Is Docker on Your Business Radar?

social_diningIf your business runs multiple apps and ships custom software programs all on the same servers, then it’s time for Docker.

That’s right; Docker can help turn your business’s software applications into uniform containers, which is far more efficient than traditional virtual machines.

Here are just a few of the many ways your business can benefit from Docker:

Collaboration Made Easy

Building apps and other software is rarely a one-person job, which is why collaboration is such an important aspect of the application creation process.

With Docker, your business can not only store, but also manage and distribute applications through one central hub.

Regardless of the size of your app team, Docker allows users to make updates to software in real-time, across the entire system. This means app container changes are shareable with other team members throughout the process.

All of this boils down to one major benefit: Docker makes collaboration effortless.

App teams have the freedom to link to and test different containers at any time, which does wonders in terms of productivity too.

Software Security

Security is an important part of the application container process.

As the following article looks at, whether you choose to have Docker running on top of VMware at optimized speed or not, having the right security protocol in place is a must.

Fortunately, the application containers that Docker provides also come with unique security benefits. For example, Docker treats app environments as transient systems as opposed to static systems. This helps reduce the risk involved when handling each application.

Likewise, Docker containers also use setup files that feature scripted, repeatable instructions. This allows your app team to better control which software components and data are installed, which is a huge security benefit.

App Fixes

One of the most time-consuming parts of the application puzzle is debugging multiple apps before shipping them off. Where Docker comes to the rescue is with the functionality of its tools.

When using Docker, your business can create different versions and checkpoints for multiple containers.

Likewise, Docker makes it possible to differentiate one container from the next. This makes debugging and fixing new apps a breeze.

Efficient Disk Usage

When it comes to running multiple applications on a single machine, the smaller the impact, the better.

Docker is extremely lightweight because all app containers running on the same machine use the same OS kernel. This allows containers to startup instantly while using RAM more efficiently.

All Docker containers are built using a layered file system, which means they share common application files.

As a result, disk usage and downloads are much more efficient and streamlined.

Other Benefits of Docker

When it comes to the benefits of Docker containers, the list goes on.

Along with the advantages mentioned above, Docker also offers component reuse, portability across multiple machines, and extremely fast app deployment.

Additionally, with its minimal footprint and maintenance-free operation, Docker helps reduce risk and the time it takes to deliver new app containers. All of this minimizes the costs associated with application development.

If Docker isn’t on your business’s radar yet, then it’s time to make the change.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including app development and security.

Why Your Business App Matters

Today Americans and consumers around the world rely heavily on their smartphones not just to communicate but also to quickly locate the information they need to make informed buying decisions.

If your business — small or large — isn’t actively competing to reach this vast market, your competitors that are will be better positioned to reach prospective customers, an advantage that will be reflected in their bottom line in the long run.

telecomMobile Apps Build Business

To reach today’s smartphone-centric consumers, you’ll need a mobile app that quickly and simply tells users what your business is all about, describes the products and services it offers, and provides them with an easy way to get in touch with your business or to order on the go.

Mobile apps (stripped-down computer-type applications designed specifically for mobile phones) aren’t new.

In their most simplistic form, they began to appear in the closing years of the 20th century. Typical of those early mobile apps were arcade games, calculators, calendars, and ring tone editors.

21st Century Apps Explosion

All that changed in the early 21st century. Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in June 2007 led to explosive growth in the availability of mobile apps and added to the lexicon the now familiar refrain, “There’s an app for that.”

According to a December 2013 article at Forbes.com, mobile apps available to iPhone users were closing in on the 1-million mark as the year was coming to an end. Close behind are apps designed to work on smartphones that use the Android operating system.

As business grows ever more competitive, company owners should take advantage of every opportunity they can to serve existing customers and attract new ones so that their businesses will continue to grow and prosper.

Ideal for Start-Up Companies

Although the benefits of having a mobile app apply to businesses of all sizes and ages, an app can be particularly beneficial to start-up companies that need to get the word out to the widest possible audience without spending a fortune to do so.

Because there are hundreds of thousands of apps available to smartphone users, you’ll need to launch a campaign to market your business’s app to potential users.

In “How to Market an App to Consumers,” writer Edward Lakatis offers some helpful suggestions about how to promote your app, including the use of social media to reach the users that are most likely to need your products and/or services.

If you need further incentive to join the ranks of businesses with their own mobile apps, consider for a moment some of the many ways in which an app can make it easier for customers to do business with you and stay abreast of your company’s latest news and developments.

Among them:

  • Customer Service – Having a mobile app gives existing customers and those interested in learning more about your business an easy way to get in touch with you, ask questions, and report problems with your products and/or services.

In developing your mobile app, you can build into it new ways in which customers can interact with your business.

Although much depends on the nature of your business, one example of this sort of creative thinking is a service now available through the mobile apps of dozens of U.S. banks. Customers can deposit checks to their accounts by snapping smartphone photos of the front and back of each check, thus avoiding a trip to the bank.

  • Promote Products/Services – No matter how basic and limited your line of products or services may be, from time to time your company will find ways to make them even better. By alerting your customers to these product/service refinements via your mobile app, they stay up to date with what’s available and can consider all these factors when making buying decisions.
  • Virtual Storefront – For businesses that sell online via their websites, adding a mobile app is pretty much akin to opening a new branch outlet in the old brick-and-mortar retail marketplace. Now, your business can reach those customers who increasingly rely on their smartphones to not only communicate but also to transact business.
  • Maximizes Your ROI – In an article at com, writer J.T. Ripton offers some words of wisdom for small businesses who worry about whether they can afford to develop a mobile app: “You probably can’t afford not to invest in one.”

Ripton goes on to note that the average cost of developing a mobile app is about 1 percent of a company’s annual revenue, according to data from Distimo, an app-analytics company.

“While the cost of developing an app may still seem daunting, it pales in comparison to the brand enhancement and additional sales that it could generate,” added Ripton.

About the Author: Don Amerman is a freelance author who writes extensively about a wide array of business and personal finance topics.