How to Launch Free Apps and Still Break the Bank By Usman Raza

They say there are no free lunches yet the mobile applications we usually use are free. It is because of fierce competition that app developers don’t want to charge users up front. People who download apps will take the free one over a paid one. To get users to buy an app is no cakewalk. A simple review of app stores will make you realize the vastly different numbers paid and free apps carry. Paid apps are one way to earn money. Even free mobile apps can generate thriving revenue streams for the business. Your jaws will drop when you will see the amount of money free apps bring in for their owners each day. So how does that happen? App monetization can happen in a variety of ways.

And ideally, there is no “absolutely right” monetization model for an app.

Let’s find out the most popular and proven strategies to monetize free apps that can make money for you as well as keep your users happy:

1. Selling Ads

One of the best and most popular monetization models used by businesses all over the world, selling ads inside the application brings home good returns on investment. By 2021, in-app advertising is set to reach the $201 billion mark. Broadly speaking, there are four types of apps. Interstitial ads occur when downloading or making transitions inside the app. These full-page advertisements come when the app changes levels or is paused. They also help in drawing a user’s attention while the data from the server are being pulled. If done right they form a part of UX thus elevating the whole app experience.

Banner ads are an old-school favorite. They run across the screen on top or bottom when an app is used. They do not hinder the normal functioning of the app and occupy minimal screen space. As per research, they are less effective than interstitial apps. Next category is an upcoming favorite using videos inside the app. Sometimes, users will get a reward if they decide to watch short videos. Lastly, native ads become part of the content of the mobile app. They are the most relevant kind of advertisement that does not hamper user experience in any way.

2. Selling Subscriptions

Businesses sell monthly or annual subscriptions to engage users in apps that rely on content. While the subscription-based app monetization model is not as effective in drawing people to subscribe, it could be a money maker for businesses. Unfortunately, you have to keep your audience coming back with new information to give them an incentive to get the subscriptions. This incurs use of many resources for creating relevant content and executing the content strategy. You must have deep insights into how humans think and behave when a business is crafting subscriptions plans that intend to add value.

3. Marketing Third Party Products

You have the ability to promote third-party products or services via a mobile app. This is known as referral marketing. Pick an affiliate network companies that are right for your content on your app. The revenue generated depends on the referral model chosen by the business:

  • Cost per impression (CPM): In this type of system, the advertiser pays you every 1,000th time their ad is displayed on your application.
  • Cost per click (CPC): In this type of referral marketing, the total revenue depends upon the number of times the user clicks on the advertisement in the mobile application.
  • Cost per view (CPV): This method revolves around video ads. Revenues depend on a number of views.
  • Cost per install (CPI): When you advertise an other-party mobile application within your app, you get paid for every time a user installs it.

4. Make Them Buy

This strategy works when you want users to come on board and get a taste of what lies ahead. While a user is free to download free apps, a more functionally engaging “paid” version is available on the app for the user to purchase. When users buy within the app, they are doing one of these:

  • Use Instantly: The products or features within the app can be used once when purchased. For example virtual coins and tokens.
  • Save for Later: Features that are available for use on a permanent basis fall under this category. For example, newer levels of the game or access to the ad-free version of the apps.
  • Periodically: This model allows unlocking of additional features of an app product for a limited amount of time, on a monthly or a yearly basis.

The free version should be interesting enough for users to get hooked. They should be left with wanting more. For example, if you are out to build a great game keep the first three levels free and the next level unlocks with in-app purchases. If the game is good enough, you will be able to get a sizable number of users to pay for the next level. Respect users by building the unclicked features even more interesting than the free ones so they feel the worth of their money spent.

Bottom Line

If you have an app idea you need to make sure you launch it as a free app and build your business via any of the above monetization techniques. The right monetization model will depend on a plethora of factors like target audience, geography, category, etc. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. However, the insights shared above will help you in analyzing what method is best suited for your app business.

It goes without saying you should consult a professional mobile app development company before making a decision or even testing the waters as their expertise and experience will keep you away from known pitfalls.

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://bit.ly/2WPE3VJ

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How to Launch Free Apps and Still Break the Bank By Usman Raza

They say there are no free lunches yet the mobile applications we usually use are free. It is because of fierce competition that app developers don’t want to charge users up front. People who download apps will take the free one over a paid one. To get users to buy an app is no cakewalk. A simple review of app stores will make you realize the vastly different numbers paid and free apps carry. Paid apps are one way to earn money. Even free mobile apps can generate thriving revenue streams for the business. Your jaws will drop when you will see the amount of money free apps bring in for their owners each day. So how does that happen? App monetization can happen in a variety of ways.

And ideally, there is no “absolutely right” monetization model for an app.

Let’s find out the most popular and proven strategies to monetize free apps that can make money for you as well as keep your users happy:

1. Selling Ads

One of the best and most popular monetization models used by businesses all over the world, selling ads inside the application brings home good returns on investment. By 2021, in-app advertising is set to reach the $201 billion mark. Broadly speaking, there are four types of apps. Interstitial ads occur when downloading or making transitions inside the app. These full-page advertisements come when the app changes levels or is paused. They also help in drawing a user’s attention while the data from the server are being pulled. If done right they form a part of UX thus elevating the whole app experience.

Banner ads are an old-school favorite. They run across the screen on top or bottom when an app is used. They do not hinder the normal functioning of the app and occupy minimal screen space. As per research, they are less effective than interstitial apps. Next category is an upcoming favorite using videos inside the app. Sometimes, users will get a reward if they decide to watch short videos. Lastly, native ads become part of the content of the mobile app. They are the most relevant kind of advertisement that does not hamper user experience in any way.

2. Selling Subscriptions

Businesses sell monthly or annual subscriptions to engage users in apps that rely on content. While the subscription-based app monetization model is not as effective in drawing people to subscribe, it could be a money maker for businesses. Unfortunately, you have to keep your audience coming back with new information to give them an incentive to get the subscriptions. This incurs use of many resources for creating relevant content and executing the content strategy. You must have deep insights into how humans think and behave when a business is crafting subscriptions plans that intend to add value.

3. Marketing Third Party Products

You have the ability to promote third-party products or services via a mobile app. This is known as referral marketing. Pick an affiliate network companies that are right for your content on your app. The revenue generated depends on the referral model chosen by the business:

  • Cost per impression (CPM): In this type of system, the advertiser pays you every 1,000th time their ad is displayed on your application.
  • Cost per click (CPC): In this type of referral marketing, the total revenue depends upon the number of times the user clicks on the advertisement in the mobile application.
  • Cost per view (CPV): This method revolves around video ads. Revenues depend on a number of views.
  • Cost per install (CPI): When you advertise an other-party mobile application within your app, you get paid for every time a user installs it.

4. Make Them Buy

This strategy works when you want users to come on board and get a taste of what lies ahead. While a user is free to download free apps, a more functionally engaging “paid” version is available on the app for the user to purchase. When users buy within the app, they are doing one of these:

  • Use Instantly: The products or features within the app can be used once when purchased. For example virtual coins and tokens.
  • Save for Later: Features that are available for use on a permanent basis fall under this category. For example, newer levels of the game or access to the ad-free version of the apps.
  • Periodically: This model allows unlocking of additional features of an app product for a limited amount of time, on a monthly or a yearly basis.

The free version should be interesting enough for users to get hooked. They should be left with wanting more. For example, if you are out to build a great game keep the first three levels free and the next level unlocks with in-app purchases. If the game is good enough, you will be able to get a sizable number of users to pay for the next level. Respect users by building the unclicked features even more interesting than the free ones so they feel the worth of their money spent.

Bottom Line

If you have an app idea you need to make sure you launch it as a free app and build your business via any of the above monetization techniques. The right monetization model will depend on a plethora of factors like target audience, geography, category, etc. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. However, the insights shared above will help you in analyzing what method is best suited for your app business.

It goes without saying you should consult a professional mobile app development company before making a decision or even testing the waters as their expertise and experience will keep you away from known pitfalls.

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://bit.ly/2WPE3VJ

7 Technology Issues Your Network Monitoring System Should Catch By Stephanie Hurd

“I’m having technical difficulties,” is a phrase with which most professionals are all too familiar.

While no IT system is ever 100% free from the occasional issue, the most successful business tech support professionals are the ones that keep business downtime to a minimum and implement IT systems that contribute to the company’s bottom line. They know that the only effective way to minimize downtime is to proactively troubleshoot IT systems and fix issues BEFORE they cost the company money by impacting end users.

Network monitoring systems are a tool that IT professionals use to stay ahead of issues. These tools allow your IT team to work behind the scenes fixing problems you didn’t even know you had to keep the business network running smoothly.

Your internal IT department can utilize a network monitoring system, or you can work with an outsourced IT vendor or managed service provider that provides a network monitoring service.

Network monitoring is an automated piece of network management that audits all network components (servers, firewalls, shared resources, etc.) for failure and optimum performance. A network monitoring system notifies the network administrator of failures that have impacted or could impact the performance of the entire network.

There are many network monitoring tools available. Be sure to select your tool carefully with your network administrator so she has the functions and automation capabilities most applicable to your business. An outsourced IT vendor that administers your network most likely uses a robust monitoring tool that allows them to monitor multiple networks and correct issues remotely.

If you use an outsourced IT vendor’s network monitoring service, be sure they also take appropriate action on monitoring alerts and are authorized to address at least critical issues on your behalf. The benefits to network monitoring are not in simply knowing that an issue occurred, but in correcting the issue before it creates downtime for the end user or entire business.

No matter which approach you take or what tool you use, network monitoring should offer peace of mind that some common “technical difficulties” are addressed before they impact your business.

7 Common Technology Issues Network Monitoring Should Catch

Low Disk Space

Low disk space on any device diminishes its performance and can cause the operating system to freeze or lock up. Low disk space can occur on individual computers or a networked server. When a server experiences low disk space all users may have trouble accessing shared data or experience slow application speeds.

A properly configured monitoring system alerts the network administrator before disk space drops low enough to impact the end user experience. Typically, your IT team can free up space by clearing out redundant or unused files and resources. If your IT team is unable to free up enough space, you’ll most likely need to expand the device hard drive – either physically or virtually.

Your system administrator should receive the alert with enough notice to work through the solution before the disk space is low enough to impact the end user experience.

Failing Hard Drives

Hard drive failure is an unfortunate IT reality. A network monitoring program can alert the system administrator to a likely failure on a device. Depending on the reason for the failure, the administrator may receive the alert before the end user experiences a total failure of the device. In that case, the IT team can schedule a convenient time with the user to back up the hard drive and replace it with little to no end-user downtime.

In the case of servers, your IT team can swap out one failed hard drive for a new one with no impact to the end user because of redundant internal hard drives in most servers. As a business owner or executive, you should work with your internal or outsourced IT team to determine what replacements they are authorized to make. In the case of hard drive replacements, some businesses choose to pre-authorize the internal IT department or outsourced IT vendor to make those types of purchases as needed to maintain business continuity in the event of a failure.

High CPU

A computer or server’s Central Processing Unit (CPU) is responsible for sending and receiving instructions and allocating resources. When a machine is using most or all of its CPU everything slows down. A network monitoring solution alerts the system administrator when a device hits high CPU usage. Often the administrator can adjust processes running in the background of a device to free up more CPU. Other times, your IT team will work with you to determine how you’re using devices and swap machines and/or upgrade as needed based on changing usage needs. Leasing your IT equipment can offer the flexibility to make these kinds of changes with little to no financial impact.

Missing, Disabled, or Out-of-Date Antivirus

Antivirus solutions are a key element to any cyber threat prevention strategy. A network monitoring system alerts the network administrator to any devices with a missing, disabled, or out-of-date antivirus. Antivirus, like any software, is sometimes deleted or disabled by user error, malicious attack, or interaction with another application. Additionally, regular license renewals are necessary to keep most antivirus solutions activated. Your network monitoring system ensures that the key elements of your threat prevention strategy are functioning as intended.

Non-Functioning Services

Your computer’s applications rely on processes running in the background to function. When these “services” stop working the user experiences application or function failure. A network monitoring system alerts the network administrator when these services stop functioning. In many cases, the system automatically reboots the non-functioning service to maintain full functionality without the end user ever knowing something stopped working. This feature of network monitoring is essential to keep up-time as high as possible on mission-critical applications.

A great example of this is Microsoft Exchange, a common mail and calendaring server. It uses up to 31 different services running in the background on the server. If any one of those services fails, a part of Exchange stops working. The application could stop indexing the mailbox, making email search functions difficult, or delivery of the mail itself could be impacted.

Missing Operating System Updates

Your network administrator can set up a monitoring solution to push operating system updates on your preferred schedule. The monitoring system keeps track of which devices need updated when. For example, at Innovative we typically hold regular operating system updates for a month before they are automatically pushed to our managed devices. This allows time for the manufacturer to fix any known issues with the update. Updates that are identified to patch a critical security vulnerability, on the other hand, are automatically pushed out in real time. A monitoring system gives your network administrator the ability to automate these strategic network management decisions.

Network Outage/Device Down Detection

Network monitoring notifies your system administrator anytime the network or segments of the network (server, firewall, switch, etc.) goes down for any reason. Even if the internet goes out, your system administrator is quickly notified so she can begin to take corrective action. This is especially useful for outages that may occur outside of normal business hours. Often the administrator can have the device or network back online before your employees come back to work in the morning. While there’s often nothing that can be done for a power or internet outage (unless your business has a backup power supply or internet connection), your administrator or IT partner can start working with vendors to get service restored more quickly, minimizing downtime.

The Best IT Guys are the Ones You Don’t See Often

You may not see your tech support team much when network monitoring is doing its job and your IT team is proactively responding to an appropriately configured monitoring system. Just because you don’t see your “IT guy” doesn’t mean he isn’t doing anything for your company. In fact, the best tech support teams may be the ones you see the least.

Originally published on Innovative, Inc.

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://bit.ly/2XlvSol

7 Technology Issues Your Network Monitoring System Should Catch By Stephanie Hurd

“I’m having technical difficulties,” is a phrase with which most professionals are all too familiar.

While no IT system is ever 100% free from the occasional issue, the most successful business tech support professionals are the ones that keep business downtime to a minimum and implement IT systems that contribute to the company’s bottom line. They know that the only effective way to minimize downtime is to proactively troubleshoot IT systems and fix issues BEFORE they cost the company money by impacting end users.

Network monitoring systems are a tool that IT professionals use to stay ahead of issues. These tools allow your IT team to work behind the scenes fixing problems you didn’t even know you had to keep the business network running smoothly.

Your internal IT department can utilize a network monitoring system, or you can work with an outsourced IT vendor or managed service provider that provides a network monitoring service.

Network monitoring is an automated piece of network management that audits all network components (servers, firewalls, shared resources, etc.) for failure and optimum performance. A network monitoring system notifies the network administrator of failures that have impacted or could impact the performance of the entire network.

There are many network monitoring tools available. Be sure to select your tool carefully with your network administrator so she has the functions and automation capabilities most applicable to your business. An outsourced IT vendor that administers your network most likely uses a robust monitoring tool that allows them to monitor multiple networks and correct issues remotely.

If you use an outsourced IT vendor’s network monitoring service, be sure they also take appropriate action on monitoring alerts and are authorized to address at least critical issues on your behalf. The benefits to network monitoring are not in simply knowing that an issue occurred, but in correcting the issue before it creates downtime for the end user or entire business.

No matter which approach you take or what tool you use, network monitoring should offer peace of mind that some common “technical difficulties” are addressed before they impact your business.

7 Common Technology Issues Network Monitoring Should Catch

Low Disk Space

Low disk space on any device diminishes its performance and can cause the operating system to freeze or lock up. Low disk space can occur on individual computers or a networked server. When a server experiences low disk space all users may have trouble accessing shared data or experience slow application speeds.

A properly configured monitoring system alerts the network administrator before disk space drops low enough to impact the end user experience. Typically, your IT team can free up space by clearing out redundant or unused files and resources. If your IT team is unable to free up enough space, you’ll most likely need to expand the device hard drive – either physically or virtually.

Your system administrator should receive the alert with enough notice to work through the solution before the disk space is low enough to impact the end user experience.

Failing Hard Drives

Hard drive failure is an unfortunate IT reality. A network monitoring program can alert the system administrator to a likely failure on a device. Depending on the reason for the failure, the administrator may receive the alert before the end user experiences a total failure of the device. In that case, the IT team can schedule a convenient time with the user to back up the hard drive and replace it with little to no end-user downtime.

In the case of servers, your IT team can swap out one failed hard drive for a new one with no impact to the end user because of redundant internal hard drives in most servers. As a business owner or executive, you should work with your internal or outsourced IT team to determine what replacements they are authorized to make. In the case of hard drive replacements, some businesses choose to pre-authorize the internal IT department or outsourced IT vendor to make those types of purchases as needed to maintain business continuity in the event of a failure.

High CPU

A computer or server’s Central Processing Unit (CPU) is responsible for sending and receiving instructions and allocating resources. When a machine is using most or all of its CPU everything slows down. A network monitoring solution alerts the system administrator when a device hits high CPU usage. Often the administrator can adjust processes running in the background of a device to free up more CPU. Other times, your IT team will work with you to determine how you’re using devices and swap machines and/or upgrade as needed based on changing usage needs. Leasing your IT equipment can offer the flexibility to make these kinds of changes with little to no financial impact.

Missing, Disabled, or Out-of-Date Antivirus

Antivirus solutions are a key element to any cyber threat prevention strategy. A network monitoring system alerts the network administrator to any devices with a missing, disabled, or out-of-date antivirus. Antivirus, like any software, is sometimes deleted or disabled by user error, malicious attack, or interaction with another application. Additionally, regular license renewals are necessary to keep most antivirus solutions activated. Your network monitoring system ensures that the key elements of your threat prevention strategy are functioning as intended.

Non-Functioning Services

Your computer’s applications rely on processes running in the background to function. When these “services” stop working the user experiences application or function failure. A network monitoring system alerts the network administrator when these services stop functioning. In many cases, the system automatically reboots the non-functioning service to maintain full functionality without the end user ever knowing something stopped working. This feature of network monitoring is essential to keep up-time as high as possible on mission-critical applications.

A great example of this is Microsoft Exchange, a common mail and calendaring server. It uses up to 31 different services running in the background on the server. If any one of those services fails, a part of Exchange stops working. The application could stop indexing the mailbox, making email search functions difficult, or delivery of the mail itself could be impacted.

Missing Operating System Updates

Your network administrator can set up a monitoring solution to push operating system updates on your preferred schedule. The monitoring system keeps track of which devices need updated when. For example, at Innovative we typically hold regular operating system updates for a month before they are automatically pushed to our managed devices. This allows time for the manufacturer to fix any known issues with the update. Updates that are identified to patch a critical security vulnerability, on the other hand, are automatically pushed out in real time. A monitoring system gives your network administrator the ability to automate these strategic network management decisions.

Network Outage/Device Down Detection

Network monitoring notifies your system administrator anytime the network or segments of the network (server, firewall, switch, etc.) goes down for any reason. Even if the internet goes out, your system administrator is quickly notified so she can begin to take corrective action. This is especially useful for outages that may occur outside of normal business hours. Often the administrator can have the device or network back online before your employees come back to work in the morning. While there’s often nothing that can be done for a power or internet outage (unless your business has a backup power supply or internet connection), your administrator or IT partner can start working with vendors to get service restored more quickly, minimizing downtime.

The Best IT Guys are the Ones You Don’t See Often

You may not see your tech support team much when network monitoring is doing its job and your IT team is proactively responding to an appropriately configured monitoring system. Just because you don’t see your “IT guy” doesn’t mean he isn’t doing anything for your company. In fact, the best tech support teams may be the ones you see the least.

Originally published on Innovative, Inc.

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://bit.ly/2XlvSol

5 Steps to Convert Web Surfers Into Loyal Mobile App Customers By Dana Kachan

Mobile users spend about 85% of their time using different apps on their smartphones. Naturally, their demand for high-quality, relevant, and personalized experiences is only getting higher.

Every brand wants to have mobile apps which are downloaded and, even more so, used on the coveted smartphone devices. As unfortunate as it can be, however, the average app tends to lose around 77 percent of its daily active users within the short span of three days after it’s installed.

This brings up a rather important pressure point – how to convert regular web surfers into mobile app users who not only download your app but keep using it. It’s a challenging task but one that’s entirely possible nonetheless.

Below you’ll find five steps you can take to convert web surfers into loyal mobile app customers.

Step #1 Track Your Users

Did you know that 50% of marketers fail to measure the investment into mobile apps? Moreover, just about 18% of them are confident that they can measure the ROI of their mobile marketing strategies. In other words, tracking users and their spendings on mobile apps is a challenging task.

However, it’s perhaps one of the most important things to consider if you want to increase your loyal customer base. Why? Because it provides invaluable information which is then used to analyze the customer’s behavior, to pinpoint their needs, demands, likes, and wants. Using this information allows you to seriously improve your mobile app in order to cater to the user’s demand.

To measure where your users come from, for instance, you can consider using marketing links. They are available as part of Adobe’s mobile marketing solutions. These links can be positioned in earned, paid, or owned media, in order to track the app, installs immediately. They should give you a good overview of your user acquisition, allowing you to identify the most relevant sources of potential customers.

Step #2 Create Value

While obvious, this one deserves a noteworthy mention. Your value proposition should state why the customer should want to use your mobile app and what sets you apart from the competition. A perfectly polished and effective value proposition should guide all your business decisions.

One way to understand what is it that your customers want is to listen to their feedback. Let’s take Apple, for instance. They are well-known for creating innovative products that do splendidly well once they hit the market. How do they do it, though? They listen.

Feedback is absolutely invaluable for creating massive value propositions. Get as much of it as possible and make sure to address it all.

Step #3 Engage Users on a More Personal Level

If you want your mobile app to succeed in retaining your customers and turning them into the loyal audience that every brand wants, you should forget about generalized communication. Mass emails, bi-weekly engagement, all of this needs to go away.

Customer engagement needs to begin with personalized communication. There are a few very basic, yet effective steps to do so.

  1. Discover exactly who your customers are
  2. Segment them by different qualities such as behavior and needs.
  3. Determine the message you want to send to each group.

Properly engaged customers tend to generate 1.7 times more revenue compared to regular ones. Therefore, personalization is something you can’t overlook.

Step #4 Optimize Your Magnetism

In case you haven’t realized it yet, there’s a LOT of competition out there. With millions of mobile apps available across Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play Store, you’ve got a lot to handle.

That’s why you have to make your mobile app as magnetic as you can. Positive reviews, promotions, press releases, and everything else in this regard, are considered to be extremely effective ways of boosting your overall installs

Moreover, in order to make sure your users actually use your mobile app once they install it, it’s highly recommended that you follow some of the best app development practices. Prepare yourself for regular maintenance, updates, optimizations, and whatnot.

Step #5 Customer Community

The first thing you need to understand is that building a strong community takes resources. The fact that most of your users use social media doesn’t mean that you have a customer community.

You can think of it as a place where your business and your users can interact with each other and bond over the things they have in common. You can follow in the footsteps of Starbucks and its “Starbucks Experience” at My Starbucks Idea. It encourages users to become a lot more passionate, but it also provides the company with an invaluable communication channel.

You can use your customer’s community to:

  • Provide an additional channel for customer support.
  • Communicate new offers to the users you find more valuable.
  • Learn more about what your customers want and need.

Wrapping It Up

Converting a web surfer into a loyal customer is challenging. However, it’s also invaluable. Once you’ve managed to gain their trust, you’ll quickly start seeing the rewards. While all of the above are not the only things you can do, they surely are a great starting point.

If there’s one thing to understand it’s that there’s no one-off approach to earning the loyalty of someone. It’s a constant uphill battle that you must be ready to go through.

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://bit.ly/31KlaaH

What Matters Most In Business Intelligence, 2019 By Louis Columbus

  • Improving revenues using BI is now the most popular objective enterprises are pursuing in 2019.
  • Reporting, dashboards, data integration, advanced visualization, and end-user self-service are the most strategic BI initiatives underway in enterprises today.
  • Operations, Executive Management, Finance, and Sales are primarily driving Business Intelligence (BI) adoption throughout enterprises today.
  • Tech companies’ Operations & Sales teams are the most effective at driving BI adoption across industries surveyed, with Advertising driving BI adoption across Marketing.

These and many other fascinating insights are from Dresner Advisory Associates’ 10th edition of its popular Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study. The study is noteworthy in that it provides insights into how enterprises are expanding their adoption of Business Intelligence (BI) from centralized strategies to tactical ones that seek to improve daily operations. The Dresner research teams’ broad assessment of the BI market makes this report unique, including their use visualizations that provide a strategic view of market trends. The study is based on interviews with respondents from the firms’ research community of over 5,000 organizations as well as vendors’ customers and qualified crowdsourced respondents recruited over social media. Please see pages 13 – 16 for the methodology.

Key insights from the study include the following:

  • Operations, Executive Management, Finance, and Sales are primarily driving Business Intelligence (BI) adoption throughout their enterprises today. More than half of the enterprises surveyed see these four departments as the primary initiators or drivers of BI initiatives. Over the last seven years, Operations departments have most increased their influence over BI adoption, more than any other department included in the current and previous survey. Marketing and Strategic Planning are also the most likely to be sponsoring BI pilots and looking for new ways to introduce BI applications and platforms into use daily.

  • Tech companies’ Operations & Sales teams are the most effective at driving BI adoption across industries surveyed, with Advertising driving BI adoption across Marketing. Retail/Wholesale and Tech companies’ sales leadership is primarily driving BI adoption in their respective industries. It’s not surprising to see the leading influencer among Healthcare respondents is resource-intensive HR. The study found that Executive Management is most likely to drive business intelligence in consulting practices most often.

  • Reporting, dashboards, data integration, advanced visualization, and end-user self-service are the most strategic BI initiatives underway in enterprises today. Second-tier initiatives include data discovery, data warehousing, data discovery, data mining/advanced algorithms, and data storytelling. Comparing the last four years of survey data, Dresner’s research team found reporting retains all-time high scores as the top priority, and data storytelling, governance, and data catalog hold momentum. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • BI software providers most commonly rely on executive-level personas to design their applications and add new features. Dresner’s research team found all vertical industries except Business Services target business executives first in their product design and messaging. Given the customer-centric nature of advertising and consulting services business models, it is understandable why the primary focus BI vendors rely on in selling to them are customer personas. The following graphic compares targeted users for BI by industry.

  • Improving revenues using BI is now the most popular objective in 2019, despite BI initially being positioned as a solution for compliance and risk management. Executive Management, Marketing/Sales, and Operations are driving the focus on improving revenues this year. Nearly 50% of enterprises now expect BI to deliver better decision making, making the areas of reporting, and dashboards must-have features. Interestingly, enterprises aren’t looking to BI as much for improving operational efficiencies and cost reductions or competitive advantages. Over the last 12 to 18 months, more tech manufacturing companies have initiated new business models that require their operations teams to support a shift from products to services revenues. An example of this shift is the introduction of smart, connected products that provide real-time data that serves as the foundation for future services strategies. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • In aggregate, BI is achieving its highest levels of adoption in R&D, Executive Management, and Operations departments today. The growing complexity of products and business models in tech companies, increasing reliance on analytics and BI in retail/wholesale to streamline supply chains and improve buying experiences are contributing factors to the increasing levels of BI adoption in these three departments. The following graphic compares BI’s level of adoption by function today.

  • Enterprises with the largest BI budgets this year are investing more heavily into dashboards, reporting, and data integration. Conversely, those with smaller budgets are placing a higher priority on open source-based big data projects, end-user data preparation, collaborative support for group-based decision-making, and enterprise planning. The following graphic provides insights into technologies and initiatives strategic to BI at an enterprise level by budget plans.

  • Marketing/Sales and Operations are using the greatest variety of BI tools today. The survey shows how conversant Operations professionals are with the BI tools in use throughout their departments. Every one of them knows how many and most likely which types of BI tools are deployed in their departments. Across all industries, Research & Development (R&D), Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC), and IT respondents are most likely to report they have multiple tools in use.

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://bit.ly/2ZvKejC

The State Of 3D Printing, 2019 By Louis Columbus

  • Proof of concept and prototyping dominate 3D printing applications in 2019.
  • 80% of enterprises say 3D printing is enabling them to innovate faster.
  • 51% of enterprises are actively using 3D printing in production.

These and many other fascinating insights are from Sculpteo’s 5th edition of their popular study, The State of 3D Printing (29 pp., PDF, opt-in). The study’s methodology is based on interviews with 1,300 respondents coming from Europe (64%), United States (16.6 %) and Asia (20.2%), which is the fastest growing region internationally today as measured by this survey over five years. Eight industries are included in the research design including Industrial Goods (13.6%), High Tech (10.6%), Services (9.9%), Consumer Goods (8.6%), Health & Medical (6.2%), Automotive (5.7%), Aerospace & Defense (5.5%), and Education (4.9%). For additional details on the methodology, please see pages 6 and 7 of the study. Key takeaways from the survey include the following:

  • Proof of concepts and prototyping dominate 3D printing applications in 2019. Manufacturers are increasing their reliance on 3D printing as part of their broader manufacturing strategies, with production use up to 51% of all respondents from 38.7% in 2018. The following compares 2019’s purpose of 3D prints versus the last five years of survey data. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • Accelerating product development continues to be enterprises’ top focus guiding their 3D printing strategies in 2019. Mass customization and support for configure-to-order and engineer-to-order product strategies also continue to be a high priority this year, continued the trend since 2015. Increasing production flexibility is the third area of focus that guides additive manufacturing strategies today. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • Nearly 50% of enterprises say that quality control is their top challenge of using their 3D printers. As enterprises increase their adoption of 3D printing to accelerate their additive manufacturing strategies, quality is becoming increasingly more important. Manufacturers most define their success by the perceived level of quality products they deliver to their customers, which is increasing quality control as a needed benefit of 3D printing. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • Adopting a design-to-manufacturing strategy accelerates new product development and innovation, which is why CAD design leads all other activities today. When responses were asked which areas related to 3D printing and additive manufacturing, they spend the majority of their time, nearly 50% said CAD design. Building prototypes, research, and testing prototypes are also areas those enterprises adopting additive manufacturing are investing in today. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • Additive manufacturing adoption is growing across shop floors globally, evidenced by more than 70% of enterprises finding new applications for 3D printing in 2019 and 60% using CAD, simulation, and reverse engineering internally. The leading indicators of additive manufacturing becoming more pervasively adopted across global shop floors are shown in the following graphic. New uses for 3D printing, experimenting with new materials, extensive CAD Design integration combined with simulation and reverse engineering provide further evidence of how engrained additive manufacturing is becoming in production processes daily. 3D printing is now most commonly used alongside CNC machining, another strong indicator of how essential additive manufacturing is becoming to the production process. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • 3D printings’ innate strengths at producing items with complex geometries at a quick pace or iteration are the leading two benefits of 3D printing in 2019. More than 40% of enterprises say that rapid iterations of prototypes and lead time reductions are the leading benefits followed by mass customization (support for configure-to-order & engineer-to-order product strategies) and cost savings. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • 80% of high tech manufacturing respondents are relying on 3D printing for prototyping, leading all industries in this category. 47% use 3D printing to accelerate product development. High tech manufacturers are above average in their experimenting with new 3D printing materials and technologies, looking for greater competitive strength in their industry. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • North American-based enterprises see the scale to support complex product concepts (complex geometries), speed (quick iterations), scale (mass customizations) and cost savings as the top benefits of 3D printing. Sculpteo’s survey found that North American enterprises are more optimistic about the potential for 3D printing becoming mainstream in a production environment. While budget and physical space are the two most significant barriers enterprises face in adopting 3D printing at scale, their optimistic outlook on the technology’s future is driving greater adoption to the shop floor. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

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