What do system outages, breaches, and cybercrimes have in common? They’re all caused by app vulnerabilities that either allow entry by suspect data or users to corporate data stores, or open wide doors to ambitious but nefarious 21-year-old hackers. Several remarkable internet glitches occurred in 2021, all of which underscore how important it is to have a highly trained, well-skilled application development and management (ADM) team overseeing and protecting your digital operations.
Open Apps Open Doors
App failures that are global in size are always notable:
- In early June, an outage occurring on the servers of the relatively obscure content delivery network ‘Fastly‘ caused blackouts on countless global websites, including CNN, Amazon, and Reddit. In mid-June, a similar incident at Akamai Technologies took down other significant websites, including the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Southwest Airlines.
- In April, some 500 million Facebook users suffered privacy invasions when that entity’s servers were hacked. (The incident may have triggered that company’s name change to ‘Meta‘ later in the year.)
- And ransomware had a banner year, too, in 2021. In May, hackers forced a $4.4 million payout from Colonial Pipeline by using a compromised password to shut down one of the largest fuel transports in the country.
These occurrences all share a common theme: somewhere in each of these systems, in some application (which could be in either a proprietary program or that of a trusted third-party vendor), there’s a digital hole that’s acting as a beacon to unscrupulous characters. And in all of these systems, those black hat characters were successful in their quest to derail an entire organization, at least for a small amount of time.
If They Can’t, How Can You?
Even with the resources to keep thousands of developers on duty 24/7 at any one of these companies, even the biggest global technology leaders experience vulnerabilities, misfires, and failures, often at the expense of their users. Their best-in-class efforts to prevent such gaffs fail because too many variables are spread across too many of their environments for their teams to track them all. If these behemoth in-house teams can’t find or mitigate all the flaws within their digital architecture, how can an SME (Small-to-Midsized Enterprise) company expect its in-house team to do it?
Simply put: they can’t. In too many cases, most SMEs don’t have the financial or time resources to monitor or investigate every possible digital concern. Further, considering all the digital infirmities that happened to the Big Guys, it’s probably best that they not even try.
Building a genuinely comprehensive ADM team requires assembling the right skills, tools, and funding to become and remain indispensable:
- Many app and function development projects fail because corporate resources are spread so thin, which is often the case in smaller organizations. Mis- or lack of communication can prevent sharing a common understanding of the scope and need for the project, so the development team wastes time and money circling back to the C-Suite for a more specific direction.
- The development environment also needs to suit the app in question and its anticipated functions. Coding language, autonomous builds, and deployment tools must be considered individually for each app, and most SMEs don’t have the breadth of technology available to facilitate all those app permutations.
- Essential elements in the app build process can be overlooked when in-house IT professionals divide their time between maintaining core competencies and building new digital supports, services, or products:
- User experience is the top driver of market growth, as global competition permeates all industries. Poor user performance in an app will chill interactions with existing customers and deter new consumers from engaging.
- Insufficient quality assurance efforts can also interfere with the productivity of the end product if it doesn’t provide the function it promises or is reliable only intermittently.
Cutting corners anywhere within the app development, deployment, and management process will almost certainly impair both the function and the security of the application, which can threaten the security of both users and the enterprise itself.
Datavail’s ‘Sprint Team as a Service’
These and other ADM challenges have led many companies to seek out ADM services from Datavail’s qualified ADM teams.
Datavail organizes its ADM unit as a ‘sprint team’ and offers its effort in the familiar ‘-as-a-service’ model:
- Its ‘Sprint Team as a Service‘ (STaaS) unit provides a project-unique series of services to facilitate swift, accurate, and appropriate app development and deployment.
- The nature of the project itself determines the number of developers needed and the required scope of skillsets. As needed, other AppDev experts can be ‘traded in’ to ensure that no AppDev concern is overlooked.
- The STaaS deploys a 24/7 development and testing schedule, with continuous integration as new elements are tested and adopted.
- All of Datavail’s ADM teams are competent on the most popular AppDev platforms, too, including Microsoft, AWS, Office 365, and SharePoint. There are few (if any) technologies that Datavail’s team can’t handle or doesn’t know.
- Its ADM unit then takes over management and monitoring of those apps, ensuring for their customers the comprehensive oversight needed but not available through in-house resources. For example:
- Most companies run at least some of their apps in the popular Microsoft 365 applications SharePoint and OneDrive. Datavail’s ADM professionals ensure the app’s full functionality and all the support individual users might need to gain as much productivity from them as possible.
- Oracle products power much of the public sector, and those government agencies rely on Datavail to keep their operations on track and on budget.
Note, too, that Datavail makes sure that all ADM practices – STaaS, AppDev, and ADM in general – are affordable by designing their agreements to meet customer requirements and budgets.
It’s inevitable that intrusions, breaches, and hacks will continue to plague the digital community. It’s also certain that many SMEs don’t have the in-house resources to protect themselves or their customers from these attacks. However, Datavail’s STaaS offering provides every organization with the skills, tools, and capacity to build better, safer defenses while meeting UX and market demands, too. Contact us today.
To find out more regarding the importance of Sprint Teams to an organization’s applications initiatives, read, Sprint Teams as a Service: Where Pay-Per-Use Really Pays Off.
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