

Businessman using mobile smartphone and icon network connection data symbolizing enterprise application transformation

If you’re considering developing a custom app for your business, the first question you should ask yourself is whether you should build it yourself or hire a developer. Let’s look at the two primary options below.

  1. Build in-house if you have the knowledge, team members, and capacity: If you choose this option, it’s important to note that you will need to hire skilled developers to build mobile applications. This may mean spending more money upfront but could save time and maintenance costs in the long run.
  2. Outsource from a professional mobile app development company: If you choose this option, outsourcing allows you to focus on other aspects of your business while someone else takes care of the technical side of things. Outsource providers typically handle all aspects of custom app development, including product design and quality assurance testing and maintenance after launch.

Advantages of Custom Mobile App Development 

We live in a digital age, with an estimated 301.65 million smartphone users in the United States who spend an average of 5-6 hours per day on their devices. As a result, the mobile app development industry has grown exponentially in the last few years.

The ability to create a product that aligns with your business vision and goals is one of the many benefits of custom mobile app development. This gives you a leg up on competitors relying on commercially available mobile apps or off-the-shelf solutions.

You can tailor your app to specific niches or industries, making it easier for potential customers to find you and learn more about your offerings. Furthermore, customized platforms will aid in long-term success.

Custom-developed software solutions allow businesses to reach a broader audience than generic apps, making it easier to engage new potential customers who may not have heard about them otherwise.

How a Development Partner Can Help

Mobile apps are a great way to engage with customers and build loyalty. However, developing a mobile app is not a cheap or straightforward task. 

A custom mobile app development company can help you make an app that meets your specific business needs and delivers the desired results. Working with a partner who specializes in custom mobile app development services can help in many ways:

  • They bring expertise and knowledge that you might not have on staff. For example, they can build an app to your specific requirements with no learning curve, or reduce costs by modifying existing code or utilizing open-source software.
  • Guide you on features, maintenance, security, and best practices for deploying your app. This will allow your team to focus on its core competencies to concentrate on what it does best — running your business. In addition, having an experienced development partner means less downtime during upgrades or bug fixes.
  • Get your product to market faster by leveraging their existing code libraries and technologies. Working with a custom mobile app development company helps you outpace the competition as they develop and deploy quickly while still providing quality work.

If you’re looking for help building a single custom mobile app, working with a development partner can be cost-effective and allows companies more flexibility when it comes to managing budgets and timeline. 

Ways To Begin Searching for a Custom Mobile App Development Company

Web development team discussing application modernization project

If you’re looking to build an app for your business, you must start with the right custom mobile app development services partner. The wrong choice can mean months (or years) wasted on bad products that fail to deliver what they promise.

The first step for any business is to identify the need for a mobile app development project. This will help you understand what needs to be done for your business model and its objectives.

How to Choose an Excellent Mobile App Development Partner? 

Here are some tips for choosing an app development partner:

  • Determine Your Goals and Desired App Functionality

These preliminary discussions will help you decide whether a mobile app is even feasible or necessary for your company and provide a solid foundation for evaluating potential custom mobile app development services partners.

Detailed project requirements are a must-have when looking for someone to create a product for you. The more specific and detailed your requirements are, the more likely you will receive a finished product that perfectly matches your vision.

  • Create a Budget

It’s easy to get carried away with all of the many details that go into developing an app, so figure out how much you can afford to invest in the project ahead of time to narrow down your options.

  • Have a Clear Understanding of Internal Expectations For Meeting Project Deadlines

In the same way that any other type of software takes time to develop, test, and launch, mobile applications do too. How much time do you have? It depends on the scope of the vision, the number of features required, the time it will take developers to build those features, and the amount of testing needed.

Consider what kind of technical expertise is necessary for the project. For example, you’ll want to find a custom mobile app development services partner who’s worked on apps that solve similar problems, so they know what it takes to provide value to your customers.

If you’re looking to scale faster, reduce time-to-market, and lower overall costs, working with an offshore development partner like KMS Technology may be the right business move for you. Keep in mind that offshore companies have pros and cons and it is up to your internal teams to decide what’s best for business strategy.

Mobile Application Development Services

Overall, mobile apps are a huge market, and the need for a reliable custom mobile development company will never go away. As a designer or developer, your job is to consider your options carefully. First, ask yourself what qualities you want in a development partner, and then look for a place that meets those requirements.

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Custom software development doesn’t have to be intimidating or confusing. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your custom mobile app development requirements.

2022 Guide to Artificial Intelligence Software Development

Spending on AI and ML technologies is expected to reach $299.64 billion in 2026. That number will only grow as more software companies adopt these emerging technologies. Rapid digital transformation spurred by COVID-19 pushed many organizations to invest; those who haven’t yet explored AI and ML may find themselves playing catch-up to stay competitive. Many have already seen AI’s potential to improve their business. 

AI is constantly changing and advancing. Yet, there are so many buzzwords associated with the technology. It can be hard to keep up and decipher which trendy tech is actually providing value, much less understand how to implement AI effectively. Here’s our guide on how to use the technology to get maximum value from your projects.

The Current State of Artificial Intelligence in Software Development

intelligence integrated inside Central Processors Unit or CPU chip,

The acceleration of digital transformation has many companies using AI technologies and data science to achieve operational efficiency and enhance their software products. Often, artificial intelligence developers will use a subset of AI technology such as machine learning (ML) or natural language processing (NLP) to solve a specific business challenge. Many of these companies see the potential in AI and machine learning to:

  • Meet user demand and tap into new user segments
  • Outpace competitors with more innovative products
  • Generate more value from a growing pool of data
  • Accelerate delivery cycles to send products to market faster

More specifically, these common AI use cases illustrate where early adopters are already generating repeatable, proven value:

Big Data and Analytics to Generate Insight for Forecasting 

Many companies use AI to analyze data to predict future trends to support strategic decisions. 

According to Forbes, “Allowing AI to play a role in business thinking can guide leaders to make data-driven decisions toward growth and lessen the unpredictability of the result.” 

AI works particularly well with big data sets, which are typically too massive and detailed for humans to analyze.

Improve the User Experience Through Personalization 

Organizations also use AI to personalize the user experience. 

This includes everything from recommendations for new products to how the software looks and functions. AI enables software to learn from its users and become more efficient at serving their needs. AI can help create more relevant content for users, making the experience more personalized. The tool can also learn about preferences, such as favorite products or colors, and recommend new products based on the information. 

AI is also useful in automating certain tasks on websites, making common functions easier to use. For example, websites with conversational AI can feature a bot to help customers find products, recommend similar items, or answer common questions.

Optimize Internal Processes 

From monitoring supply chains to automating IT functions, AI helps companies optimize internal processes. Developers can use AI tools to achieve both operational and financial benefits. 

For example, the technology has many use cases in logistics, such as tracking supply chain activities. The technology also helps create predictive models in the supply chain to forecast demand and recommend inventory levels. 

IT is another area where technology proves beneficial. Another common use case is automating processes like testing or creating low code / no code platforms for business teams..

AIOps 

AIOps” stands for “artificial intelligence for IT operations.” AIOps was specially designed for monitoring and optimizing IT operations. AIOps uses deep learning algorithms to analyze data from existing monitoring systems to determine the best ways to optimize a company’s IT infrastructure performance. 

For example, an AIOps system can help determine the best times to schedule system maintenance activities to avoid negatively impacting peak usage times. An AIOps solution can also monitor system performance and send alerts if it detects a problem. 

Artificial Intelligence Software Developer Assistance

Software development is an iterative and time-consuming process, and many tasks are repetitive and tedious. AI can assist with these tasks and help developers work more efficiently. AI-based developer tools using machine learning help developers write code.  

The tool also analyzes code against best practices and recommends improvements. These AI tools also automate tasks, such as testing, debugging, or generating software documentation.

How To Develop AI Software in 2022

Digital transformation concept. System engineering. Binary code. Programming.

Artificial intelligence software development requires several steps to achieve success. Tackling each is important to ensure the technology continues to provide the value you expect. 

Define Requirements

To be successful with your project, you need a strong product vision and understanding of how the product can work for you. AI is a powerful technology with many use cases, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. 

Understanding the different AI types and which ones may be best suited for your business problems will go a long way toward ensuring a successful implementation. That said, rather than asking, “how can we develop software with AI?” ask, “what do we want AI to do for us?” This question helps you develop a roadmap that solves your core challenges–rather than forcing AI into the product for the sake of it.

Plan Resources for an Artificial Software Development Project

The following resources impact long-term usefulness and product cost. Thus, it is important to consider each item. 

Data

If your ML engineers intend to train a machine learning algorithm on your own data set (or otherwise leverage the data for analysis), you must ensure the data is cleaned, organized, and modeled correctly. Data scientists usually work with data engineers to set up a pipeline to collect the data and put it in the right format. You’ll want to ensure the data is easy to retrieve, query, and process. 

Getting the data right is a critical but challenging part AI development. As a result, many organizations partner with data engineering services to ensure the data and its connectors are geared to the AI solution. The best services will also offer data profiling, mining, and assistance with synthetic data– all of which can help you understand your data set’s makeup and fine-tune it to make it easier to work with ML and AI algorithms.

Computing Capacity

While most AI software can run on standard desktops and laptops, some applications may require significant computing power. For example, AI for quant and high-frequency trading requires extremely fast processing speeds. Similarly, AI for medical imaging and other applications requires significant data and may need more processing power.

Many AI products are based on machine learning, making them smarter as they are used. As these products run, they collect information, which is later used to make recommendations on strategic decisions. As the data set expands, you will need to plan for additional storage. Your teams should prepare end users for additional costs associated with the computational load and guide the best approach (CPU vs. GPU, for example) to ensure a consistently positive user experience.

Hiring Talent

The right development skills are critical for AI, but these skills are in high demand. Artificial intelligence software developers, machine learning engineers, data scientists, etc., are recruited across the country, often with extremely competitive packages. It can be difficult for mid-size companies to find quality candidates when Silicon Valley companies are vying for the same pool. Worse yet is the developer shortage, which makes hiring even more challenging. 

Even though mid-size companies might not have the same brand recognition, they do have something valuable to offer. Mid-size companies often offer a more hands-on approach to work, more flexibility, and a small, tight-knit team where you can make a difference. 

Companies should consider other options such as an AI/ML consultant or global, remote talent to widen their hiring opportunities. This approach can help bring in the senior-level software engineers necessary to drive AI projects forward (especially from countries with nationalized AI strategies, like Vietnam).

Consider Using KMS as Your Artificial Intelligence Software Development Partner

Given the complexity, it may be best to work with a software development partner that provides a holistic approach to AI. KMS Technology can help you decide if AI is right for your specific use case and project, guiding the entire software development process even if a superior solution is identified. 

Our AI & ML developers can fill your talent gaps without the exorbitant costs and time associated with hiring these in-demand roles. 

By partnering with us, you can be sure your company will get the most value from artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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Schedule a free consultation to discuss your enterprise application transformation needs.

3 Reasons to Start an Application Transformation Program

Application transformation is about embracing newer digital technologies to future-proof your business. According to Deloitte, companies that keep up with the latest technology have reported a 45% revenue growth compared to 15% for companies that don’t. What makes these companies different?

They grasp onto new technologies to enable transformation for their businesses. They accept and leverage differences to create growth and new opportunities. And they invest in digital solutions in the presence of disruption, taking bold action and pushing forward. Over time, business leaders that adopt an application transformation strategy are better positioned to take advantage of new opportunities for improved business outcomes. Here’s why.

Legacy Apps: The Achilles Heel of Innovation

Man frustrated by outdated legacy software on computer

The global application modernization services market size is projected to reach over $50 million by 2028. An enterprise application transformation program is critical to sustaining your business. However, many businesses are holding on to systems that have become cumbersome, unruly, and hard to update. 

One of the biggest hurdles to modernization is that many of these systems are critical applications and oftentimes, core business processes rely on them. However, replacing these systems can be costly. Not only that, end-users who are accustomed to the existing application may be reluctant to move to another platform. 

A few additional challenges with legacy apps include: 

  • Not Intuitive: Legacy software lacks the modern user interface customers expect. These systems typically do not have newer features and are not user-friendly, making job functions more difficult, not easier. 
  • Inability to Integrate With Newer Technology: Older systems don’t integrate with newer cloud services and cloud infrastructure. This leaves critical data trapped in legacy systems. 
  • Lack of Support: In most cases, the cost of maintaining an outdated system outweighs the benefits. Oftentimes, a software company will eventually stop supporting its products. When that happens, companies must spend time, money, and find internal resources to support the platform
  • Unreliable: Legacy applications are notorious for system crashes. These crashes often lead to long downtimes, impacting your service level agreements with your customers.

What’s Keeping You From Starting an Application Transformation Program?

Web development team discussing application modernization project

The impact of legacy systems extends beyond technology. Holding on to these systems can negatively impact your business. Take a look at the below questions. If you answered yes to any of them, starting an application transformation program is the way to go.

Am I ready to decrease my technical debt?

Technical debt refers to unplanned work a company needs to do in a future release cycle. Bugs, continuous upkeep, hardware replacement, and more can become costly. As a result, the company must divert money and time to address these issues. A recent McKinsey survey gives us more insight. In that report, CIOs reported that 10% to 20% of the technology budget dedicated to new products is diverted to resolving issues related to tech debt. More troubling still, that same report indicates that CIOs estimated that tech debt amounts to 20% to 40% of the value of their entire technology estate before depreciation.

Am I worried about business security?

Older technology increases the risk of data breaches and ransomware infections that could cripple operations. The impact on customers could be just as damaging, decreasing user loyalty and trust. Hackers will exploit any vulnerability they can find within your systems to steal customer data, deface your website, or damage your reputation and unfortunately, older systems are ill-equipped to prevent these types of issues. 

Modern cybersecurity practices have changed dramatically over the last several years. Newer platforms offer more hardened controls to better secure business and customer data. For example, cloud platforms encrypt data stored on the systems. That way, malicious actors won’t be able to read the information if they were to access it. These platforms also encrypt data “in motion” to protect the information as it travels across the internet. 

Another important security feature cloud platforms provide is fine-grained access controls. Meaning, that you can specify who has access to certain parts of the system. That way, access to all information is on a “need to know” basis. This protects information from the risk of insider threats, where an employee misuses their permissions to access sensitive information.

Do I want a competitive advantage when it comes to newer technology?

Adopting emerging technologies builds your credibility as a business and shows that you can keep up with the competition, market needs, and technological changes. An application transformation program will help you adopt technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and cloud computing. These technologies help you innovate and offer better customer experiences. As a result, you’ll gain improved customer retention rates. 

Has your team spent a lot of unwarranted time maintaining old programs?

How much time does your team spend fixing bugs in legacy systems? Surely, there are higher priorities for your internal teams than fixing bugs in outdated systems. Unfortunately, legacy systems create bottlenecks for your business, which slow down progress for your internal and external users. 

Consider this scenario: 

Imagine you have a legacy accounting system. While it may still be functional, you have likely outgrown it. For example, you may have added personnel, which slowed the system or the process may have gotten more complex, and the system no longer supports the workflow. Another issue is that the data stored in these systems is often outdated or out of sync with other systems. All of this hampers team efficiency and gives you an inaccurate view of your finances.

With legacy system transformation, these challenges will no longer plague your organization. Modern systems grow along with your business and eliminate the need to continuously upgrade or perform maintenance for the system to keep pace. Cloud technology platforms automatically scale to add more resources such as computing, storage, or memory as your business grows.

Have there been unnecessary costs associated with old system updates?

Spend time evaluating your operating costs. You may be surprised at the money spent on:

  • General Maintenance: Chances are you are hosting these apps in-house. If so, consider the costs of fixing broken servers. Don’t forget; the costs include parts and labor.
  • Incompatibility Issues: Legacy systems may not work with current operating systems (OS). As a result, you may be spending time and money to support an outdated (and likely unsupported) operating system.
  • Application Licensing: Even if an app is no longer supported, you may still have to pay for a license. 

Why You Should Consider Working with an Application Transformation Partner

application transformation concept

As a business owner, you don’t want to be caught off-guard by the emergence of new technologies or by the disruption of your industry. You don’t have to be an expert in all modern-day technologies but it is important to evaluate and implement the ones that will impact your business most. Working with an expert partner to adopt platform modernization comes with significant benefits.

1 – Expert Partnership

An application transformation program is necessary to meet today’s rapid rise in customer expectations. Working with experts like KMS has several benefits, such as:

  • Working With Expert Partners: Experts like KMS can help guide you through all the components of application transformation, including pre-planning, cloud migration, AI adoption, continuous support once you’ve migrated to the cloud, and dependable maintenance.
  • Improved Productivity: With a trusted partner, your software developers can focus on application development for new initiatives. 
  • Avoids Time and Cost of Recruiting Resources: Working with an expert like KMS means you won’t need to recruit additional personnel. It also eliminates the need to spend time or money on training or onboarding new employees.

2 – Increased Revenue Streams

Application transformation programs help you create new revenue streams. We live in an age of digital immediacy. This fact has transformed how people communicate, shop, and consume information. Customers want the best possible experiences as fast as possible. Application transformation is necessary to improve the user experience and meet the rapid rise in customer expectations. The more value your app provides, the better it is for your business. 

Modern systems help you innovate and create new customer experiences. Newer systems can leverage what is known as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to integrate with other systems and build cloud-native applications. APIs allow smooth and efficient communication between various systems. For example, an app that allows users to book travel plans can integrate with the airline’s API to show the cheapest flights. The customer won’t have to manually search each airline’s flight costs. The API connects with each airline’s system. The app can combine the information for a seamless customer experience. When you use modern technology such as APIs you can build new systems to support new business models.

3 – Improved Software Performance 

An application transformation program helps you modernize your systems. With more modern software, you’ll see improved software performance, which means your systems won’t be susceptible to outages, crashes, bugs, etc. This means that as you gain new customers, you can easily add new servers and other resources to accommodate the load without impacting performance. When you update legacy technology, you also get improved security. Newer systems use advanced security protocols to defend against cyberattacks. Lastly, the better performance also leads to reliability. A reliable system ensures the application is always available when users need it.

Improving your system’s performance also has business benefits. Investing in your systems will provide you with greater operational efficiency and accuracy. As an example, you will be able to collect data more efficiently and analyze that data to make business decisions.

Let KMS Guide Your Application Transformation Program

 

Digital resilience and agility are what make application transformation so powerful. An agile approach means that businesses can respond to change more quickly and pivot when necessary. With an agile approach to application transformation, enterprises can make changes to software more easily and frequently, as needed. Overall, starting an application transformation program helps strengthen your business posture. 

KMS Technology has proven experience in application integration of modern technology. Our experts will help develop a plan and walk you through all aspects of the project. Our teams help you get the most value out of application transformation programs to give you a competitive edge. We work to understand your goals and are committed to your success. 

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Schedule a free consultation to discuss your enterprise application transformation needs.

KMS Technology Partners with the Eye Care Foundation to Aid in the Community’s Vision Impairment Prevention and Treatment

June 1, 2022 – KMS Technology Company announced a collaboration agreement with the non-governmental organization Eye Care Foundation (ECF), provided a 100 million VND sponsorship, and joined a team of Ophthalmologists, supporting ECF in its objective of preventing and treating eye disorders and visual impairment for students in the Mekong Delta region.

Eye care support: prevention, treatment of blindness and vision impairment

KMS Technology, a software services company with over 1500 workers in Vietnam and the United States, has just signed a memorandum of understanding to support the Eye Care Foundation (ECF), a non-profit organization located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. ECF initiatives have been in place in Vietnam since 1999. Over the past two decades, ECF has funded a variety of eye care projects in Mekong Delta and HCMC regions.

Through its primary partners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and provincial hospitals, ECF strives to increase community awareness of eye health, particularly among students and parents, as well as providing professional training for the local ophthalmology staff. 

For KMS Technology, healthcare and medical software product development are a specialized service area. Stemming from the similarity of core values, KMS cooperating with ECF opens up opportunities for both sides to optimize their contributions to the social community in a practical and sustainable way. In addition to the first contribution of 100,000,000 VND, KMS Technology intends to provide long-term assistance to ECF through its experience in building healthcare applications and high-quality technical people resources.

Eye care festival for 350 students in Vinh Long

As the official start of the long-term partnership, on May 21, 2022, the Eye Care Festival at Long Ho Town Secondary School in Vinh Long Province hosted participants from both organizations. The morning event was attended by about 350 children in grades 6 and 7, parents, physicians from Vinh Long Eye Specialist Hospital, and volunteers from KMS Technology.

According to ECF studies, the age range of 11 to 15 years old accounts for a significant number of children with eye disorders, mostly refractive defects of the eyes, due to a lack of knowledge of eye healthcare or an inability to test and treat appropriately.

At the Eye Care Festival, students engaged in 15 activities that incorporated eye care knowledge in an effort to increase their awareness of the significance of excellent eyesight. During the initial screening, 66 youngsters who were shown to have refractive errors were later thoroughly checked by the doctors, and 42 of them received free glasses. In addition, ophthalmologists from Vinh Long Eye Specialist Hospital spoke with parents and offered information on various prevalent eye illnesses in children and adults. As a result, it helps families in raising knowledge about eye care, adjusting eye-related habits, and detecting eye problems to bring their children to medical facilities for quick inspection and treatment in time. 

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About KMS Technology

KMS was established in 2009 as a U.S.-based software development & consulting company with development centers in Vietnam. Over 13 years of operation, we have been trusted globally for the superlative quality of software services, products, technology solutions, and engineers’ expertise. KMS is committed to providing tangible contributions and long-lasting impacts to the communities through leveraging our IT expertise. The company has also been recognized by prestigious industry awards as a great workplace in Vietnam, Asia, and the U.S. for many years in a row.

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About Eye Care Foundation

The Eye Care Foundation (ECF) is a non-governmental organization based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The ECF’s mission is to assist in the prevention and treatment of blindness and vision impairment in developing countries. In Vietnam, ECF activities have been in place since 1999, supporting eye care programs in provinces in the Mekong Delta and two major cities: HCMC and Hanoi.

 

Guide to Enterprise Application Transformation

Applications are the backbone of many businesses today. They provide the functionality that allows employees to do their jobs, customers to interact with your organization, and systems to manage data. This is why it’s so essential for companies to ensure their legacy applications are up-to-date and operate effectively.

Application transformation is the process of modernizing outdated applications to better meet user expectations and demand. It aims to improve business efficiency and competitiveness by reducing costs and increasing productivity. Enterprise application transformation focuses on updating a wide range of business applications. This includes both internal and third-party applications, and private or public cloud solutions.

Why is application transformation so significant? It unlocks a company’s potential to deliver value more quickly and efficiently than ever before. As technology demands increase dramatically — due to globalization, mobility, and data generation — companies need an agile approach that allows for swift reaction.

Enterprises must transform their applications to stay competitive, retain users, and appeal to new user segments. In addition, companies that invest in enterprise application transformation reap the benefits of a more efficient workforce, better customer service, and more engaged employees. 

Framing Application Transformation for the Enterprise

enterprise application transformation concept. Man reviewing software on a tablet

As demand for digital products and experiences increased because of the pandemic, many organizations were forced to undergo application transformations. However, a reactive application transformation is not an efficient or long-term solution for ascertaining that an app meets modern standards.

Enterprise application transformation is a massive undertaking. It necessitates a long-term, sustainable application transformation strategy that assures products are constantly improving rather than becoming obsolete.

A significant challenge in enterprise application transformation is ensuring that the proper infrastructure and business process support a modernized application. If not, the benefits of an improved user experience may be short-lived.

App modernization is a highly complex project that requires a thorough understanding of the organization’s needs in order to keep costs, timelines, and impacts to a minimum. Before making any changes, you must first map out all of the project’s dependencies, data flows, and business rules to ensure that you fully comprehend the project’s scope.

The first step in any change effort like this is to identify which parts of the app are critical for transformation so that you can focus your efforts there while ensuring the rest of the app remains stable. It’s also a good idea to know the difference between what’s necessary for transformation and what’s nice to have.

Enterprise application transformation is a global trend that will continue to evolve in the coming years. As businesses look to transform, they must consider how emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can help them optimize products and provide new features beyond the current market’s scope.

In addition, businesses must also adapt to widely implemented technologies such as cloud and big data solutions to remain competitive. 

Three Keys to Modernizing Legacy Systems

Modernizing legacy systems is more than just a buzzword; it’s a real-life problem that enterprises face every day. In many cases, legacy systems are not easily visible to the outside world, but they can present themselves as issues in either product development or internal operations. These problems are often difficult to solve without changing business models or creating new organization structures.

Modernizing legacy systems starts at the top—before you undergo the process, you have to create a culture that supports innovation and change. A top-down innovation culture helps teams iterate quickly on their product and enables them to listen to user feedback while continuously enhancing the UX. This approach helps DevOps teams keep up with the ever-changing market landscape.

With the rise of mobile devices and cloud computing, users expect more from their software than ever before: they want to access it from anywhere on whatever device they’re using at any given moment (and this expectation is increasing). Enterprises also want a single view across multiple platforms and devices to see what’s happening with their data wherever they are.

Here are the essentials steps to take when getting ready for a legacy system modernization:

1. Identify which apps are high risk or high value to prioritize transformation.

Identify which apps are high risk or high value to prioritize transformation. High risk means threatening the experience of the end-users, resulting in attrition (for example, poor performance or usability). High value means that the application is critical to the business and its success. For example, known pain points in the core app that affect end users, admins, or executives could be a good place to prioritize, as consistent issues are likely to push users away.

Determine who will be in charge of the application transformation and who will be responsible for it. For each application, someone should be in charge of managing the transformation process from start to finish. If that person isn’t already on your team, hire a development partner who specializes in enterprise application transformation services and has worked on large-scale migrations, acquisitions, and integrations projects.

2. Prepare appropriate and adequate development resources. 

Successful enterprise application transformation requires careful planning, careful execution, and a commitment to ongoing maintenance. Whatever the size of your organization, you should expect to invest significant time and effort into this project. 

You’ll need to prepare appropriate and adequate development resources to get started. Even if you’re not planning to build new applications from scratch, you’ll need a strong development team to help you modernize existing systems and bring them up-to-date with modern technology patterns and practices.

While app transformation should be incorporated into regular delivery cycles, it’s also critical to ensure that the app is maintained and supported in its current state to avoid user disruption. For example, suppose an app currently supports a specific business process with a high volume of transactions. In that case, this process should be migrated first — before any other efforts are made on the application.

Partnering with a development partner specializing in application transformation services can help enterprises manage the risk involved in these large projects by offering expertise in project management, architecture, agile development, and testing. 

3. Make informed technology decisions.

As stated before, application transformation is a complex process that requires multiple steps. The first step is to evaluate the current state of the application and determine if the product needs to move to new systems. If so, changes must be assessed in terms of the larger tech stack and how each change will impact the larger tech ecosystem.

Here are some questions you should ask:

  • What technology stacks do we currently use? What are our plans for future adoption?
  • What can be re-used from legacy systems? Conversely, what needs to be replaced?
  • Does this project require new infrastructure or just software upgrades?
  • How will we address security concerns with legacy systems?

When choosing a development partner, look for application transformation services providers with experience helping enterprises through large-scale modernization projects. Your provider should have expertise in your unique technology stack and should be able to demonstrate tangible success stories of working with similar companies in your industry. Consider partnering with a company that has partnerships with major cloud providers to ensure you have access to all the best tools and platforms.

Start Your Digital Transformation with KMS Technology 

technology concept. digital check mark icon hovering over a hand.

When looking at enterprise application transformation options, it’s important to start with a clear vision of your business needs. From there, your journey should take you in an arc towards modern infrastructure and applications optimized for flexibility and speedy release cycles. With this approach in mind, your enterprise application transformation will be successful and sustainable in the long run.

Enterprise application transformation is a journey. It’s a journey that starts with a strategic business vision and ends with a transformed enterprise application landscape. Therefore, enterprise application transformation must be treated as a total business undertaking. Making the business case for enterprise application transformation is essential to get the buy-in you need from everyone affected. 

There are many approaches and factors to consider when getting this buy-in, so don’t downplay the importance of working with a consulting firm that has experience in enterprise application transformation.

Enterprise application modernization projects can improve performance, change how applications are maintained, and redirect budget dollars from support to innovation.

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Schedule a free consultation to discuss your business goals and enterprise application transformation needs.

How to Audit & Improve Your Test Automation Framework

Automation is a term you may constantly encounter every time you read about technology. It generally means replacing manual human activities with technology to increase productivity. In software, development automation is used for validating the software using automation tools.

This process of validating software using automation tools is known as automation testing. It helps reduce the amount of time required to test code, thereby improving software development quality. This article discusses the test automation frameworks, their key components, types of automation frameworks, questions to ask when auditing a testing framework, and the benefits of test automation frameworks.

What Is Testing?

Quality management with QA (assurance), QC (control) and improvement concept

Testing evaluates a proposed change to the software, the system under test, or other specifications to determine whether the change should be made. In other words, it is finding out how well a piece of software meets its design specifications. 

The software quality, or the state of being bug-free, is often a top concern for those developing and using computer programs. Ensuring good quality in software may be accomplished by testing, whose benefits include the identification of defects in a system and finding out how effectively these systems operate.

What Is Test Automation?

Test automation is a software engineering practice in which computer programs, or test scripts, are written to automate load and execute automated test cases on various software. Test automation is done by taking advantage of features already built into the software, such as when a test is automatically generated from source code. 

Test automation aims to reduce the overall time it takes to accomplish some tasks, such as executing tests repeatedly against a certain percentage of user-visible pages on an internet web application. Automated tests help you catch an error earlier and make your testing more efficient without having to manually input every single action required by your application’s functionalities.

What Is a Test Automation Framework?

Digital transformation concept. System engineering. Binary code. Programming.

A test automation framework is a piece of software used to automate the process of creating, executing, and measuring test scenarios. Test automation frameworks simplify the complex task of writing functional scripts by abstracting common actions into reusable components that can be plugged into a design. 

Schedule a free consultation to discuss your test automation needs.

Key Components of a Testing Framework

  • Equipment and People – Equipment refers to the devices on which the tests are run. People involved in testing frameworks may include test administrators who aid the test engineers in writing test scripts, using test case libraries, and managing test case libraries, test platforms, and test tools.
  • Test scripts – Test Scripts test each page on your website using a series of automated tests. They automate repetitive tasks and save you time so that you can focus on analyzing results, identifying issues, and getting your project fixed.
  • Tools – For the creation of test scripts, various tools are required. Test automation tools, traffic generation tools, traffic monitoring tools, and support tools are examples of such tools. Support tools include defect tracking and requirement analysis tools. Defect tracking tools help automatically detect and report test cases that fail. Check out some of our tools, Ranking Top Automation Tools.
  • A data library – refers to a collection/library of reusable test steps of basic utilities used as the building blocks of the automated test scripts. Each of those utilities performs a specific task to assist in the overall automation.
  • Budget – Refers to the amount spent developing and using the testing framework. Well-planned automation testing should cost much lesser than manual testing.  

Types of Automation Frameworks

Test automation framework concept

Having covered what a test automation framework is and its components, this section will now cover the various types of test automation frameworks.

Linear Test Automation Framework

A linear test framework is an introductory-level automation framework that involves sequentially writing test scripts and running them. 

This type of framework is mainly used to test applications that are not large in size. The tester captures each test step involved, including user inputs, navigation across the application, and browsing. The testers pick one application functionality, write a script, and test it. The linear test automation framework is sometimes referred to as the “record and playback” framework.

Advantages of Linear Automation Test Framework

  • Simple and fast – can generate test scripts without consuming much time.
  • It does not require coding knowledge.

Disadvantages of Linear Automation Test Framework

  • Single-use – Does not allow the tester to run with multiple data sets as the data is hardcoded.
  • High maintenance – much effort is required to perform simple and minor changes.

Modular-Based Test Automation Framework

The application under test is divided into several modules in modular-based test frameworks, and a test script is created for each module. These individual test scripts can be combined to make a big test script that invokes individual modules to run end-to-end tests. This approach allows you to easily make changes in a single script; hence, adjusting the whole application is not required. This allows the tester to use less effort in testing and save time.

Advantages of Modular-Based Test Automation Framework

  • Allows easier scaling and maintenance due to breaking down the application into individual modules.
  • Changes done in one module have minimal or no effect on the other modules that are part of the application.
  • Test scripts can be written independently. 

Disadvantages of Modular-Based Test Automation Framework

  • Technical knowledge is required to set up the framework.
  • Analyzing test cases and identifying reusable flows is time-consuming.

Library Architecture Test Automation Framework

The library architecture framework is based on the modular-based approach but with additional advantages. 

In the modular-based method, the application under test is divided into modules. In the library architecture-based approach, the common tasks in the application under test are identified and grouped into functions. The grouped functions are stored in a library that facilitates reusability across different scripts. This framework is mainly used in applications with similar functionalities across various parts.

Advantages of Library Architecture Test Automation Framework

  • Easy script maintenance.
  • Easily allows scaling.
  • Allows high reusability as functions library is reusable.

Disadvantages of Library Architecture Test Automation Framework

  • Preparing test scripts is time-consuming.
  • Requires high technical knowledge.

Keyword-Driven Test Automation Framework

This automation framework performs automation test scripts based on predefined keywords that are stored in an excel sheet. A keyword is associated with a specific keyword or action. This automation framework promotes reusability since the testers can use the same keyword across different scripts. It does not require much technical knowledge, which makes it friendly for testers with less programming language knowledge, but the initial setup requires more expertise.

Advantages of Keyword-Driven Test Automation Framework

  • It doesn’t require much technical knowledge to write the scripts.
  • Allows code reusability.
  • Change in the application does not require a modification in the test scripts.

Disadvantages of Keyword-Driven Test Automation Framework

  • Initial setup requires more expertise.
  • Design is time-consuming.

Data-Driven Test Automation Framework

The data-driven testing focuses on separating the logic of the test scripts and the data used in testing from each other. It allows a tester to create test automation scripts by passing data in different tests. The data used in testing is fetched from external sources such as XML files, Excel Sheets, and SQL databases. 

Advantages of Data-Driven Test Automation Framework

  •  Supports multiple data sets.
  • Change in test scripts does not require modification in test data.
  • Saves time by helping execute multiple tests in less amount of time.

Disadvantages of Data-Driven Test Automation Framework

  • Requires technical knowledge.
  • It is time-consuming to set up the test framework and test data.

Hybrid Driven Test Automation Framework

A hybrid test automation framework combines two or more different frameworks discussed above and mitigates their weaknesses. It provides efficiency by harnessing the strengths of the integrated frameworks.

This section has covered various types of test automation frameworks, but the most popular ones are data-driven, keyword-driven, and hybrid frameworks.

Questions to Ask When Auditing Your Testing Framework

Man giving IT presentation to a group of software developers

These are the key attributes that should be considered when auditing your test framework.

  1. Integration – How easy is integrating my testing framework with existing tools? Some testing tools/frameworks have APIs that can be easily integrated with other tools. This is extremely helpful if you work in an enterprise environment where your team might need to fix issues reported by other developers.
  2. User-friendly – How easy or difficult is it to write test cases or test functions with that testing framework. Some frameworks make it easy for developers to write test cases and test functions. Others may make things more difficult for them. Make sure that your next testing framework can handle any existing functionality you have in your project. Please find out how easy or difficult it is to handle additional functionality or features added to your current project with no change from other developers.
  3. Documentation – Does the Testing Framework include any documentation? If so, what documentation is included? This can help you learn how to use the tool right away, but there should also be comprehensive documentation on using it effectively and efficiently. The thorough guide should include information on where you can get updates or add new scripts or test cases and its API.
  4. Commonality – Is there a community around the Testing Framework? If so, what community is there? A community of users can assist in adding new features and testing each other’s code, but they are also subject to creating conflicts and errors within your project. However, if you post an issue on a community forum or mailing list, you have good chances of getting it fixed or asking for help for free which is always great.

Best Practices for Improving Your Test Automation Framework

To improve your test automation framework, you should:

  • Make sure that the test automation framework has user-friendly and functional reporting. It should be user-friendly to allow you to gauge the test results.
  • Design a working plan to be followed that is clear and concise.
  • Identify its strengths and weaknesses, typically done by performing a code review. This will help identify bugs and gaps in the framework and is likely to reveal areas that need improvement.
  • Use an established, uniform format for all your code reviews. A popular format will enable multiple people to effectively review the same code base. This will help identify areas that need improvement, but it’s possible that the existing process doesn’t fully exploit the tools at your disposal. If you’ve been using a standard coding style but aren’t achieving optimal efficiency with your current framework, you may need to consider making some changes.
  • Ensure effective communication and allow easy access and visibility to the release notes.

Benefits of Test Automation Framework

Hand touching digital cloud computing and technology icons, innovation and big data transformation concept.

The main benefit of the test automation frameworks is that they help reduce the defect rate due to poor QA testing. When testers are tied up with manual testing, they might not notice defects due to system behavior faults or faulty implementation in a complex system. With an automated tool, such defects can easily be spotted early on. Test automation frameworks have been shown to reduce errors effectively.

Test automation helps in reducing time-to-market and the cost of the software. With an automated testing framework, organizations use much less investment in human resources, which means that they can launch a product sooner by cutting down on the cost of software development.

Test automation frameworks also help better quality control by automating the testing process. The software product undergoes a rigorous round of continuous testing during and post-development. This helps identify bugs and errors at the earliest possible stage and allows for correction before the product goes live, minimizing customer complaints.

Why KMS?

First bump between colleagues at work.

Software testing entails numerous steps:

  • Do you want to run tests with or without code?
  • What is the best platform for development?
  • How can I continue testing indefinitely?
  • What should I do about script/framework version control?

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Our experts can assess your current software architecture and testing processes and assist you in developing a plan to successfully implement a framework. We also provide test automation as a service, which allows our teams to run tests on your software.

Software Integration Solutions For Technology Due Diligence

The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market is hot. KPMG estimates that dealmakers around the world conducted $5.1 trillion worth of M&A transactions in 2021. The company also reports that deal valuations will continue to rise in 2022. 

With so much money at stake, investors must make sound decisions to ensure positive returns— and that’s why technology due diligence is an important step in the M&A process. Here, we’ll discuss application integration due diligence and how it helps inform investors’ decision-making.

Why You Need Software Integration Due Diligence During an M&A Deal

Software integration is the process of combining a sub-set of software systems to communicate with each other seamlessly. It is the process of converting a standalone software product into a pluggable component that can be integrated with other software to create a larger solution. Software integration is critical in the M&A due diligence process. During the process, investors want to ensure the software under evaluation integrates with other products in their portfolio. This information is critical to ensuring the integrated products fit together to create maximum value.

During the process, investors evaluate several items that include:

Data Integrity

Data integrity refers to the trustworthiness of the data. It is the assurance that the data is correct, accurate, and unbiased, especially when it comes to syncing with multiple systems. 

Data integrity also enhances the confidence that the system data will not be corrupted, tampered with, or lost during normal operations. This level of validation is especially important in the age of big data. With so much information at stake, even the smallest data format inconsistency could have a major impact on the user’s experience within the application. Data integration platforms can help profile the data to ensure the information is consistent throughout the system. 

Seamless Communication

The integrated systems must provide seamless communications between enterprise applications that are critical to business processes. For example, if two companies are using two different customer relationship management (CRM) tools., each needs to operate seamlessly post-merger integration. 

Application and System Architecture

The system architecture is a detailed description of how the system is designed. It is a blueprint that outlines the major system components and how they fit together. A thorough and well-documented system architecture is critical in highlighting potential areas that might cause challenges for integration.

3rd-Party API Cross-Functionality

This functionality represents the ability of one software program to communicate with a 3rd party vendor’s system via an API, which is a set of software code that enables two programs to talk with each other. Companies leverage the power of APIs to create additional capabilities for the organization. Investors will need to determine if the APIs can be consolidated into one API management platform. 

System Security

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System security refers to how well a system protects its data and processes from unauthorized access or modification. If one system has security holes, it impacts the other and creates a security risk for the entire system.

Scalability

A system’s scalability relates to the ability to increase processing power, storage, and other resources to accommodate growing workloads. The system under evaluation should be easily scalable to ensure it continues to provide value to customers, all of which ultimately impact the investor’s return on investment (ROI). 

Reliability

The system must perform its intended functions without failure or interruption. Unreliable systems lead to expensive downtime, which can negatively impact the user experience and business credibility.

Maintainability

A system’s maintainability refers to its ease of upkeep and troubleshooting. A maintainable system is one that meets the needs of its users with the least amount of effort, maintains the desired level of quality with the least amount of rework, and is easy to troubleshoot when it does not meet those needs.

Things Investors Need to Keep In Mind During Software Integration Due Diligence

A successful M&A involves many non-technical factors that investors must consider. Each of these items impacts long-term costs, customer sentiment, and the eventual integration plan.

Specific items to keep in mind are:

Maintenance Costs

If a system is not scalable or maintainable, the investor will need to make additional investments in the long-run to keep it running. In some cases, the cost of maintaining the system can far outweigh the initial cost of acquiring it.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is critical to a company’s viability. Investors will need to continuously make sure integrations work for the core product in order to maintain user trust and brand loyalty.

Product Complexity

Product complexity impacts finances and the system’s ability to interact with other systems. Investors will need to consider how many integrations will be needed to make the product more viable. That information will determine how many tools, resources, and software developers will be needed to perform the work. 

Systems Integration Plan

The system integration plan outlines the necessary items for successful integration. This information is important to understand the scope of work and costs for post-integration tasks. 

With both companies having their own set of products, investors need to determine which systems will be combined,  which systems to keep, and which ones to eliminate. The integration plan also discusses how business processes will be impacted. business processes will be impacted. Lastly, the investment team needs to determine if there are legacy systems involved in the transaction. Because legacy systems may not offer much value and can be cumbersome to maintain, investors need to decide whether to leave these systems behind or modernize them before the integration. 

Why KMS Technology for Technology Due Diligence Consulting?

KMS Technology has proven experience in the M&A technical due diligence process. Our integration services evaluate system integration capabilities for your potential investment. We’ll perform a thorough analysis and alert you to risks or issues you may face. That way, you have the information you need to make a sound investment. 

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