5 Big Challenges facing CIOs and IT leaders in Pandemic 2021

5 Big Challenges facing CIOs and IT leaders in Pandemic 2021

The atypical scenario experienced in 2020 left big challenges for business in 2021, especially for IT leaders and CIOs.  While teleworking is at its peak, the IT department is at the center of unprecedented crisis management. On all fronts, it must manage collaborative tools, security, and remote support. Whether temporary or permanent, these changes raise new questions and point to the challenges of the future. 

The pandemic highlighted technology as an essential resource to ensure the survival and sustainability of companies. Suddenly, IT managers needed to reallocate investments and people to adapt to the new environment of mostly virtual transactions, without a roadmap to follow. As a result of the unexpected events, companies had no choice but to invest in innovation – we have anticipated the digital transformation by five years, which has placed technology in a crucial place in adapting to the unstable and unpredictable scenario.

While IT departments are slowly starting to reorganize, some changes are here to stay and should continue to challenge CIOs and their teams this year. The pandemic changed people’s habits, as consumers and professionals, and brought permanent changes in the way we live and work. In response to all of these changes, companies started and continue to adapt, resulting in increasing demands on the IT sector.

Following are some challenges on the agendas of IT leaders and CIOs, including issues like digital transformation, adapting business models, and creating new work cultures.

Flexibility of work

One of the clearest impacts of the pandemic was the adaptation to new forms of virtual work. And in the post-pandemic, companies are expected to maintain this flexibility, with an increasing predominance of an environment with professionals working, totally or partially, remotely.

In addition to providing adequate equipment, security, and monitoring so that professionals remain productive, motivated, and connected from anywhere, companies began to face difficulties that they did not have in the offices, such as the ability to link data, link shared with the family, loss of energy in the home, among others. And to solve any problems, the IT teams also needed to adapt the service provided to employees, sometimes even working at their homes.

Digital Workplace: digital culture at the heart of the companies of tomorrow

After intranets, social networks, and corporate collaboration platforms, new forms of work are emerging, like the Digital Workplace. Thanks to these emerging models, the future CIO can anchor digital culture in the daily lives of employees in a concrete way. From production to finance, via marketing, the entire company is concerned and has access to a digital work environment, like a physical open space.

Faced with the growing migrations of companies to the Digital Workplace, the IT department must now prepare the ground by breaking down prejudices about digital technology and giving all the keys to companies and employees to experience change easily.

Dealing with security challenges and the lack of IT skills

Faced with technological advances, the IT department will also have to face new security threats. While AI is an ally in innovation, it can also be a source of new dangers. Added to this is the scarcity of expertise in cybersecurity, which is becoming increasingly valuable.

In order to face this challenge, the IT department must integrate security issues from the design of the tools. Anticipation is also required, in particular, to find professionals with the necessary expertise to deal with this issue. In the long term, it will be for the IT department to train the teams in these issues and to continuously improve skills in order to prevent attacks.

From digital transformation to digital culture

Under way in many companies, digital transformation is no longer a question of trends. It is necessary to be part of the world of tomorrow and has a direct impact on the sustainability of organizations. Over the next few years, the IT department will have to guarantee its viability by establishing a digital culture within the organization.

As its roles multiply beyond IT, the IT department is gradually becoming a pillar of the digital transformation of organizations. In order to don this hat, she must now understand all the workings of change management, starting with its brakes. Because if it is essential, this transformation must first win the support of all employees, otherwise it will never see the light of day.

Alongside the other departments, the IT department has a strategic role and rethinks the organization of work or even the evolution of processes, always having a user-centered approach. As a true guarantor of change management, the IT department becomes familiar with the agile method in order to best support the transformation. And for good reason, tomorrow the IT department will be as responsible for corporate culture as HR. 

However, to support this transformation, we must also be practical. It is up to the IT department to equip its employees with numerous applications. This is about anchoring the digital transformation in the daily life of employees, in particular by training them in new tools so that they fully appropriate them. In addition, the IT department will also face the heterogeneity of employees due to the arrival of digital natives on the market. 

Enhancing communication

Improved communication between IT and other departments, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement, can go a long way. Poorly implemented projects and solutions that are incompatible with your current framework, combined with poor communication, impede your company’s day-to-day operations.

IT specialists’ primary mission is to enhance and improve the company/client experience, to innovate and simplify processes, and to ensure that the company’s internal communication is streamlined. It is critical that your team works well together and that your daily activities are in line with your strategic goals.

Bottom line

Future CIOs and IT leaders must be well-versed in emerging market practices as well as the digital implications of their company’s transformation. These are just a few challenges and things to keep an eye on as the year progresses. The role of the CIO is gradually morphing into that of an IT leader. There are many things to keep in mind when upgrading legacy systems without sacrificing functionality or security, as well as managing data security and consumer piracy.

 

T ask Management App Vs. Work Execution Platform: What Do You Need and What’s the Difference?

Task Management App Vs. Work Execution Platform: What Do You Need and What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wondered just what is going on in your business, how well things are going, and why? 

How can you ensure that the people and teams at your company are dedicated to achieving your long-term growth strategies and goals? How can you ensure you are doing the right things to attract the best talent and keep them happy in your company so they won’t leave you? These are all questions that an Enterprise Work Execution Platform can help you answer.

 An Enterprise Work Execution Platform will give you one integrated system across all teams for Strategy, Goal & Work Management; Work Collaboration & Socialization; KPI Tracking & Dashboards; and People Performance Management.

An Enterprise Work Execution Platform like Tigersheet enables you to record long-term company strategy and align the daily execution and work of your people and teams to it. Execution against projects and goals is collaborated and commented on daily. This speeds up your execution and increases the effectiveness of your work.

In the marketplace for work execution platforms and collaboration apps, there are a lot of colorful advertisements and user interfaces floating around.

But when you’re looking for a secure, flexible, and deeply useful web-based software as a service (SaaS) platform, be sure you look beyond the shiny exterior interface to see what’s “under the hood.”

  • Does the platform have a functional backend database? This will enable you to switch between visualizations of the same data — say, from a standard “spreadsheet” view to a card view, Gantt chart view, or a view of a calendar.
  • Does it have robust global security controls that scale at the enterprise level and allow you to invite anyone to collaborate, for free?
  • Does it provide for rich integration with the other apps you use every day, including customer relationship management systems (CRM) and messaging apps?

When you’re shopping for collaboration tools, it’s tough to find a software platform that is enterprise-ready in terms of security, consistency, and scalability. While most platforms claim to be up for these unique and evolving challenges, your decision boils down to a simple question:

Are you looking for a task tracking application or a work execution platform, and what’s the difference?

When you need more than task management

Task management apps can be handy tools for individuals and small teams to use to manage projects. Many of these solutions are effective for planning smaller-scale projects or organizing events, such as potlucks and book clubs.

Also, not all of these platforms integrate or connect with other popular platforms you rely on, such as Microsoft Office 365, Slack, Salesforce, and Google Suite.

Best-in-class work execution cum automation platforms, such as Tigersheet, help organize and regularly execute work at the team, divisional, and enterprise levels. 

Tigersheet empowers teams to streamline workflows, reporting, and work through automation, data collection through custom web forms, dashboard customization, multiple project view modes, and a synchronous mobile app experience — all while improving visibility to anyone who needs it, whether inside or outside of an organization.

So, what does a best-in-class work execution platform offer? Here are three characteristics your platform needs in order to increase efficiency and speed around work execution.

Multiple views to match your team’s process

Note: Examples of Standard view, Pivot Table, and (Kanban) card view using Tigersheet (will attach screenshots)

Your work execution platform should meet you where you are, aligning with how your team functions within the broader organization.  

Task tracker apps often default to a to-do list or basic timeline display which can hamper innovation.

The ability to access the same information in multiple views is a key to staying competitive and innovative in business. Exceptional work execution platforms will allow you to customize your work view to help move teams from idea to impact, fast.

Tigersheet, for example, uses grid (rows and columns) view as a foundation. The interface is instantly recognizable for people who have worked in spreadsheets but simplified to support workers in their day-to-day tasks.

In Tigersheet, teams can also view tasks in card view, pivot view, and Timeline View so they can determine the project’s critical path and plan accordingly. These visual options provide greater flexibility, based on how your team works.

Connect and collaborate teams through internal communication

Email overload can hinder innovation, making it tough to locate and compare ideas. 

With so much going on in a team’s day-to-day activities, it’s taxing for team leaders to remember who contributed what and nest relevant comments under the right topics. 

Finding the information you need is like playing detective, which wastes the time you could use to develop and nurture the next steps in an important project.

Tigersheet offers smooth internal communication via comments. Team members can dive into the sheet and read the latest comments as they correlate to specific tasks or activities. All it takes is for the sheet owner to create a comment and ‘mention’ the designated user with an @ symbol and an automated notification is sent as an alert to the person at his email.

For example: Here’s a comment targeted to a user @XYZ who is a team member in the organization.

@XYZ: Please look into the lead’s appointment scheduled post 20th October 2020 and update them in your logs.

Killer time saver: Automate weekly status reports

Consider investing in a platform that empowers reporting through operational controls and automated actions — such as status requests, approvals, reminders, and notifications. As a work execution platform, Tigersheet offers these solutions to help change the way you work, so you can get back time, and move faster without sacrificing quality.

Teams can also collect information and data using Tigersheet forms. Whether you send to internal stakeholders, customers, or vendors, participants can fill out forms from their preferred device.

Maximize productive time, wherever you work

For example, a software engineering department can use forms for internal bug tracking. Users submit bugs using forms, which then populate a sheet, which can then be surfaced on a dashboard.

Business is increasingly data-driven. Your task tracker app may have a beautiful user interface and design, but does it empower you to surface data and information that your team needs to execute, in a customizable format that is easy to understand at a glance?  

Once you collect the right data, you need a way to surface key performance indicators (KPIs), reports, and goals (targets versus actuals) in an accessible format. This is another area where run-of-the-mill task management apps fall short. You might be able to see tasks, task owners, due dates, and other basic information, but how can you surface key details to your executive VP?

With Tigersheet, you can quickly build dashboards for all sorts of uses, whether strategic, analytical, or operational, and visually surface key metrics to business leaders and executives. 

Increased visibility into key metrics, data, and information cuts back on time spent in meetings and sorting through email threads, and generally improves the way you work.

Are you looking for an automation solution that offers all the perks and benefits outlined above? Why not give our Next Generation Uber fast work execution platform a try today? Click here for a free, interactive no-strings-attached demo to get started

Build Powerful, Automated Business Processes and Workflows with Tigersheet…

Whether you’re trying to fix inefficient work processes with stakeholders or jumpstart a brand-new innovation department, Tigersheet helps eliminate additional administrative work so you have more time to focus on what matters most to you.

 

Digital Transformation: 7 Important Questions for Your Organization

Digital Transformation: 7 Important Questions for Your Organization

While digital investment is almost unquestionably the right course of action for most companies, organizations struggle to create the desired results. Estimates of digital transformation failures range from 66% to 84%.

 Such a high failure rate is not surprising, as leaders are trying to create entirely new competencies and force them into an organization with solid cultures and existing operating models. While most executives are change management professionals, digital transformation is more profound than the usual system or process update.

 Of course, digital technology can improve or augment existing ways of operating. 

 So, as you go through your digital transformation, we recommend starting with a few questions that go deeper than “what talent do you need” or “how much money will you spend” and delve into broader organizational readiness.

 

Is it a digital upgrade or a digital transformation?

Digital transformation for most companies ends with digital upgrades, where digital technology is used to enhance the efficiency or effectiveness of something that your company is already doing. 

For example, increasing your marketing spend for digital channels or upgrading your internal communication systems. On the other hand, a digital transformation occurs when you use digital technology to change how you do business, especially around customer interactions and value creation. 

 If you find that you are embarking on an upgrade rather than a transformation, ask yourself whether this will be enough to stay competitive. 

 

Do you and your team agree?

Digital technology and business models are on every executive’s radar, and there is an expectation that most companies need to change to stay current. However, one situation we’ve seen repeatedly is a leadership team trying to lead a digital transformation that they’re not particularly enthusiastic about.

 We all have core beliefs about what creates value in the world, and they shape the way we allocate our time, attention and capital. Most leaders have decades of experience focusing on factories, real estate, inventory and human capital. Abandoning these habitual priorities requires self-reflection, openness, and a concerted effort to develop new patterns in thought and action.

 

Are you ready to share value creation with your customers?

 The latest technology-enabled business model, network orchestration, is based on the fact that companies can allow customers and other networks to share the value creation process. Uber depends on a network of drivers; Airbnb relies on a network of homeowners; eBay depends on sellers. These networks are essential for organizations and, by accessing external assets, these companies can achieve exceptional profitability.

Sharing the workload seems like a winning proposition, but many leaders are hesitant to relinquish control and rely on a network outside their chain of command. Working with these outside groups requires new and co-creative leadership styles, allowing organizations to tap into vast sets of underutilized capabilities and resources.

 

Have you protected your digital team?

A digital upgrade requires a well-defined team with a limited scope. A digital transformation requires a team with a cross-functional mandate and solid support.

 This becomes an essential point because organizations often do not change their internal structure as part of the digital transformation. So the teams working on these transformations fit into the existing system.

 Where the team actually “is,” both physically and on the organizational chart, can affect its ability to influence member cross-functional groups for true digital transformation. 

We’ve seen many companies limit digital’s progress by basing their team on marketing or IT.

 

Do you know how to measure the value you intend to create?

You manage what you measure. Most organizations focus on physical capital (to make and sell products) or human capital (to provide services).

These companies monitor inventory, productivity, utilization, and other traditional key performance indicators (Key Performance Indicators, KPIs).

 Digital transformations don’t always affect the KPIs a company is already measuring. The ultimate goal of a transformation is to affect revenue, profitability, and investor value. Along the way, however, it is helpful to track intermediate indicators.

 For many digital networking companies, this includes feeling and engagement and value sharing and co-creating networks. For example, in judging the success of the Developer Network, Apple can measure the number of developers who build apps for its app store, the amount of money generated by those apps that Apple shares with its community, and customer satisfaction with the apps. 

 

Are you ready to judge your team?

There’s an old saying: “It’s easier to change people than it is to change people.” In other words, sometimes, a new vision requires new people to create it.

 For many, the digital people you need on your team and board do not reside in your organization at all or at least not in the right amount. Many of your current employees will be dedicated to doing what they have always done and created resistance and obstacles to change.

 To make room for your digital transformers, make judgments at the outset regarding your team and board. In our experience, nearly half of your staff and board will have to be replaced in the course of a successful digital

transformation. While painful, it’s a good thing for the organization: creating a balance between the old and the new.

 

Will you be ready to derive your digital business?

Sometimes, the new company within the organization becomes more extensive and more valuable than the parent company that gave rise to it – it either runs the risk of not attracting the right talent or faces disputes between digital and existing.

 (A great resource on this is The Second Curve by Ian Morrison.) Often, separation is required to enable both the parent and child to continue growth.

 Google specializes in creating new ventures and enabling them to grow; see its recent reorganization on Alphabet to allow each of its core businesses to pursue their potential (including Google and YouTube). In other organizations, the new digital company will absorb and improve its parent. 

 Transforming an organization is complex, and research proves it. But even so, it’s worth it.

 Final thoughts

 As a leader, you probably already know the basics of change management, but a digital transformation goes deeper and thus places different demands on you, your team, and your organization. On the other hand, however, you have the opportunity to invest in the most profitable and valuable business models the market has ever seen.

 

Top 10 Types of Software Every Business Needs

Top 10 Types of Software Every Business Needs-Infographic

Running a business can be incredibly challenging. The very best business operators know that there are a number of useful software tools which can make life easier.

This infographic lists 10 basic software solutions that a business requires on a daily basis.

 

Tigersheet will help you organize anything you put your mind to thanks to an infinitely better structure, complete flexibility, and additional features for advanced work management. Tigersheet is a modern day, spreadsheet inspired no code platform that comes packed with scalable features that make it a perfect alternative software you use for accounting, CRM, invoicing etc. You can plan, manage, and also automate your data enrichment and reporting in a single place. Whether you’re a marketing team managing content, campaigns, and reports, a sales team dealing with leads, or even a project management team assigning tasks, Tigersheet has you covered. If you’re ready to test it out, sign up for a free trial of Tigersheet, absolutely free no strings attached! You can start building your own enterprise apps for desktop and mobile using one of our templates or start from scratch with Tigersheet drag-and-drop interface.

1. Accounting and Invoicing Software

Regardless of their size, all companies need to keep track of their finances – costs, savings, revenue, tax, etc. in order to keep their business on track and be compliant with government regulations.

Hence, proper accounting and invoicing play a significant role in the growth of a business. 

Suggested Software: QuickBooks, Wave, Zoho Invoice

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software provides a centralized platform to manage all company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. From scheduling meetings to sharing ideas, documents, etc., it provides a means to interact and build a relationship with customers.

Suggested Software: Zoho CRM, Salesforce, Sugar CRM, Method CRM

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing software can make organizing and sending emails to a large number of people an easy task. E-mail marketing is among the most efficient ways to connect with people; for this reason, it is imperative for any business or enterprise. 

Suggested Software: MailChimp, ConstantContact

4. Social Media Management

Social Media Management platforms can help a company to schedule and publish posts and updates on various social media platforms. With over 3.48 billion social media users around the globe, making social media the leading way to connect with people and expand businesses is important. 

Suggested Software: Buffer, Hootsuite

5. File Backup and Recovery

File backup and recovery software can help a business create backups of their important information and recover it in case of any loss.

Any business today is concerned about the security of its data and information. 43% of cyber attacks affect small businesses (Source: Small Business Trends). This can result in the loss of confidential data, which can be detrimental to businesses.

Suggested Software: Dropbox, Recuva

6. Blogging

Content management software provides a platform for blogging and helps companies to keep their website content and design up-to-date, benefitting the website’s ranking in Google SERPs.

Blogging is the best way to connect with people on a personal level. A good blog can create a positive impact on the reader and can eventually lead to a conversion for a company.

Suggested Software: WordPress, Medium

7. Analytics

Software for analytics can be very useful for company’s working with numbers. These software solutions can help them gather, review, and analyze their customers, revenue, and other data in order to plan their future steps for the company’s growth.

Suggested Software: Google Analytics

8. Calendar/Meeting Scheduling Software

Scheduling software can help a company to plan and schedule meetings, presentations, appointments, etc. along with reminders. This ensures that all tasks are completed on time and helps keep track of the upcoming meetings, presentations, etc.

Suggested Software: Acuity, Appointlet, Gigabook

9. Communication and Collaboration Tools

Project management and collaboration software provide a platform for people to work together, share ideas, etc. This can help in increasing the efficiency of the employees.

Suggested Software: MS Office 365, G suite, Trello

A centralized platform that covers all your business needs-Meet Tigersheet

Now, what if you could use just one centralized platform to fulfill the functionality of all the above software mentioned? Incredible isn’t it?

An ideal business automation platform should be packed with features that can help an individual, a team, and even an entire organization plan, work, collaborate, deliver results faster and more effectively. Tigersheet does the same. 

Tigersheet will help you organize anything you put your mind to thanks to an infinitely better structure, complete flexibility, and additional features for advanced work management.

Tigersheet is a modern-day, spreadsheet-inspired no-code platform that comes packed with scalable features that make it a perfect alternative software you use for accounting, CRM, invoicing, etc. 

You can plan, manage, and also automate your data enrichment and reporting in a single place. Whether you’re a marketing team managing content, campaigns, and reports, a sales team dealing with leads, or even a project management team assigning tasks, Tigersheet has you covered.

If you’re ready to test it out, sign up for a free trial of Tigersheet, absolutely free no strings attached! You can start building your own enterprise apps for desktop and mobile using one of our templates or start from scratch with Tigersheet drag-and-drop interface.

 

The Best Airtable Alternatives to Look Out for in 2021 and Beyond

The Best Airtable Alternatives to Look Out for in 2021 and Beyond

The popularity of Airtable, a tool that combines features of a spreadsheet with a database, has been on the rise over the years. 

Unlike other databases, Airtable holds a fun interface with a variety of options to store and visualize data.

However, the challenge is that its functionality is limited and this is the reason that teams have to start looking for its alternative.

Are you too using Airtable for project management? Are you not satisfied with the platform’s performance?

Looks like you can use something better—like Airtable alternatives. 

If you are also having second thoughts about Airtable, we have come up with a comprehensive guide to provide you with the list of best Airtable alternatives that can help you run things better. 

So, let’s dive deeper without wasting any minute!

Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a SaaS, enterprise-ready work management and collaboration software. Smartsheet is regarded for its amazing project management, collaboration, and file-sharing functionality. It’s an intuitive application with which businesses and teams can track and manage everyday work-related stuff like projects, tasks, task lists, customer information, sales pipelines, event schedules, and more.

Smartsheet feature highlight:

  • les
  • Reminders
  • Forms
  • Update requests
  • Alerts and automated actions
  • File sharing
  • Resource management
  • Reports
  • Export, email, and print
  • Custom branding

Pricing Plans

  • Individual ($14 per month)
  • Business ($25 per user/per month)

A 7-day (+7-day extension) free trial is available.

Tigersheet

An ideal business automation platform should be packed with features that can help an individual, a team, and even an entire organization plan, work, collaborate, deliver results faster and more effectively. Tigersheet does the same. 

Airtable is a great tool for organizing your work—no doubt about it. But Tigersheet will help you organize anything you put your mind to thanks to a better structure, complete flexibility, and additional features for advanced work management.

Tigersheet is a modern-day, spreadsheet-inspired no-code platform that comes packed with scalable features that make it a perfect alternative to software like Airtable.

You can plan, manage, and also automate your data enrichment and reporting in a single place. Whether you’re a marketing team managing content, campaigns, and reports, a sales team dealing with leads, or even a project management team assigning tasks, Tigersheet has you covered.

With customizable forms, plus Kanban & Standard views, you can visualize your data effectively and share it with the world.

Here’s a sneak peek into the vast array of features and modules Tigersheet offers:

  • Track orders, projects, invoices, payments, employees, expenses, office assets, employee leaves, employee advances, and more.
  • Attach files and documents to rows.
  • Hide certain fields or rows from users easily with the powerful roles and permission system.
  • Set reminders for important dates like a deadline, a follow-up date, etc.
  • Access data from your Tigersheet’s mobile app.
  • Create reports, have different views to visualize your data better – like Kanban, timeline, etc.
  • Use Triggers to create workflows, send email notifications, and more. Now no need to resort to custom application development to automate your business.

Best suited for: Small and medium businesses (SMBs), agencies, and large organizations

Pricing: Starts with a standard free absolutely no strings attached plan at $0/user per month, scaling to the Pro plan at $5/user per month, and the Enterprise plan which costs $35/user per month. 

Does Tigersheet offer a free trial? Yes, a 30-day free trial is available with awesome features like 1500 Records per sheet, 5 Triggers per sheet, 1 Gb attachments per sheet, and Chat / Email / Community Support.

Zoho

Zoho is a simple cloud-based project management solution. Like other project management tools, you can create projects and tasks, assign them to employees, and set start and end dates. You can track time with Zoho too.

You can also interlink tasks so that the next one automatically starts after the previous one ends.

And it has four types of views. These are classic, plain,

kanban, and Gantt charts. You can pick the view depending on the project you are creating.

Zoho integrates with several third-party tools such as Zapier, Dropbox, GitHub, and Slack to simplify project management even more.

It might have all these integrations, but it is a simple tool when compared with Airtable. It will suit you best if you plan to use other Zoho tools too.

Best suited for: Individuals to medium businesses.

Pricing: $0 to $6 per user/month.

Does Zoho offer a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.

Notion

The next Airtable alternative we’ve added to this list is Notion. Primarily a note-taking application, Notion comes with a pretty solid task management feature set that allows you to manage your tasks without getting into the frustration of complicated functionality.

It’s a tool that comes with a pretty neat user interface combining note-taking, task management, spreadsheets, and databases all under one platform. Through a knowledge base, Notion combines all your team’s knowledge in one centralized location to be accessed whenever needed.

Key Features:

  • Some of the key features you can get with Notion are:
  • To-do list management
  • Knowledgebase for common team data
  • Tasks management through Kanban workflow
  • Documents management to keep all your documents in one place
  • Third-party application integrations

 Pricing Plans:

  • Free
  • Personal ($4 per month- flat-rate)
  • Team ($8 per user/month)

Enterprise ($16 per user/month) plans

Podio

If you’re looking for a tool that provides a rich set of collaboration features, Podio might be best suited for you. The platform combines content, context, and collaboration in one place, providing a unified task management solution.

The tool ensures transparency and accountability by providing a solution that comes with elaborate social communication features, like file attachments, likes and sharing, and instant audio and video calls. Not only this, but you can also create workflows by adding if-this-then-that logic and streamline your processes effectively.

Key Features:

  • Personal dashboards for monitoring progress in a
    • Task management, with integrated workflows
    • Private and public workspaces for multiple projects
    • Recurring tasks for tasks repeating on a regular basis
    • Activity stream to keep a check on current updates
    • Comments, likes, and file sharing
    • Audio and video calls with team members
    • Podio chat for instant messaging with team members

     Pricing Plans:

    • Free
    • Basic ($9 per user/month)
    • Plus ($14 per user/month)
    • Premium ($24 per user/month) plans

Quip

If you are looking for a straightforward and simple alternative to Airtable, then Quip is the perfect option for you. It’s an easy app that allows teams to create living documents. It offers tools to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and lists in the cloud. In addition to this, the app integrated well with chat, docs, task lists, and spreadsheets. No more endless chain of emails and overly complicated document versions, Quip makes it super easy for you to simplify communication, collaboration, and document management. 

Quip feature highlight:

  • Document sharing
  • Tasklist
    • Chat and messaging
    • Spreadsheets
    • Access on any device, anytime
    • Import and export

Pricing: Free for users of Microsoft 365 and Office 365; $5 per user per month, Plan 1; $10 per user per month, Plan 2; $20 per user per month, Office 365 E3

ClickUp

ClickUp is an intuitive and easy-to-use platform for all your project management needs that can increase your team’s productivity by tenfold.

The versatile features in this app offer tools and capabilities to scale with different users and business types.

With ClickUp one can also customize and optimize features according to one’s team’s needs.

Key Features:

  • Document management
  • File sharing
  • Data import/export ability
  • Product planning and road-mapping
  • Task management
  • Workflow automation
  • Supports Waterfall, Scrum, and Agile
  • QA and Testing management

 Pricing:

  • ClickUp offers a Free Forever option
  • The Unlimited plan costs $5/month, per user
  • Business plan for $9/month, per user
  • Contact the provider for a quote for the Enterprise plan.

Have You Picked Your Airtable Alternative?

As you can see above, there are so many fantastic Airtable

alternatives. Some are simpler and cheaper than Airtable, while others are more sophisticated and cost more. The one you pick should depend on your needs and budget. So, make sure you assess them carefully before you decide on a tool.

Almost all of the above offer trials or free plans. You can try them out before zoning in on your favorites.

What is Vendor Lock-In? 6 Simple Tips to Avoid Falling Prey to It

What is Vendor Lock-In? 6 Simple Tips to Avoid Falling Prey to It

As cloud computing has become more accessible than ever, many companies are taking advantage of it to break free from maintaining their own IT infrastructures. 

The public cloud offers a number of advantages for businesses, allowing them to scale operations quickly and utilize enterprise-level services without investing in enterprise-level infrastructure. However, companies must be wary about Vendor lock-in and how it could limit their flexibility in the future

.What is Vendor Lock-In?

Vendor lock-in also called customer lock-in or proprietary lock-in occurs when certain restrictions prevent a customer from switching vendors, products, or services.

  • Vendor lock-in normally happens when customers can’t switch to a new product or service without incurring substantial costs. 
  • In such cases, customers will continue to be bound to a service that may no longer fit their needs or isn’t compatible with newer technologies.
  • Lock-in can also be caused by inefficient processes, contract restraints, or other limiting circumstances.

Service providers benefit from vendor lock-in because it can be an effective way of ensuring that a customer stays with them. 

Lock-in customers are dependent customers and vendors no longer have to compete for their business.

Let’s try to understand this further with an example:

Imagine that an office has coffee brought to it by a coffee vendor, and the vendor requires the office to have specific coffee machines that only the vendor can provide. Imagine that this vendor’s coffee has suffered a steep decline in quality. Switching to a new coffee vendor would mean the old machines they purchased become useless, and it is likely they will need to purchase new equipment. Given the hassle and added expense of replacing every coffee machine, the workers in the office would be effectively locked into their agreement with their old vendor and forced to drink inferior coffee.

A real-world example of vendor lock-in is the way Apple locked consumers into using iTunes in the early days of the service because music purchased via iTunes could only be played within the iTunes application or on an iPod.

Why is vendor lock-in a concern?

A number of circumstances can negatively impact a business if they’re locked in with a certain cloud vendor:

  • If a vendor’s quality of service declines, or never meets the desired threshold, to begin with, the client will be stuck with it.
  • The vendor may also drastically change their product offerings in such a way that they no longer meet a business’s needs.
  • A vendor may go out of business altogether.
  • The vendor could stop offering support for their product or service, leaving the customer to their own devices if something breaks or goes wrong.
  • Finally, a vendor may impose massive price increases for the service, knowing that their clients are locked in.

6 tips for avoiding vendor lock-in

While vendor lock-in isn’t new, it has become a more significant concern for many businesses in recent years.

The following are six tips that will help you avoid vendor lock-ins:

      1.Evaluate the market

Know what solutions are out there and how they stack up against one another. If you know your business inside and out, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about which solutions will help you now and as you grow.

  1. Read the fine print

Always read a contract in its entirety before signing. Know its restrictions, and keep an eye out for that auto-renew option. You don’t want to get locked into a subsequent contract without realizing it.

  1. Know your provider

The right provider will operate according to emerging industry standards, have a strong reputation (with customer references), and be able to demonstrate a clear vision to continue to evolve and remain technologically relevant.

  1. Ask questions

Would the vendor offer migration tools or services to help facilitate a smooth transition? If you decide to change vendors, what will your exit plan look like? These are important questions that you need to know the answers to before signing a contract.

Conclusion

No one wants to be stuck paying top dollar for bottom-of-the-barrel tech that barely gets the job done — but that’s the rock and a hard place where organizations struggling with vendor lock-in end up.

What you can do is look for vendors who are keeping pace with the ever-changing technology landscape. Is their company expanding? Are they looking to integrate newer technologies into their product or service? Do they focus on innovation within their own organization? Look for vendors that can demonstrate how far they’ve come and have a roadmap to move forward and stay competitive.

 Doing so won’t guarantee that you’ll never have to deal with lock-in, but you are more likely to find partners that will change with the forward march of time and not stubbornly fight against it.

 

The 8 Best No-Code Platforms For Building Your App

Building applications for your business has become easier than ever with the introduction of low-code or no-code platforms.

Now, it is possible to create even more complex applications without spending a lot of money, waiting days or months, or employing multiple developers, all thanks to these technologies.

You don’t need to be an expert in coding to build an app. Modern no-code platforms make sure you write little to no code and still produce the applications that drive your business forward.

In addition to building applications, no-code platforms offer workflow automation, help improve business processes and provide other capabilities to support your operations and help you grow.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best no-code platforms available on the market for small and medium-sized businesses, as promised!

 Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator is one of the most competent no-code platforms that helps you create applications quickly and extend and integrate their functionality seamlessly. 

It doesn’t matter what level of coding experience you have or how complex your coding requirement is; Zoho Creator makes everything fast, easy, and secure.

It helps you transform your business by offering customized solutions so you can build theapplications you conceptualized. You can build cross-platform applications ranging from minimalist call logs to heavy and complex ERPs capable of integrating with your current processes.

Accelerate your application development process with its rich and intuitive code editors, visual builders, pre-designed templates, and more. On top of that, you can easily configure and automate workflows in your applications with simple steps and iterations.

Caspian 

Caspian is another great option for building cloud applications without coding. This leading no-code application development platform is well suited for building scalable, reliable and secure online database applications.

The platform enables more than 15 clients in more than 150 countries, from government agencies and global corporations to small businesses, universities and non-profit organizations. Caspio can help you plan your database layout, user permissions, workflows, and more.

Tigersheet

Tigersheet is a new generation no-code platform that serves as a middle way between spreadsheets and business-specific software

It offers a way to everyone, not just developers to build custom business applications with everything tailored as per your business needs. The fact that millions of people out there use spreadsheets to manage their data is a good start for us.  So, we make the experience of application development a lot like using spreadsheets, something everyone knows.

Tigersheet is a no-code platform equally capable of handling all your business challenges effectively. A unified surface with infinite room to grow your ideas, from tables to CRM tracker.

With Tigersheet, your team can:

  • Track orders, projects, invoices, payments, employees, expenses, office assets, employee leaves, employee advances, and more.
  • Attach files and documents to rows.
  • Hide certain fields or rows from users easily with the powerful roles and permission system.
  • Set reminders for important dates like a deadline, a follow-up date, etc.
  • Access data from your Tigersheet’s mobile app.
  • Create reports, have different views to visualize your data better – like Kanban, timeline, etc.
  • Use Triggers to create workflows, send email notifications, and more. Now no need to resort to custom application development to automate your business.

Mendix

Create applications of your imagination from simple, time-saving tools to enterprise-grade applications that help businesses run smoothly with the help of Mendix.

It is a no-code platform that anyone can use to improve their business by delivering quality applications without involving code complexities. This application development platform helps you build impact-driven applications to deploy sooner and make them successful faster.

You can build applications to serve various industries, including SAP supply chain processes, high-value asset field service, digital insurance solutions, plant equipment maintenance, delivery management, analytics and reporting, logistics tracking, artificial intelligence, smart banking, facial recognition, etc. more.

Quickbase

Unleash the full potential of your business operations by incorporating Quickbase into your organization and create high-quality, results-based applications that can connect ideas, information, and people everywhere.

This application development platform helps you bring your business, IT teams, and developers together to innovate and build secure, sustainable, and secure applications. It also helps speed up your business processes to deliver quality applications with fast response times.

Quickbase frees you from legacy systems and gives you a set of built-in capabilities built to work together to enhance your applications without taking on the high cost of development, deployment, and maintenance in traditional ways.

Retool

Building internal apps and tools becomes remarkably fast with Retool. It saves you from struggling with user interface libraries, searching for access controls, and combining data sources. Instead, seamlessly build apps and ship them faster to speed up your business.

Retool provides you with solid building blocks like tables, charts, lists, maps, wizards, forms, and more essentials for building in-house tools. As a result, it is easy for you to work on your user interface and present them sooner without searching for libraries.

You can assemble your applications in just 30 seconds with the help of drag and drop of your pre-built components. Additionally, you can connect to major databases using a REST API, gRPC, or GraphQL.

Retool allows you to work with your data sources seamlessly in one application. One need not mention that they are the only person who stores your data. When a query is run, the Retool backend sends this request directly to your backend. This means that they never store your data.

Microsoft Power Apps

Building low-code apps and sharing them is no longer challenging if you have Microsoft Power Apps. 

It helps you quickly build applications that can solve challenges while revamping processes to increase business agility.

They offer pre-designed templates and a drag-and-drop feature so you can quickly start building applications. As a result, you can deploy immediately and then make quick improvements.

Power Apps gives your team the power of advanced features and functionality, including pre-built artificial intelligence components. 

Additionally, you can provide your developers with the essential tools they need to seamlessly extend application capabilities through custom connectors and Azure Functions to on-premises or proprietary systems.

OutSystems

 

OutSystems is transforming software development and helping you quickly create and deploy complex applications that can evolve with you. It enables you to create blazing fast model-driven development using the cloud, DevOps, and AI.

With OutSystems, it’s easy to manage application backlog, keep up with changing business needs, and deliver cloud applications to drive innovation. In addition, they offer many integrated tools and automation services to produce secure, scalable, easy-to-manage, and resilient applications.

AirTable

Create powerful applications by combining your imagination with the power of Air Table . It will help you get started quickly by offering the power of an impressive database with the familiarity of spreadsheets.

Airtable is trusted by more than 200 organizations that have developed applications on Airtable and modernized their business workflows while delivering effective results. It enables you to create solutions with greater capabilities and sophistication.

Conclusion

Let’s hope this information on no-code development platforms helps you understand these concepts and choose a platform based on your business requirements. Wishing you success in building your next product.

Don’t have the time to do IT on your own? Contact us and we’ll take care of the rest.

5 Tech Upgrades Your Business Needs in 2021 and Beyond

5 Tech Upgrades Your Business Needs in 2021 and Beyond

Over the last few years, the world of enterprise technology has changed significantly. Digital technologies have evolved. Rising data volumes have changed the way businesses operate. It seems like new technologies are constantly emerging. 

As technology is constantly improving and can sometimes be hard to understand, many businesses are not utilizing the best and latest tech, which could be holding their business back in more ways than one way. So, if you feel that you need to upgrade your business tech to improve your company but are not sure how to go about doing this..Here’s our comprehensive blog that will give you insights on some of the best tech upgrades you can make.

Keep reading this blog post to learn more!

Automation

Automation of workflow and business processes are crucial tech upgrades that businesses should adopt, especially in this day and age where time is money and has to be used wisely.

By using a no-code platform like Tigersheet for automation, the redundant and repetitive tasks could be looked after automatically. This in turn can let employees manually engage in more critical matters concerning the business, enabling it to grow and develop further.

The benefits of automation include:

  • It is inexpensive and assists you in the long ru
  • You will not be overburdening your workers
  • Your company can achieve more with the time and resources available to them

Give Your Team the Fastest Internet Possible

Switching Internet providers may not top your list of to-dos. It should be, though. Now is not the time for a snail’s pace online connection. Far too many businesses simply accept that their Internet will be ridiculously slow from time to time. Yet slow Internet has serious repercussions.

Case in point: Everyone’s experienced an arduous Zoom meeting with maddening lag times and freeze-ups. What kind of an impression do those interactions make on prospective clients or talented job candidates? What does a slow connection do to your own employees? And downloads that take forever or ones that stall? They’re cutting into profits.

Consequently, whether your team is remote, in-house, or a mix of the two, your employees, clients, and prospects need high-speed Internet.

Invest in security

Security is of grave importance at a company; unfortunately, a lot of companies do not understand the gravity of the situation until cyber thieves have a field day.

Here is why security should be treated with utmost importance:

  • Customer and business data is not something a company can afford to take lightly, quite literally, the legal penalties and fines for data breaches are a serious amount.
  • Data breaches are not tolerated by communities in today’s business environment.
  • Failure to maintain security can turn into a PR nightmare overnight.

Prioritize Better internal communication

Internal communication sure took a hit after the pandemic with everybody having to communicate and coordinate with each other while working from home. Texting is great, it’s intuitive and quick but is it sustainable in the long run?

The confusion and insecurity of texting make it unsuitable for the modern workplace in the digital era. The last thing you need is for basic communication to become taxing and frustrating.

The solution to this? Keeping all your communication in one area.

One of the techs upgrades your enterprise needs is to use a specialized tool for your teams to utilize in order to ensure a cohesive and teamwork-inducing virtual environment.

After revitalizing your technology and giving the employees time to get the hang of it, there will be a boost in their overall productivity.

Move All Collaboration to the Cloud

Teleworking doesn’t raise eyebrows anymore. But is your company getting it right or still merely getting by? Consider your collaboration efforts for a moment. Is it easy for colleagues to share documents and information? Or do they have to take extra steps to get each other key data?

Minutes matter, especially for sales and customer experience professionals. Forcing a frustrated consumer to wait because your employees can’t find what they need isn’t acceptable. Customer behavior has changed radically, and patience (let alone loyalty) isn’t high on buyers’ priorities.

Migrating all your sharing platforms to a centralized, cloud-based location can take away barriers to wooing and keeping customers.

Conclusion

In the end, it is always sensible to invest wisely in what can create and deliver value for your enterprise and your customers. The goal is always to strengthen your business and not wait for anything to become obsolete and get left behind.

We hope you gained some value from this blog post about the tech upgrades that your business should hop on as soon as possible to keep growing in and competing in their industries. Change is the only constant; do not be afraid of it, embrace it.

Shadow IT: The Risks and Benefits Explained

Shadow IT: The Risks and Benefits Explained

Ensuring information security is a constant challenge for companies. We are in the Digital Age, and the cloud computing phenomena have generated considerable changes in business models and the way we work. Despite the numerous benefits, it is necessary to be aware of the dangers that the uncontrolled use of these tools can bring to your company.

User-friendly cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive are increasingly present, and they often end up being used within the company as well, even if the IT department has not approved their use. This practice is known as Shadow IT. So, what to wait for? Let’s explore the world of shadow IT and know about its risks and advantages to the companies.

What is Shadow IT?

Synonymous with invisible IT, Shadow IT refers to devices, software, and services outside the IT department’s control and does not have explicit organizational approval.

Shadow IT happens when a person decides to use a Cloud-based service without the company’s knowledge. For example, applications for managing tasks, schedules, and projects help the professional in the day-to-day work, which was not previously or formally approved. And this can lead to problems, as it opens the company to unwanted or unplanned risks.

Given a reality in which the infrastructure cannot fully meet the demands of the most diverse sectors, Shadow IT becomes an escape valve for being an instrument that offers alternative solutions using software in the cloud. Furthermore, the poor management of multiple cloud providers can cause shadow IT due to management failures.

Prominent risks of Shadow IT

  • Leakage of sensitive information

The objective of IT management is to provide a technological environment that facilitates the work of employees and the achievement of organizational goals. It is a complex assignment that involves managing human resources, computerized systems, expensive equipment, and sensitive content.

Thus, the practice of Shadow IT can be very harmful since it is not known the origin of programs improperly installed on a user’s computer. These suspicious applications may contain malware capable of accessing machines and leaking sensitive data. An incident of information leakage would be very damaging to your company’s reputation, wouldn’t it?

  • Noise in internal communication

Good internal communication between departments is essential for everyone to be able to perform their duties. The innovation in enterprises should cherish the excellent flow of information between stakeholders. Therefore, IT technicians should be called whenever necessary to install any program on a user’s machine. In this way, technology managers can identify which applications are installed on the company’s computers and control these technologies.

Installation of a program without the authorization of the IT department can lead to management difficulty. This in turn will lead to IT technicians not being able to identify problems on a computer correctly. This situation can generate a lot of strain on communication with users. Such a scenario can strengthen an informal Shadow IT culture and create more problems in the future. As a result, many internal issues can be improperly exposed in social networks and instant messaging applications.

  • Failures in internal controls

Internal controls are central to the technical and final activities of an organization. This is a joint effort recommended by good quality assurance practices. The culture of installing programs on computers without authorization from the IT area can increase the risks of undue exposure to your business. In addition, it creates difficulty in the periodic maintenance of machines with unauthorized applications.

  • Encouraging home IT solutions

The more technical people call home IT solutions a gambiarra. This is a classic example of Shadow IT very much embedded in the culture of some companies. It is considered a serious threat to information security, as IT managers and technicians often do not know these alternative programs. This opens up loopholes for criminals and even malicious insiders.

Benefits of  calling Shadow IT

Rather than creating hindrances, some of the more savvy CIOs now accept and even encourage the clandestine use of IT. They take advantage of it to redefine the role of the IT team.

Despite the risks, there are several benefits to Shadow IT if managed correctly. If they are to be profited from, they must first come to light. Here are four ways that Shadow IT can contribute to a business:

  • Allow employees to create their solutions

Application development has always been a problem for many businesses. This is one of the reasons users are turning to Shadow IT. Tired of waiting for new applications from IT, they decide to take action. This is how they find tools that meet their needs and let them build their applications.

When managed correctly, the IT department can provide end-users with the tools they need to create their solutions. This allows IT to have control over user information and access and let them work without having to make constant requests.

  • Reduces IT department workload

In most companies, the IT department is overwhelmed. They keep the technology running, they support the business, and they are constantly solving problems. Creating new solutions for users only adds to their workload.

By bringing IT into the Shadows, end users have access to various approved tools and applications. This gives the department a breathing space and allows it to focus on more critical issues.

  • Provide solutions aligned with business needs

In addition to the problem of having to wait for solutions, there is another pervasive problem. When users request IT solutions, details are often overlooked. For this reason, the final product is not really what was ordered.

One of the benefits of Shadow IT is that there is no such hiccup, as the risk of communication failure is eliminated. When users are looking for their solutions, they won’t stop until they find the ones that best fit their goals.

  • Remove obstacles and improve productivity.

Employees turn to Shadow IT when they don’t get the solutions they need or break the rules imposed by the business. In many cases, the IT department is seen as an obstacle rather than an ally. Strict policies make it difficult to achieve something.

By embracing IT in the shadows, employees can be given the tools they require for their daily tasks, preventing them from spending more time searching for solutions instead of working.

How do platforms like Tigersheet counter shadow IT concerns?

No-code/low-code platforms like Tigersheet give users the ability not just to create custom workflows and databases for their needs—its visual programming interface means they can be built, maintained, and modified in real-time as the user needs. 

Which means no waiting on development. Changes happen as soon as they’re needed. 

Such immediacy, combined with the platform’s sheer flexibility, eliminates the need for individuals to seek out new software from other providers. They can simply make what they want themselves. Even better, what they make doesn’t need to be connected to any of their databases via REST APIs or other tools. It all rests in the same ecosystem as their other workflows, meaning users don’t fragment their data or database to get the workflows they need. 

Conclusion

While it is impossible to eliminate Shadow IT for good in enterprises, it has become essential for IT departments to distinguish between good Shadow IT and bad. The goal is to find a happy medium to allow employees to use applications that suit their work while maintaining data control by the IT department to reduce risks.



What is Data Silos and How to Get Rid of Data Silos

Data Silos: What They Are and How to Get Rid of Them

Data is quickly becoming a currency in this day and age, and thus its importance only grows with time. Every business needs to find a smart way to manage their data and ensure that all of their employees have access to the information that they need. However, as every employee starts utilizing data, there are greater chances of the creation of data silos, which can hinder productivity and reduce efficiency. 

Data silos are a big blocker for decision-making, which ends up getting in the way of a company’s business growth. Knowing exactly what they are, how they affect your team, and how to solve them makes all the difference. On that note, let’s begin with the basics first and understand everything about data silos.

What are data silos?

A data silo is a group of raw data that is accessible by one department but isolated from the rest of that organization. This results in a severe lack of transparency, efficiency, and trust within that organization and quickly causes business performance to dwindle. Data silos also drain your resources as you pay for extra data storage and the cost of inefficiency.

What data silos look like?

While data silos aren’t always obvious, they can be behind some of your company’s most stubborn problems. These can include a lack of cooperation between departments, a slow pace of work, and trouble with reporting.

Some of the most common signs of data silos include:

  • Team members not knowing where to find the right information
  • Having to check several places to find the right data
  • Lost confidence in data accuracy
  • Too much money spent on data storage and volume-based software
  • Data not matching up across business tools
  • Lack of transparency in how other departments are performing

What causes data silos in businesses?

Although they can be caused by using the wrong tools or processes, data silos can also be a side effect of otherwise positive things, such as improving your business tools or experiencing business growth. No matter the cause, they need to be identified and fixed. Here’s what might be causing data silos in your company:

  • Company culture

If your company’s departments aren’t used to collaborating on projects, reporting to each other, and setting common goals, silos can easily arise.

  • Using the wrong technology

A company’s first tools aren’t always right for the long term. Using the wrong tools or being stuck with outdated paper systems and spreadsheets can leave your team unequipped to manage a growing amount of data. 

Still, relying on spreadsheets for your day-to-day business tasks? Ditch Spreadsheets today and navigate to a centralized no-code platform that can help you automate your business tasks in a jiffy. Learn more here: < link to the article>

  • Using the right technology incorrectly

Having a top-of-the-range tech stack doesn’t guarantee that your team will use the tools to their full potential or that data silos won’t ever come up. Using tools incorrectly or non-collaboratively is a quick way to create silos in businesses.

  • Scaling your company

As your company grows, data silos can become inevitable. The amount of data you have multiplied, you introduce new tools, and your team might also increase – which can all leave your data in a mess.

How can you prevent data silos from causing problems in your company?

Start with cultural issues

Data silos are often formed due to cultural and organizational issues, so it’s vital to start with fixing this. The benefits of data sharing need to be clearly communicated to prevent future problems. As long as the members of the organization understand these benefits, there will be an increase in productivity and efficiency. Data literacy, sore points in teamwork and the work culture, and conflicting goals need to be identified and solved to ensure that everyone in the company is working towards a unified goal in general and when it comes to data collection and management.

Take the time to sort through outdated data.

It can seem very daunting to go through what may be years and years of outdated, isolated data. However, in order to create a data management system that is actually usable, you want to ensure that all the data in it is current and accurate. So, have your company slowly work through all the data stored and weed out anything unnecessary. This can double as a team-building activity — it’s a win-win.

Using a central CRM between departments

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is at the heart of most successful businesses. It’s where you store all contact data, track customers throughout their journey with your business and collect crucial insights to report on company performance.

When used well, your CRM is the go-to place for anyone in your company to find out information about any contact in your database.

Choose an all-in-one solution to unify your data management.

All-in-one solutions can also be referred to as platforms. These are software providers that offer different products to cover several business processes. When your sales, marketing, and customer support teams work with the same provider, it’s easier to avoid data silos. 

Using platforms is a great way to keep teams aligned. When some of the software solutions you use come from the same brand, they’ll probably use the same terms to talk about the different types of data, making communication between teams smoother. It also makes it easier for them to share customer and contact data without manual labor or third-party tools.

The most important step is to find the right platform for your company on which you can streamline all your data.  Tigersheet is a new generation no-code platform that serves as a middle way between spreadsheets and business-specific software.

That means no more loose Excel spreadsheets and random software shared only by individual teams. Consolidating all data onto one platform like Tigersheet will make it easier to share that data between departments. You won’t have to dig through your own private records upon request; everything will be accessible by everyone.

If you already use one of these platforms, you are on the right path. Just keep in mind that as your business grows, you might need to add more business applications to your software stack, and not all of them will come from the same software vendor. That’s when you can start looking for the best software integration solutions for your business.

Are you looking for an automation solution that offers all the perks and benefits outlined above? Why not give our Next Generation Uber fast business automation platform a try today? Our approach is simple, straightforward, and ready to go right out of the box. Give Tigersheet a try, on us — set up a free trial and start busting your data silos today.

what is citizen development

What is Citizen Development & 5 Reasons to Embrace Citizen Development at Work

Advancement in technology has empowered employees with some powerful capabilities to solve their business problems. Specifically, low-code and no-code platforms have inspired so-called citizen developers to create their own solutions to solve their business problems without relying on the IT departments of the organization.

The term “citizen development” is often  misunderstood and can easily get maligned as “shadow IT.” So, before we dig into the crucial question What are the reasons to embrace citizen development at work, we had better start with a definition to make sure we’re all on the same page.

Breaking the Basics: What is Citizen Developer?

According to Gartner, “A citizen developer is a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.

There are a plethora of advantages that come with encouraging the citizen development initiative in the organization such as faster time to market, cost benefits, and transparency.

In this article, we will focus on five additional benefits that citizen developers bring that will compel IT leaders, to embrace and promote the citizen development initiative in their organization.

Keeping Pace with The Market

As every business becomes a digital business, there is a need to be systems in place that can keep up with the tech disruption. Legacy systems and traditional methods of IT application development are struggling to do just that.

By enabling those outsides of IT to develop their own solutions for their unique workflows or challenges, the business can become more agile to better respond to the changing marketplace. Instead of complex and expensive custom installations the business can augment and automate processes as their market changes.

Rapid development of custom applications

When the IT departments are already overburdened with huge IT backlogs and various requests, creating altogether new solutions by IT teams can result in a longer waiting time. IT leaders can fill the void between the available IT resources and enterprise users by promoting citizen development and enabling enterprise users to create solutions to fulfill their business requirements.

Low-code and No-Code platforms empower users with the rapid development of custom applications using a model-driven development approach to create applications to meet their business requirements.

Empowering your employees

Another benefit of enabling citizen developers is the empowerment your employees will get from solving problems or improving processes.

This enables them to get to the root of problems faster, enabling them to get their work done faster and more easily, and fostering autonomy.

When you empower employees to develop their own business applications on a managed software platform it provides both sophistication and security. You can transform tech-savvy employees into citizen developers, which is a great move for your entire organization.

Enabling business agility

Business agility is an organization’s ability to adapt quickly to internal and external changes while remaining flexible to market and customer demands. Four in five executives told Forbes that agility is the most important characteristic of a successful organization. Increased competition, market fluctuations, and new technological innovations force businesses to respond faster than ever.

Here are some of the benefits of business agility:

  • Quickly spot clunky or broken applications and processes
  • Faster application deployment
  • Faster innovation
  • Improved customer experience
  • Improved employee morale

Dedicated citizen developers can deal with problems immediately instead of sitting tight and hoping IT find time to help. They can minimize the time between identifying issues and solving them.

A No-code Platform is what you need

Citizen development marks the beginning of the organization-wide culture of innovation. Tigersheet empowers citizen developers with No code technology to create applications and automate any vertices of their organizations. With Tigersheet, anyone can be a developer as it provides an intuitive environment with powerful features to create an app. 

Tigersheet ensures that your business applications and workflow processes are consistent and compliant and gives you the visibility to easily change and improve individual processes – all while empowering citizen developers, boosting morale, and reducing costs. If you are looking for a no-code platform to embark on your journey of digital transformation to boost your productivity while remaining agile, please visit www.tigersheet.com and Sign Up for a free trial today




Web Application Development Challenges You Need to Mitigate for 2021 and Beyond…

6 Web Application Development Challenges You Need to Mitigate for 2021 and Beyond…

Technology is evolving at breakneck speed, and it is bringing its fair share of opportunities and challenges too. Businesses that are now understanding the importance of moving from legacy to a more digitized architecture must be on the lookout for these opportunities and know about the methods of mitigating web app development challenges for 2021 and beyond. But, before we dive deeper and introduce these challenges let us look into some basics first!

So, what’s a web application? 

In concrete terms, an application is a software program that runs on a device. A web app is one that’s stored on the Internet and can be accessed from any browser. They aren’t constrained to any one operating system, don’t take up hard drive space on your device, and can be used by anyone with an Internet connection.  

Web applications can include everything from productivity-improving collaboration tools (e.g. Google Drive and Slack) to less productive (but often fun) games (e.g. Candy Crush and Words with Friends). Popular web apps are also often available as mobile apps too.

Moving to the next important question: Why are web applications so important right now? As the world becomes increasingly digital, more of your business moves to the web. As a result, your web application development process becomes a vital part of your business.

What does a modern web application development process look like? It’s all about speed and security. You must create secure applications efficiently, in hours/days rather than days/weeks. Those applications must be easily maintainable. They must grow with your business.

How does your development process stack up? Perhaps a better question: How can you meet these goals?

If you want a modern development process, you must first address a few common challenges that most businesses face. In this article, we’ll explore 5 of these challenges and explain why they’re so important to your development process.

Challenge #1: Standardizing your development process

If you ask 5 developers to build an application, you might get 5 different approaches. Sure, they might meet the requirements, but they’re all built using a different process. Imagine the maintenance nightmare.

Unfortunately, this is a challenge for too many businesses. They don’t have a standard development process. The result: This makes maintenance far more difficult and time-consuming than it should be.

A modern dev process requires a standard approach that’s consistent and easily maintainable. Every developer works the same way. The process is understandable and predictable.

Challenge #2: Speed

These days, speed is the name of the game. Developers are under more pressure to deliver solutions quickly–without sacrificing function or security.

How can one move past the development time hurdle? There are a couple of options:

Hiring more developers: If you’re facing a development bottleneck, the simplest solution is building your team. However, there is no denying that this is the most expensive option, and most businesses can’t afford to hire a bunch of developers.

Using software tools to get more out of your existing team: Over the past few years, we’ve seen major growth in the low-code/no-code development software space. One of the driving forces behind this growth is the whole “do more with less” challenge. Low-code tools help your existing team create web applications 50-80% faster. How? The speed boost is driven by a couple of factors:

They eliminate coding in most projects: Most applications are built-in minutes or hours, without code. 

More complex applications might take longer, and have the option to add custom code if needed.

They reduce testing: Since low-code tools create use pre-tested templates and components, testing time is dramatically reduced.

However, you choose to address the dev speed challenge, one thing is clear: The demand for fast development is only growing, and becoming a competitive necessity.

Challenge #3: Security

One of the main things web app developers are always concerned about is the security of their web app. With the rise of cyber-threats over the years, keeping the app secure should be the priority of product managers.

There are many things to consider when it comes to web application security such as the denial of service attacks, the safety of user data, database malfunctioning, unauthorized access to restricted parts of the website, etc. 

Creating robust password requirements and multi-factor authentication for your users are also effective security measures. More complex passwords are less likely to be hacked. Multi-factor authentication, where your users take multiple steps to confirm their identities, also gives your application an added layer of protection.

Challenge #4: Bridging the talent gap

Web application development is becoming more complex. It’s evolving faster than ever. Developers need an ever-increasing, and ever-changing skillset.

The problem for businesses: Finding web developers with modern skills. Sure, they have developers to maintain their current systems…but those are often outdated. The skills you need for modern web app development don’t always align with the skills you need to keep the business running.

How do you find developers that understand security, integration, responsive design, etc.…? How do you bridge the skills gap without hiring a dozen new employees? Here are two common approaches:

  • Adopt development tools: Development tools bring modern skills to your existing team. For instance, suppose you have a team of COBOL developers. A web development platform will help those developers create web apps with a minimal learning curve.
  • Set up training: There are plenty of online training options available for developers. Set up training classes for your team, or incentivize them to take training classes on their own.

Challenge #5: Support and Maintenance

Just like your car needs service after every three months, so does your web app. Building a nifty app is great, but without the right support, maintenance and upgrades, your app is only relevant until the next algorithm release. Without application maintenance, businesses become unhappy because the app doesn’t perform well and the tech leader gets the heat.

Challenge #6: Integration

More and more, business applications live outside of the firewall. They are more diversified than in the past. For instance, a modern business might use a SaaS-based CRM system, in-house BI tools, and host their website on the cloud.

While this improves flexibility, it creates a challenge. How do you tie everything together? The challenge for web developers is no longer building every feature into an application. It’s creating an application that can integrate with other applications. This challenge can easily be handled by creating more indigenous applications and integrating them with other applications.

How does Tigersheet fit into the grander scheme of things?

Tigersheet has been dedicated to providing custom web applications that have been changing the way businesses work. We like to take advantage of the disruptive technologies that can provide scalability to our clients.

Developing a sound and functional web application means you can make the most of modern technologies and benefit financially. There is no denying that the constant influx of money in the form of grand revenues allows you to flourish in this market. Tigersheet is a custom app solution provider that has helped various businesses successfully achieve their digital transformation goals. We take on web app development with a straightforward motto; help you deliver excellent customer experience and personalized experience to your audience.

TRY Tigersheet for FREE and witness the change in your organization today!




Build Powerful Apps with Tigersheet Drag and Drop Based UI

Simplifying App Development Using Drag and Drop- Build Powerful Apps with Tigersheet Drag and Drop Based UI

Gone are those days when building applications be it Web Apps, Hybrid Mobile Apps, or Native Apps, was seemingly an excruciating task-one that required hiring a development firm or onboarding an additional workforce capable of application development. 

But, today we have MXDPs- Multi Experience Development Platforms that help enterprises in low-code/no-code rapid application development using an array of advanced inbuilt tools and widgets to build enterprise-grade applications and get to market faster. 

One such feature frequently found in MXDP’s is Drag and Drop Interfaces. While these are not completely new, their usage has rapidly expanded since their original role of file manipulation and clipboard actions. Now, drag-and-drop interfaces are used to give the average non-coder the freedom to build a wide variety of products, from websites to movies to video games to business software.

While drag-and-drop is old news in website development, its role in software development is only just emerging. But before we dive in, let’s take a brief look at what drag-and-drop is:

Breaking into the Basics- What is Drag and Drop?

Drag-and-drop is a type of interface called a graphical user interface (or GUI). GUIs rely on the use of visual and audio to help the user communicate with the computer. Examples of a GUI would be software application icons on your desktop, rearranging widgets on your phone, or creating a hyperlink between two files. These types of visual triggers inform how you can interact with the computer to get what you want, and they don’t require writing a line of text to do so. 

(The contrast to GUIs are text user interfaces, which require text input in order to produce a response from your computer; your command prompt would be an example of a text user interface.)

Drag-and-drop style GUIs take visual interfaces one step further by allowing users to create “relationships” between the objects represented by visual items. For example, dragging a document into a new folder creates two kinds of relationships:

  • It tells the computer (and the user) that the document is now a part of the new folder
  • It tells the computer (and the user) that the document is no longer part of the old folder

What value does drag-and-drop offer to software?

It significantly speeds things up. 

Instead of cracking open the text-interface and typing in commands, the user can select an item (or items) and drag them onto the object they want a relationship with.

But speed isn’t just a matter of execution—it’s also a matter of understanding. Drag-and-drop tells us about the possible relationships different objects can have without us having to read a manual or understand it on a technical level every time. It’s the digital picture that’s worth a thousand words. 

Of course, this also relies on a well-designed interface to work. If the drag-and-drop interface doesn’t clearly indicate its uses in unspoken terms, it can quickly generate confusion and frustration in a user. 

But a good drag-and-drop interface can drastically reduce the learning curve people face when embracing new technology. Which is a significantly good thing considering the number of various software tools most business employees use on a regular basis.

Drag and drop builders have changed the game…

Today getting a website up and running has become a matter of days and not months just by dragging and dropping the right elements on a canvas. More and more businesses are now empowered to quickly have a digital presence in the form of a website.

Mobile app development has not been slow in picking up the drag and drop trend. We now have the ability to convert our ideas into a working model within hours by dragging an object, dropping it on the screen where we want to place it and it’s done.

The drag and drop systems today are so sophisticated that we can design and speed up the deployment of our app or web projects in matters of hours using drag and drop tools that are intuitive and powerful.

Hundreds of thousands of users are now reaping the benefits and convenience of using drag and drop technology.  The key advantages of drag and drop tools offer are:

Prototype within hours –Drag and drop tools enable you to quickly build the front end of your website or app that the user will interact with. This enables business users and knowledge workers to get involved in the solution development process to ensure the end product meets exactly what the problem requires.

Instant visibility into the results of your actions – Drag and drop tools bring with them the beauty of WYSIWYG. (What you see is what you get). There is no mystery anymore on what is going on with your application as it only involves selection and dragging of an element from an element kit, repository, and dropping it to the screen. You can see exactly how it looks, how the data transfers on the screen.

Whenever you move something you immediately see its impact. It is as easy as playing with building blocks; the same blocks will let you go from simple to complex structures.

No technical or coding expertise necessary– For a lot of people, interaction with computers stops at excel and emails. They feel computers are only for the technical. While that is an image that has often been portrayed in the movies, the real reason is the lack of confidence or the awareness about the vast possibilities of drag & drop, no-coding-required solutions. 

Drag and drop interfaces were created with the aim to give more people an opportunity to leverage the abilities of modern development technologies. Whether you are an experienced developer or you don’t have technical experience, you can create your applications without any knowledge about codes.

Speed and Simplicity– The drag and drop builders are designed to empower tech and non-tech users alike to turn the idea or plan in their mind into an actual working application or website. To suffice that, the builders need to be intuitive and easy to have a short learning curve for the users.

Flexibility to modify – The greatest advantage of drag and drop builders is the ability to restructure as and when required without the need to spend any extra money over it or calling in a specialist. From time-to-time, the nature of your business changes, new regulations, new company policies, changing consumption patterns, and so on. This calls for the freedom to modify your applications, change the appearance, add and remove blocks, and not lose time over it.

Get Responsive Apps with Tigersheet Drag and Drop Functionality

With no shortage of options to select from, the best drag and drop builders tend to be similar, intuitive, and user-friendly. You can make forms out of them to capture leads, sign-ups, surveys, requests, or new orders. Some app builders like Tigersheet will even let you add conditions and rules to hide or show form elements in your application in order to control the data that gets collected from these apps. Whether you are trying to make a form-based application or a dashboard kind, drag and drop builders are the easiest, fastest way to get there with all the different forms and visual fields, colors, size, border, background options to choose from. 

Tigersheet drag and drop functionality is one of the most powerful and advanced builders out there to create applications that are responsive. You can drag, drop elements, visually design workflows, trigger third-party events, and a whole lot more.

These features in Tigersheet when combined lay the foundation of a successful, robust, scalable application with all the security standards met to give you more confidence in your end product.

You can set reminders, schedule events, assign tasks and automate approval with a visual workflow designer that assists in total business process automation.

While it is one of the most advanced tools out there, the team behind the product itself needed a quick, easy to understand tool to assist them in their processes and that is exactly what the platform represents – a user-friendly tool to let you build any application without the need to code. 

Have you tried using such drag & drop tools for a task of yours? If you haven’t, you are lagging with the current trends and missing on a technology breakthrough that can make your digital goals easily achievable, faster than ever.




5 Must-Read Technology Books for 2021

5 Books You Should Read to Stay Relevant in the Age of Technology

Resolutions aren’t for everyone but around this time of year most of us
start thinking about our intentions for the new year ahead.
Coincidentally, it is usually this time around the year we start thinking
about setting new goals- or provide feedback or direct reports to peers-as part of the annual review process.

As you consider goals for 2020, whether you aim to stay relevant in the
ever-changing age of technology, or want to continue to strengthen
your leadership skills, books can be a valuable resource. And they can
help you formulate feedback and constructive criticism, or even serve
as a resource for a team member needing to grow in a certain area.

The books on this list range — from self-care to professional
development
— and are a mix of backlist and newly published. But all
of them offer tips and teach concepts that apply to all leaders, while
still allowing you to remain true to your personality and values;
hopefully, there’s room on your bookshelf!


“Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life,” by Patty Azzarello


“Rise” is the perfect resource to use as a practical guide for career advancement. The book is broken into three sections:


do better, all about how you can have more impact;

look better, covering your visibility and credibility;

and connect better, giving tips for networking and asking for help.

Why you should read it: A former sales engineer, product marketing
manager, vice president, and CEO, Patty Azzarello is honest and
authentic, diving into what people tend to dislike about their jobs and
how to reframe how they think about them in order to achieve more.

Check the book here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12838919-rise

The Power of Experiments: Decision Making in a Data-Driven World By Michael Luca and Max H. Bazerman

Book description (via MIT Press): “Have you logged into Facebook recently? Searched for something on Google? Chosen a movie on Netflix? If so, you’ve probably been an unwitting participant in a variety of experiments — also known as randomized controlled trials — designed to test the impact of different online experiences. Once an esoteric tool for academic research, the randomized controlled trial has gone mainstream. No tech company worth its salt (or its share price) would dare make major changes to its platform without first running experiments to understand how they would influence user behavior.

In this book, Michael Luca and Max Bazerman explain the importance of experiments for decision making in a data-driven world.”

Why you should read it: This book examines the role, experimentation has played in the success of some of today’s tech giants like StubHub, Alibaba, Uber, eBay.  Business professors Luca and Bazerman outline the rise of tech-enabled experimentation in organizations, the powerful role that data-driven tests can play in decision-making, and how business leaders can most effectively harness this powerful tool.

Check the book here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51777468-the-power-of-experiments

“Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle,” by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., and Amelia Nagoski, DMA

This book is for any woman who has felt overwhelmed and exhausted by everything she had to do and yet still worried she was not doing ‘enough.’ Which is every woman we know—including us.

“Burnout” argues that women face the challenge of being — and doing — enough at home, at work, and sometimes even for themselves and that women experience this burnout differently than men. As a result of this, women tend to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, and experience negative physical effects thanks to the “biological stress cycle.”

Why you should read it: It’s a valuable exploration for those who experience these challenges first-hand, and it’s especially useful for those who don’t personally identify with this experience, providing context and creating awareness around issues some may not be aware of due to lack of exposure. 

Relying on science, research, and data, the Nagoski sisters wrote an accessible, conversational guide to empower any reader to create positive change in their life.

Check the book here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42397849-burnout#:~:text=This%20groundbreaking%20book%20explains%20why,in%20America%20have%20experienced%20it.

“The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (And When To Stick)” By Seth Godin

Quick summary: Whenever you embark on a new project, it always starts out great. You’re excited. You’re motivated. You’re having fun. But, inevitably, it gets frustrating. This is what marketer and writer Seth Godin calls “The Dip,” which is the moment when most people quit. And in this book, Seth Godin teaches you what you need to do in order to get through the dip in your own projects and ultimately succeed. “The Dip” is a short, entertaining book that will forever alter the way you think about work and success.

Why should you read the book: This book is a must-read for anyone who feels they have trouble persevering toward their goals.

Moreover, we’ve all heard the phrase “quitters never win.” But, unfortunately, this isn’t true. In fact, winners quit all the time. The world is full of successful individuals who have quit their way to success by quitting the things they weren’t good at or the things they didn’t love so that they could spend their time doing something even better. However, what winners never do is quit just because something is hard. In order to be successful, you have to learn to quit the things that don’t bring you closer to your goals and persevere with the things that do.

Check the book here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/324748.The_Dip

“Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results” By Stephen Guise

“Mini Habits” by Stephen Guise offers practical and science-backed strategies for building good habits, breaking bad habits, and shows how small behaviors can lead to remarkable results over time.

Why you should read this book: Read it if you want to build good habits, or break bad habits.

If you’re struggling to start, build, and maintain a new habit, then start utilizing mini habits. Mini habits are the tiniest version of the habit you want to build. For instance, exercising 30 minutes a day is a regular habit. Exercising 1 minute a day is a mini habit. Focusing on mini habits will make it nearly impossible for you to miss a day because the truth is a habit must be established before it can be improved.

Check the book here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20567918-mini-habits

Final Thoughts: Make 2021 Your Year

Have you read any of these books yet? Are there any new ones that sound interesting to you?

With these 5 books in hand, you will have new ways to read up on important aspects of leadership. Whether it’s encouraging and shaping your team, expanding the skills of employees, or refining your poise, reading any of these books will be a sure-fire way to learn something new and apply the latest findings on leadership to enhance your strategies and skills.

We hope you found a few new must-reads for 2021 to make this year your best year!


Growth and marketing hack for your mobile app

Growth & Marketing Hacks for Your Mobile App on a Modest Budget

With the rise of the mobile app development industry, creators around the world have been building digital products and services with and without engineers. You too have built a beautiful and professional mobile app using no code for your business. Now, how should you promote the app to ensure a stable ROI?

The App Store is one of the most competitive environments today. With over 2 million apps available for Android users and about 1.8 million apps on the Apple app store, you can never be 100% sure that your app will get the success it deserves.

And if you are a small business it’s no surprise that you don’t have sufficient budget for elaborate app promotion. So, is it possible to acquire and engage users, as well as gain new customers, without having to spend a lot? Let’s review the possibilities:

Budgeting for and Beyond App Development

A recent study by The Manifest revealed that a majority of businesses dedicate a considerable portion of their total app development budget (more than 31%) to marketing efforts

In previous years, businesses developed their app marketing budget by using a formula to determine their cost per install (CPI) figure:

However, today CPI is not considered a central measure to determine your app’s success. Just getting the app installed on someone’s device does not generate ROI, in fact, one needs to go above and beyond the total number of installations.

There are key performance indicators or KPIs like impressions, clicks, and more that have to be considered. If market stats are to be believed, experts estimate that app marketing budgets can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per month or more.

While sponsorships, in-app advertising, -and freemium upsell are common app monetization strategies, everyone talks about. Here are some creative and smart promotional hacks that you can use to do on a smaller scale to drive users to your app.

Build a Great App Landing Page

A great landing page is vital to all businesses, regardless of whether they provide a desktop or a mobile app.

This also means you can use SEO to drive traffic your way. But it’s also a great place to showcase your app and all the features it includes.

And once you are done building a landing page, offer Direct Download Links from your landing page. This helps to eliminate the entire hassle out of the conversion process, thereby reducing friction for users thinking about signing up.

Plan an App Party

Many times, a simple app launch party can go a long way in receiving the attention of the local community and the local media. This can get even better if you have the ability to focus on a special geographical area.

If your app has any type of draw for a local community, find out where those community members gather the most. That can provide a perfect location for your event—go where your potential customers are and pitch them when/where they are most comfortable.

For example, the Splore team celebrated the official launch of their mobile app with “good people, good vibes, and good art” on Cinco de Mayo. They even shared some great information about what is involved in throwing a successful app launch event.

Source: https://medium.com/@sploreapp/11-steps-to-throwing-a-successful-launch-party-ecba3d9f515

Run an Invite Only Launch

As Humans, we are easily drawn to the idea of exclusivity. Our general tendency to be on the ‘inside’ can be smartly employed when it comes to the world of apps.

When you are ready to launch your app, consider starting out with an ‘Invite only’ campaign.  Big names such as Google, Apple, and Twitter have successfully adopted this model and have witnessed an upsurge in their app downloads.

While it will take some effort and skill to be able to build buzz around your invite-only launch, it is very much possible and can potentially help skyrocket your app’s growth.

Change the Language

Yes! You heard it right.  While your app idea might already exist, maybe it doesn’t exist in another language. Users are always quick to find better solutions, especially when an app is in their native tongue. A quick search on the App or Play store will reveal if top-selling apps have been localized in different countries. Changing the language, user experience, and layout could be a huge opportunity.

Gamify your app

While no-code gaming apps can be easily outclassed by companies that employ hundreds of people to work on a single game, a good sense of humor and original thinking can lead to app virality.

The good news is that you don’t have to always create a literal game to seize the power of in-app wins. Points, stars, status bars, and even the occasional notification that indicates a user’s success are all enough to help keep them around long.

Let’s give you a real-life example. Duolingo is a language learning app that offers 95 different language courses and has over 300 million registered users worldwide. It uses a very creative game like sign up experience for users where they are taken straight into a process of small successes, ending in the new user being a percentage “fluent” in their new language. Because the user receives this small win just a few minutes after signing up for the first time, they’re hooked.

Hence, to put it down simply, whether your app is fun and light, or filled with spreadsheets and numbers, you can still use gamification to your advantage. Find a way to use point systems or unlock new features after users complete certain steps, for example. It could greatly boost your user engagement.

Feature Your App in Your Emails and Link in Your Signatures

Your new app needs to be smartly engraved in every aspect of your marketing, which includes all your emails. Sending countless emails every day is every business routine practice and not including your app in each of those is a missed opportunity.


Example Template:

Our new app, (Insert app name here), helps you (insert what the app does). Click here (include hyperlink) to check it out!

Add your app download links or a link to your app landing page to your email signature as a really easy way to drive downloads over time simply by sending the emails you normally send.

If you have a few people in your business, make sure they do the same.

For example, if you had 4 people in your business each sending out an average of 20 emails a day (that’s a really low estimate), that’s 80 people that you’re able to inform per day about your mobile app. That’s 560 a week or over 2,400 a month!

The simplest things can be the most effective in the long run.

Integrating Social Share Within Your App

Take your app promotion strategy a way deeper by letting your app promote itself!  It is no surprise that your customers will encounter their own discoveries while using the app and nothing can be more satisfying than sharing the personal experience. By including the option within your app to share their screens and share in-app content, you broaden your app’s visibility and create a platform by which your users can express themselves.

Offer How-to Videos & Free Webinars

If you have kept yourself abreast of the modern-day digital trends, you would certainly know that the importance of video marketing to reach your prospective customers is paramount.

Invest in some time in creating quality video content for your app — even if it’s just in the form of a catchy explainer video. Incorporating Reward Videos can also be a good idea. These are videos that run after a user completes or triggers a specific activity within an app.

While videos can be a great growth hack for your app, using webinars can boost your success even more. If you can find a way to use webinars, your app could experience incredible growth because of it. Instead of focusing them on sales, though, try creating webinars to be highly useful and actionable.

Get Featured on App Review Websites

Getting on an App Review Site can benefit you greatly especially when you are starting small. Some of these websites have a regular follower base and hence you can expect a similar amount of traffic to flow through to your website and App Store listing.

Also, to get listed on a mobile app review website you will have to submit a proposal where you need to show that your app is good enough to be reviewed by them and therefore featured on their site

Most of these app review sites are looking for things such as:

  • User-friendly, easy to use, interactive interface
  • Beautiful graphical designs in high quality
  • Stable apps with no glitches, crashes, overwhelming loading times or poorly pieced together content

When you reach out, you will most likely have to provide support material for your app. This is usually done by filling a document/form listing down the following information:

  • A link to your app in the app store
  • A summary paragraph describing your app and what makes your app stand out
  • Screenshots of your app logo, title screen, and in-app content
  • Links to videos of your app from YouTube or Vimeo
  • Pricing Details of your app including the free trial and premium features available to your users

Conclusion

There are a number of options for marketing your no code app on a small budget. To recap, consider trying the following growth hacks for your app:

  • Create a Landing Page that has a direct download link to your app
  • Plan an App Launch Party
  • Run an Invite Only Launch
  • Gamify Your App
  • Change the Language
  • Feature Your App in Your Emails and Link in Your Signatures
  • Integrating Social Share Within Your App
  • Offer How-to Videos & Free Webinar
  • Get Featured on App Review Websites

And don’t forget…. knowing the audience and being able to create the “ideal customer persona” is a must for a lean marketing strategy.

REMEMBER…. Not every strategy will work; the point of growth hacking, though, is to rapidly test, gather information, and move forward with what’s most helpful for your own app.

So, put these hacks to use, and see witness how your mobile app that started small will scale big leaving you to celebrate its success in no time!

SaaS Benefits

The Power of SaaS: How Subscription Software can help you reduce costs and drive value

Over the past decade, the rise of subscription-based services has been the most popular trend in the software industry. While vendors like NetSuite and Salesforce pioneered this model, IT giant Microsoft joined in subsequently.  A few years until now, productivity applications like Word and Excel were sold with ‘perpetual licenses’, intended to be purchased once and replaced by a newer update. But, today Office 365, which is a cloud variant is sold as a subscription. 

It is interesting to note that the recent transition to subscription-based services is not only dominant in the software industry. Here are some examples of subscription models that have become a part of our lives really soon:

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu for movies and T.V

Spotify, Saavn, Wynk for streaming music

Slack, Trello, Canva for Project management 

……and the list could be endless

So, the vital question here is that what is the driving force that is making us move to subscriptions, and why software in particular? Let’ s try to decode it here.

At Tigersheet, our every effort is an endeavor to stay at the forefront, and SaaS is no exception. Our new generation no-code platform helps businesses automate their processes in a drastically reduced timeframe and in a cost-efficient manner. We’ve chosen to embrace the SaaS model for a number of reasons.

Flexibility to Scale

Scalability is one of the most beautiful aspects that lead customers to subscription pricing models.  By paying for only what you use, the magnitude of your bill can be tied to the individual needs of your business. The subscription can increase readily, adding one user license every time a new employee joins in. Similarly, it can be removed meaning that – if your business wants to cut off expenses or your team downsizes, your software license subscription can reduce proportionately.

This is in complete contrast to burdensome perpetual licenses, generally sold in fixed numbers, often hundreds at a time.  These purchases tend to be inconsistent, uneven, and often unpredictable and often adding to the company’s capital expenditures (CAPEX) than operational expenditures (OPEX). On one hand, this does eliminate fluctuations in costs from month to month, it also leaves companies with little room to adjust changes in their business environment. However, with SaaS companies can more easily harmonize costs with growth.

Note: Capital expenditures (CAPEX) are major purchases a company makes that are designed to be used over the long-term. Operating expenses (OPEX) are the day-to-day expenses a company incurs to keep their business operational.

Immediate Access to Live Upgrades

Another significant benefit of selecting a subscription-based model is the access to live upgrades which happens instantly.  This eliminates the need for any new installation or purchase agreement. For instance, you must have experienced this with any online or cloud-based application you use. Every time Google introduces a new feature to Gmail, there is an instant pop up telling you what is new and offering information on how to use it.

This is a massive gain to the user in more than one way. You never have to worry about missing out on new features or having out-of-date software. Such immediate reach to the latest technology is crucial in a world where competition never sleeps and security threats emerge continuously.

With Tigersheet, for example, new features, connections, upgrades, and integrations are regularly updated to enhance the offering. If new features like parse email to a sheet, document generation, etc. are available within your subscription, they’ll be ready for you to use as soon as they’re released. Not already subscribing? It’s fast, simple, and cost-effective to expand your subscription to include them.

Easy to offer a proof of concept

With a one-time rigid payment system, it becomes arduous to offer a free trial version.  Even with a free trial, the full price of the item could be a potential deterrent to a sign-up. However, a SaaS model makes this much easier allowing vendors to offer free versions in the hope of enticing clients into subscribing to the full package.

This can work in more than one way and especially in the long run. Even if the customer doesn’t sign up immediately, they are likely to have provided you with their contact details, which can be used to email newsletters and/or promotions that may convince them to sign up later.

Tigersheet acknowledges the importance of offering a thorough demonstration and live experience of the product to users, much before its purchase.  We have a free trial in place (that has no strings attached), you aren’t compelled to make an outright purchase.  One can test out the features like visual tools, UI accessibility, etc. and determine if the platform actually delivers on the promises solving one’s business needs.

Under this no cost trial, customers can avail some awesome features like:

•        2 Applications

•        5 GB storage

•       Up to 3 Users Access

•        Phone/Chat/Email support

A Route to business automation with Tigersheet

Tigersheet is an innovative SaaS platform and there’s no need to purchase any additional infrastructure.  Once the app is built, it’s ready to go. This makes it possible to develop applications in a matter of days and in some cases right away. The no-code platform is available in the cloud and supports the easy deployment of your app in the cloud. It’s time you take advantage of it!