Smart Applications Vs Traditional Applications: Which is better & Why

November 30, 2021
Smart Applications Vs Traditional Applications: Which is better & Why


We are in the era of smart everything - where devices are getting smarter and everything is interconnected.

You have probably seen the ‘smart’ label attached to every gadget in recent years - mobile phones, lights, television, watches, thermostats, home monitors and more. This rapid convergence of digital and physical systems has presented a wealth of opportunities for organizations across diverse industry verticals to revolutionize their business operations.

However, smartwatches and other smart devices represent just the tip of the iceberg as ‘Internet of Things (IoT) and smart technology has more potential than we can fathom.

This is where smart applications make an entrance. Smart applications possess a significant potential to reshape entire industries for the better.

Wondering how they differ from traditional applications? How would it prove beneficial to your business? Keep reading to gain a better understanding of smart applications and how they will lead to smarter business outcomes.

What is a Smart App?

A smart application is an innovative type of software that gathers tremendous amounts of data from IoT devices and utilizes it in a dynamic way to gather actionable insights and to deliver rich customer experiences.

These insights are delivered as features in applications that would enable the user to complete a task efficiently. Do keep in mind that the ‘user’ is not necessarily human, it can be a machine as well. In such cases, the smart app infused with cognitive intelligence automates business and operational processes.

What truly makes an app smarter is its data-driven abilities. That is why processors and sensors are integral parts of smart device architecture which helps in collecting and processing data and retrieving information actionable for users.

At the same time, a smart application has other ways to collect data as well. They are designed in such a way to collect and process data about the user’s surrounding environment and their behavioural activities such as sensory, location-based or personal.

Every smart app is supercharged with complex data science rituals and emerging technologies such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence(AI), intelligent automation, mixed reality, cloud-native computing and the internet of things (IoT).

What are Traditional Applications?

Traditional applications, now termed as ‘legacy applications’ refer to the applications that were created in the earlier days of computer networks. They have a monolithic architecture and run on a mainframe environment or in a client-server environment.

In simple terms, they are outdated applications with manual scalability, oversized capability, non-immutable and hard to predict properties. Moreover, traditional applications don’t allow growth as they are generally difficult and expensive to change or re-factor to interact with newer systems.

Smart Applications Vs. Traditional Applications

Many enterprises still rely on those traditional applications in the back end. However, they are significantly different from smart applications in various ways.

1. Data Orientation

As mentioned earlier, smart applications are data-driven and they use data science and ML to obtain actionable insights.

On the other hand, traditional applications can be considered data blind. Legacy apps don’t utilize any technologies or perform any analysis for designing and documenting user experience.

2. Architecture

Smart applications are based on microservice architecture, which features many loosely coupled and independently deployable smaller services.

The value of microservice architecture lies in the fact that it promises quicker and easier software updates in a cost-effective manner. Since components can be scaled independently of one another, it prevents cascading failures or errors.

Traditional applications with their monolithic architecture are highly interdependent, which makes them less scalable and flexible to new changes.

3. Evolution

Smart applications are advancing every day. With the recent breakthroughs in data science, ML and AL, smart apps are also evolving at a rapid pace to meet the dynamic needs of the digital era.

In contrast, traditional applications remain as legacy apps. Unless there is any bug or security fix, traditional apps are retained in their standard infrastructure.

4. Personalization

As established, smart apps leverage intuitive and responsive interfaces to deliver a personalized user experience.

Contrarily, traditional apps follow a one-size-fits-all approach towards user experience.

Smart ApplicationsTraditional Applications
Data-drivenData blind
Microservices architectureMonolithic architecture
Highly scalableLow scalability
Highly flexibleLow flexibility
Dynamic evolutionStatic
Customised user experienceOne-size fits all service

What are the Benefits of Smart Apps for Your Business?

Reimagine user experience

Smart apps are always learning and are completely aware of their users, devices, and surroundings. This allows them to provide a more natural and personal experience.

Redefine business models

They make use of contextual and cognitive intelligence. This facilitates the development of innovative business processes, the reduction of process time, and the automation of manual touchpoints. Smart apps recognise when intervention is necessary, when choices must be made, and when interactions/transactions must be carried out.

Improved operational efficiency

The smart architecture of these applications enables businesses to increase productivity by intelligently automating operational procedures based on real-time data. Moreover, smart apps are also autonomous, adaptable and resilient.

Should You Build a Smart App?

Well, it depends on your customer persona. If they could benefit from functionalities such as sensor technology, augmented reality or any other form of interactive technology, then building a smart app could prove beneficial to your business.

After all, applications are created to satisfy the needs of your customers. Your customers need assurance that you care and what better way to do that than to build a smart app around their needs and expectations.