Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a software development methodology that allows for quickly-built yet enterprise-quality business solutions. Though it has been around for decades, RAD has become especially popular recently among small businesses, as their need for new solutions is growing, as is the desire to build apps quickly and introduce them to customers.
Small businesses get a significant ROI from RAD as the methodology breaks down the technology development requirements into smaller chunks. It doesn’t really work for big-business development teams because of the need for frequent collaboration. Instead, it’s a solution for small businesses that need applications as they outgrow their existing functionality.
Rapid Application Development opportunities include:
- Web-based applications created faster and with less code
- Mobile apps completed in a few days instead of months, if not years
- Improved efficiency of software development teams through timely decision-support tools that reduce errors and mitigate risks on complex projects
Small businesses that want to build and iterate prototypes quickly benefit from using RAD. They can create applications in less time, with less code that will be based on frequent user feedback. Your technology can be available sooner and without lengthy testing phases.
It is fair to note that bigger teams with enterprise-level requirements may need months for road mapping and development to perfect end-to-end solutions. Rapid Application Development is about getting your technology up and running and into customers’ hands quicker.
Teams using agile concepts like Minimum Viable Product (MVP) can quickly plan and then add functionality in rapid phases. This can happen immediately after the initial deployment instead of launching a large and traditional waterfall-based project to make changes.
Small businesses can manage seasonal releases or establish and roll out Go Live dates easily with RAD.
Let’s say you have a problem that needs to be solved by October ahead of an anticipated holiday growth spurt. Using traditional waterfall methods — which prioritize requirements gathering and comprehensive planning upfront — may mean that the app likely won’t see any updates until it has already failed to meet your business needs.
Instead, using RAD, you can prioritize your key features and subsequently make changes with each iteration. In this way, your business applications can evolve with you, a crucial detail for small businesses.
One of the great features of RAD is its heavy reliance on frequent feedback and collaboration from users and stakeholders. Your customers and employees can help you improve your business with their evaluations and reactions to your technology. This also gives your solution more opportunities to be in the hands of users who can share valuable insights into new versions and added functionality.
For internal users of an operations-based app, the real-world feedback cycle can boost morale as team members feel like their needs are prioritized.
Meanwhile, external customers or partners will have improved customer experiences because they feel like you truly care about their needs, which means increased customer service and satisfaction.
RAD’s benefits don’t stop at release frequency. When deployed properly, it also includes frequent testing.
Small businesses will be able to identify bugs a lot sooner as deployment cycles accelerate. Also, costly security and compliance risks can be detected before causing havoc.
Small businesses often don’t have the budget that larger companies possess. When small businesses invest in a new business solution, it needs to last, continually meet operational and customer needs, and produce ROI for the foreseeable future. Using more traditional models, like Waterfall, may not be able to meet all three of these criteria in the long term as the business evolves.
Since RAD is agile-based, no app or solution is set in stone and can constantly be updated and add functionality as you need it.
The RAD tool marketplace is full of solutions and services, and finding (and hiring) skilled developers can be expensive due to the rapid pace and expertise needed. A trusted partner like Soliant Consulting offers innovative consulting concentrated on your goals and success.
Our projects start with one question: how can RAD better improve your business and address its challenges? From there, Soliant collaborates with your team to learn more about your business needs so we can form a partnership to deliver strategic RAD solutions.
We specialize in RAD development practices to help you launch applications tailored to your unique needs the first time around, on time, and on budget.
Contact our team to learn more about how we help SMBs scale their business with the solutions they need quickly.