Yellow Box Software: 3 Years in
Yellow Box Software is celebrating its third birthday this month, and amongst the growth, successes, pandemics and learnings along the way we have adopted pragmatically. The transformation of the company into an almost entirely software as a service provider, the shift towards Industry 4.0 focus and the partnerships made along the way have formed us into a dynamic, agile company with a focus on creating easy to use, bring your own device applications and a provider of the scalable, often serverless infrastructure that allows them to grow. Here are a few observations we have made along the way;
1. In application design, less is more
Gone are the days of heavy desktop applications with little focus on the visuals. The shift towards bring your own device (BYOD) in both industry and consumer worlds, the ever increasing majority of adoption of mobile and tablet devices, and the want for cloud access means that user design needs to be simple, dynamic and versatile to a range of audiences and use cases.
“User-experience-led software design is critical for redesigning customer-facing products and services”
When creating applications that are used in industrious sectors, particularly manufacturing and logistics, we have noticed that companies’ previous systems, if not completely paper based all have an excel-esque feel about them, with endless lists of unformatted data and user functions like search and reporting that take an IT professional to successfully navigate. We took from the learnings and made feature rich applications look simple to the users, and filters, reporting and searches more Google based, allowing users to find the exact data they request, without the navigation hassle.
2. The cloud is changing
The way that users interact with devices, data and other people has transformed a once single purpose communications system into the Internet of Things and more recently, the Internet of Everything. A mixture of cloud based data access, centralised datastore and local storage for continuous off-line use has been required in our applications to fit the wide range of use-cases and types of data being processed. The introduction of non-relational data-lake technology to the software stack our team use means that applications can have more broader, flexible data sets with “wildcard” type Google-like search functionality without compromising speed, bandwidth or storage limits.
3. Authentication is multi-dimensional
Username and password authentication is no longer enough to keep complex, often multi-tenanted applications secure and user confidence high enough to instil user confidence. We have explored a range of single-sign-on, two factor email authentication and secondary pin locks to create increased security levels within applications. The way users’ data is stored and recovered is also an increasingly hot topic of concern. We utilise a range of data store technologies, both relational and non relational to ensure a non-compromising mixture of data security and speed of access is constant. Backups, encryption and redundancy are handled through a plethora of AWS-hosted and bespoke functions that keep uptime above 99% across all of our hosted platforms.
4. Modern applications are agnostic
Device hardware, operating system, screen size – all things that we have found can no longer be a limiting factor in a modern, successful application. The advent of the Android mobile platform in industrious and ruggedised environments, as well as the ever increasing range of hardware that utilise it means that embedded softwares and native development are becoming less economical to create. Cross-platform mobile applications and hybrid web applications now adapt to a large range of screen sizes and operating systems all under one codebase, making them the new normal for our development team.
5. Green tech can help
Last, and certainly not least in our list of observations is the growth, and more importantly the power of green tech in software and the wider digital arena. Softwares to measure carbon footprint and efficiencies, paperless transformation of industrial settings and the corporate responsibility of us as an organisation have all been explored to contribute towards the green tech effort. Yellow Box Software has now been certified as a carbon neutral company, and contributes a minimum of 5% profits annually to our green partners, WWF.
The world is changing with software at the forefront of setting user trends in both the way we use data and the way it is collected from us. Yellow Box Software will continue to adapt to the ever changing user requirements, demands and industry standards. Heres to another 3 years!