The Web has long promised to be a conduit to connect a business directly with its sales prospects, clients and partners. Yet often the Web fails to live up to its expectation due to limitations of the traditional, prohibitative HTML page-based model.
While Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) apply across a broad spectrum of industries and uses, one of their well-established merits is to allow a company to reduce the complexity that stands between where they are today with their traditional Web applications and where they want to be in the short to medium term. RIAs are consistently bringing companies closer to their vision of their application, closer to their customers, and closer to the business impact they believed the Web could actually have on their overall business model. This is expressed most clearly in what RIAs have allowed or enabled companies to do, namely provide Software as a Service (SaaS) as part and parcel of a Service Orientated Architecture (SOA).
Companies have considered and are choosing RIAs because provide the following:
- Develop new kinds of applications with features or capabilities that would be extremely difficult or impossible for a developer to create using traditional Web technologies.
- Engage, guide and listen to their customers on-line more intimately or more closely to how they would do it in person to increase loyalty, improve service, deepen the customer relationship, distinguish the company, or guide product development.
- Create compelling, attractive and interactive Web sites using audio, video, text and graphics that generate leads, increase sales, simplify communication and create a unique online experience worth returning to.
- Simplify typically complex processes like registration, configuration or purchasing leading to increased leads, sales, bookings, time on the site and repeat visits.
- Present information to their employees, management and partners in clear, innovative, intuitive and effective ways to increase productivity, information sharing, decision-making and competitive advantage.
- Provide an engaging, highly interactive presentation layer to underlying Web Services.
- Reduce bandwidth costs associated with frequent page refresh for high traffic sites.
- Dramatically increase sales of their products and services through their Web channel; and
- Build an engaging, highly interactive Web site or application at a reduced cost compared to using alternative Web technologies.