Article

Nick Rojas
Nick Rojas 30 September 2019

Business Benefits of Sandbox Environment

Charles Darwin famously said, “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind), those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” While Charles Darwin was known for his scientific prowess and creating the theory of evolution, his insights still apply to industries beyond science. In fact, the process of natural selection Darwin discovered is applicable to the brutal competition that exists within the modern-day business.

Improvisation and collaboration might not be the first characteristics you think of when it comes to modern business and the corporate world, but as technology advances the industry, the old ways of doing business are dying off. More and more companies are looking for the newest methods and creative ideas to take their company as far as it can go. New problems require new solutions. Whether the problem is in design, manufacturing, or media, the solutions from even a few years ago likely won’t fix the issue now. It is up to the leaders and great minds within companies to adapt, collaborate, and improvise to come up with new answers.

However, most companies do not foster this sort of creativity and ingenuity, but rather a strife it in the name of keeping traditional methods. More companies should heed what Darwin had to say and embrace collaboration and improvisation. It is understandable if companies do not want to take untested risks on unorthodox ideas, but thankfully, there is a solution where creativity can run wild with no negative consequences for the company.

Enter the Sandbox Environment

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The best place for companies to test new and creative ideas is a sandbox environment. Calling this experimental testing account a sandbox is fitting. Sandboxes are a place for imagination and creating new things; every kid who has played in a sandbox would agree. As Cloudshare explains “Sandboxing technology uses virtual servers to test software in an isolated environment.” Within these sandbox accounts, companies can test to their heart’s content with no threat of repercussions. Any idea can be put to the test and refined before a single customer ever sees it. Thus, the power of a sandbox environment.

Creative Without Consequence

This isolated environment allows developers to test features and entire new programs without worry. The isolation of the sandbox means that new programs can be tested independently of other running programs. This allows for the new program to be developed without any issues of compatibility with older existing programs.

Sandbox environments are easily reset and reformatted so that they can be used over and over. This ability makes sandbox environments ideal for testing new IT solutions. A company can test out new software that might not be 100% safe, such as suspicious software or malicious code, without fear of damaging other programs or systems.

All of these elements offer creative freedom within the sandbox environment. With no fears about security or impacting other live programs, anything can be tried. It doesn’t matter if a developer makes a mistake, let them accidentally send a thousand notifications or emails. Since the sandbox is disconnected from all other accounts and programs, developers can make all the mistakes they need to work on a project. By testing and failing, the end result will be of higher quality because all of the pitfalls will have been taken care of. So test, break, and fail until whatever is best worked on is the best it can be all thanks to the sandbox environment.

Built by Fake Customers For Real Customers

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When designing a program that customers will use, it is important to consider their point of view. Just because something makes sense on the company end does not mean it will to a customer. How an end-user sees and uses a program is good information to gather. However, it is not always easy to see things from a customer’s point of view, but sandbox environments make it possible and simple.

Zendesk suggests, “Set up a production environment and then use a fake email address: The goal is to see the full flow of everything, to enable the agents themselves to run the full flow and see the results. You the developer must pretend to be an end-user so the agents can then do the same, sending stuff into the Sandbox to see it how the end-user sees it.”

Go through every step in the process in the sandbox environment. How do customers get emails from this new program? What do the emails look like? All of these questions can be answered by checking each step in the process. Become every possible use from the company to the customer. The sandbox environment allows this 360-degree testing and will ensure you do not miss anything before the new program goes live.

This is also an opportunity for people within your company to try out the new program. If there are customer service agents, for example, that will need to use the new program, allow them to give feedback. Rather than the feedback coming in after the program has gone live and needing to fix something after the fact, fix issues as they come up before the program goes live. This will save you time down the road and will make life easier for those employees that use the new program.

In order for a company to evolve and grow, they need to try new things. Explore, create, and experiment in a safe isolated sandbox environment. Take advantage of the wide-open development space and try unorthodox ideas. By thinking outside the box, you may discover a new solution that can replace an outdated process. Use the sandbox environment to its fullest. Make mistakes, test new code, and break the system by testing a new project until it is perfect. Take advantage of the sandbox environment to look at a new program from all angles. Consider the customer’s point of view and the point of view of other employees to make the new program better. The sandbox environment is full of possibilities, it is up to the companies to use that potential. 

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