~ Win Ng,
Entrepreneur and Decorative Designer
Sketch, model, prototype. These definitions mean much more to business today than they did 30 years ago. At that time, such tools could only be related to creating products, like rockets or clothes. But today they are a must for appropriate, rational process design and digital transformation in general. Following GlobeNewswire res earch, the rapid prototyping materials market will grow up to $ 2.7 bln by 2027. Let's see, what is the strength of prototypes and what environment companies should choose to create them in no time.
A corporate prototype is a simplified copy of a product that will be tested in a real company/market environment, etc. In a highly competitive environment, companies are constantly bringing new services to the market. When it comes to the telecom industry, they don’t just launch new tariff plans for users. Enterprises open entire divisions working on testing 5G technologies, for example. In fact, businesses create corporate startups to expand their audience and improve the core service quality. This process is much more complicated and costly. A new area of development requires deep management involvement as well as a robust software. Most likely, the last one would not be so effective without previous prototype testing.
Companies use prototypes to understand how the end result will meet their expectations and fulfill function. Thus, before creating any global product, managers must test a minimum value product (MVP) in the appropriate environment and decide whether to continue developing or implementing the software. If so, it may be necessary to change or add some features. As a result, due to internal prototypes, the business gets more stability and confidence in its investments.
It saves resources and reduces a development circle;
It accelerates the decision-making process;
It helps to attract real users to testing;
It provides the ability to eliminate core business errors at the development stage.
It is much easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to solve their organizational and operational difficulties. All they need is to find the most suitable ready-made solution that can cover all issues. Everything is much more complicated with large companies. A great number of departments, employees, and processes determine the complexity of management. To regulate it, the business often uses custom development. Sometimes it orders a solution from a vendor, but often hires a special development team that creates a product and supports it. In corporate startups not only an IT-professionals, but the entire back-office system is involved.
That’s why implementing new ideas is not easy. It requires preliminary financing, approval of deadlines, etc. The most effective way not to delay this process is to evaluate a prototype. It helps the business to determine:
Thus, to accelerate the decision-making process, this instrument must be designed in a short timeframe. To enrich it, IT-teams often use rapid application development tools such as no or low code platforms (like Appian, Bubble, Webflow, etc). But they don't always help out. Moreover, the disadvantages of these solutions are the complicated updating and limited scalability. Developing a prototype based on such products, a company should be ready to continue designing the main product via the same platform. At first glance, it seems convenient, but a business always puts the result of its work at risk. In the case of problems with the platform, separate full-fledged product functioning is practically impossible.
Prototyping requires a supportive environment to optimize developer activities. It must have the following peculiarities:
provide the team with toolkit, templates and data for the rapid product prototype development;
be open source, allowing the company to change and supplement the product regardless of platform changes;
eliminate all possible limitations of scalability or future usage;
enable a microservice-based solutions to ensure ease of updating, a high level of integration, and the absence of direct dependence on other systems;
provide development on a popular stack.
~ Anatoly Medvedchuk,
XME.digital Solution Architect
XME. fast code platform is exactly the place that can boast the above features. Here are a few examples of how companies have used this instrument for prototype software development.
A retailer with over 19 million audience needed a solution to track the supply chain from it to the end customers. For this purpose, developers created a fast-code based chatbot within 2 weeks. It allows scanning barcodes of products immediately after their shipment at the distributors' or small retailers' warehouses. Due to GPS data, the main company can quickly track where the cargo is and who is receiving it. The prototype allowed the creation of a complete solution that prevents fraud and enables controlling the goods turnover at all levels.
Waste recycling is also a source of income. But, unfortunately, one company often cannot provide enough raw material for processing. Engineers have used XME. platform to create a solution and fix it. The product enables companies to find other ones in need of waste disposal and agree on a common raw materials supply. Thus, a prototype designed in 8 weeks has shown how a company can solve the quality raw materials lack and get reliable partners.
As practice shows, a fast code platform allows developing MVPs in a critical time frame due to its properties. It is open-source. So, companies can use the code to create new products regardless of the vendor and changes in the platform itself. Moreover, the solution provides the ability to develop software on a modern and widespread stack, to make samples as close as possible to the final result. In this case, the management can accurately assess how cost-effectively will invest resources in this product, evaluating a prototype's features.