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Why is I18n Management Important for Business Success?

It is tempting to rush through the software development cycle and push i18n aside for the moment. While this might speed up the release in the home market, it indefinitely delays and complicates the expansions into other markets. Continuous i18n efforts are part of agile software development best practices and will benefit the business in the long run.


Ability to Break into New Markets Faster

As the global business landscape is getting more and more competitive, any time that can be shaved off the time-to-market could lead to a critical advantage. The ultimate benefit of internationalizing software is that the localization can be accomplished in less time. Launching in a new market becomes a no-brainer when all processes are already streamlined. 


Increased Return on Investment (ROI)

Thanks to internationalization, localization can also be done with less effort and costs involved. As entering a new market is always an investment decision, decreasing the overall cost can turn the expected ROI positive and make the expansion feasible in the first place. 


Improved User Experience 

Optimized user experience has become a basic requirement for every software. Nowadays, users expect a seamless experience and are not afraid to abandon an app immediately if their expectations are not fulfilled. That is why every aspect of software needs to be perfectly adapted to the local preferences of a new target market.

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What Does I18n Manager Stand For?

I18n is the numeronym for “internationalization”, the process of setting a software up for localization. I18n is a fundamental step in the design and development process of software and can be supported by dedicated i18n translation tools. 

I18n management is especially important for any business that sells software as a service (often referred to as SaaS). Such companies need to make sure that their software is fully adapted to a particular market if they want to attract new users.


Definition of Internationalization

Internationalization can be defined as the design process that ensures a product (usually a software application) can be adapted to various languages and regions without requiring engineering changes to the source code.

Common internationalization tasks can include:

  • Facilitating compliance with Unicode 

  • Minimizing the use of concatenated strings 

  • Accommodating support for double-byte languages (e.g. Japanese) and right-to-left languages (for example, Hebrew)

  • Avoiding hard-coded text 

  • Designing for independence from cultural conventions (e. g., date and time displays), limiting language, and character sets.


The Difference Between Internationalization, Localization, and Globalization

Every business seeking to expand globally should be familiar with these three terms and use them correctly. It’s time to clarify the differences between internationalization, localization, and globalization once and for all.

Globalization (g11n)

Globalization (g11n) is the generic term for the strategy of all all activities involved in expanding a business beyond national borders. It includes, for example, the processes of building a multinational business environment, finding international partners, and adapting to laws and regulations. Consequently, internationalization and localization are sub-processes of globalization.

Internationalization (i18n)

Internationalization (i18n), as already illustrated, is a critical in-between step towards the next level of globalization efforts: the successful localization of a website or software. It is part of product development and enables localization on a technical level, for example, by separating the source code from localizable elements. With single source code for all versions of the product, only the localizable elements need to be adapted when making the product ready for a new market.

Localization (l10n)

Localization (l10n) is the final process of adapting a product to a particular market. Translation is a significant part of the localization effort, but not the only one. Localization also entails the modification of content, graphics, design, layouts, formats, and currencies to make a product compliant with a certain locale – a set of parameters that defines the user's language, region and any special variant preferences that the user wants to see in their user interface.

How to Find the Right i18n Translation Tool?

Internationalization is a complex task that has to become a natural part of the software development process if a business wants to meet its globalization goals. Attempting i18n without the right tool to support the effort would be a strain on the whole development team.

Here are a few essential features that every internationalization tool should have:


Online

Web-based i18n tools have become the standard, increasing the efficiency of internationalization processes enormously. With an i18n online tool, the whole team can commence work instantaneously from anywhere at any time. Nobody wants to revert to downloading, installing or updating software. 


Automation

A solid i18n management tool automates the internationalization process by making it an integral part of the software development process. When i18n issues are found and fixed while the code is still being written, rework can be avoided almost entirely. For the internationalization tool to pinpoint any bugs in the source code, it should support a wide variety of database scripts and programming languages.


Collaboration

The development team is mostly responsible for internationalization. However, once localization gets underway, linguists, translators, and marketers are added to the team. The bigger and more diverse the project team becomes, the higher the chances are for miscommunication, inefficiencies, or confusion. That is why the best internationalization and localization tools allow for seamless collaboration. All team members can exchange critical information and files in a structured manner on one common platform.  


Dashboard

The right i18n online tool should provide a transparent picture of the entire internationalization process through a dashboard at any time. With real-time status updates, the i18n manager can drill down into issues and bridge any gaps before the project experiences delays. Access to all crucial metrics, for example, the coding quality, allows for full visibility if the team is headed in the right direction. 


Integration

Software translation tools and services can now integrate seamlessly with existing systems and processes via APIs. This decreases the chances for human errors further as most workflows are automated.

A great example of integration is the link between a software translation tool and a Content Management System. The team can work much more efficiently when documents are easily pulled and pushed between the two systems.

What Are Some Best Practices for Implementing I18n Online?

By now, the questions shouldn’t be whether to internationalize or not, but rather how to do it most effectively. Here are some best practices to make i18n a success:


Build a Solid Business Case 

The time and resources needed for internationalizing software will depend on its size and if it is a new development or if lots of legacy code is involved. In any case, a solid business case should be the start for any i18n project to ensure that the team has the budget, tools, and resources to complete the job successfully and within the planned time frame.


Define Requirements 

Developing user requirements is one of the first tasks in an internationalization process. Think about how the software will interact with the user and detect or select a certain locale. How will the data flow through the application and which functions, files, or methods will need to be made locale-aware? This is a design process that requires input from experienced architects, product marketing, and the development team. 


Develop a Plan

After defining requirements and possibly analyzing existing code for i18n issues, it’s time to develop a roadmap that will guide subsequent efforts. Setting objectives, milestones, and to-dos ensure that every team member is on the same page. A crucial stage to include in the plan is rigorous testing. The usual functional testing will need to accommodate internationalization requirements and therefore might need more time and resources. 


Use a Solid I18n Tool

Utilizing the right internationalization tool from the start will make a big difference. One common platform will not only keep the i18n project organized and help all team members collaborate but will also help to facilitate the subsequent localization efforts. Attempting internationalization and localization without the right platform would be exhausting.  


Establish Ongoing Support 

Internationalization is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. With an internationalized and localized software, any continuing development will have a new set of requirements. I18n should be treated as any other coding quality and measured accordingly. Be sure to assign sufficient resources for the ongoing support of internationalization. 

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What Are the Benefits of an I18n Management Platform?

If an i18n manager had to choose between handling an internationalization project manually or utilizing a specialized tool, he or she would decide for the tool in a split second. An effective i18n platform will automate and transparentize the process of internationalization, integrate with existing workflows, and make the whole experience much more pleasant. 

Here are the main advantages of using an i18n platform:


Decreased Time, Effort, and Cost for Localization

The key benefit of internationalization is that it perfectly prepares the software for localization. Any subsequent l10n efforts take less time, less effort, and are associated with fewer costs. That’s possible because an i18n online tool seamlessly synchronizes the localization processes with the development through integrated automation. 


Complete Transparency

With an internationalization tool, all parts of an i18n project are made transparent for all stakeholders involved. The i18n manager and the team members have a clear view of the to-dos and critical metrics through a user-friendly interface at their disposal. Issues can be detected and solved before they lead to major delays in the development process. 


Fewer Errors

An i18n online tool avoids miscommunications and errors through efficient team collaboration. More importantly, I18n platforms can automatically check the source code for bugs, thereby leading to fewer errors in the development process. The alternative would be testing and reviewing the code manually over and over again.

I18n Manager

Never before in history were markets around the world this accessible for businesses, all thanks to the internet. Countries in South America or Asia are just a few clicks away and represent a growing number of internet users

There is a catch though. If a product wants to earn the trust of a new target audience, it has to not only speak their language but also look and feel local. This is a major challenge for most companies who try to break into new markets.

The answer is internationalization. It enables a global growth strategy for software companies. 

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Why Is Localization Management Important for Business?

While English remains the most common language of the internet, Internet Statistics show that Chinese users are almost as numerous. Moreover, English internet users make up just over 25 percent of all internet users (IWS, 2018).

This means that if your site is in English only, you’re effectively ignoring three-quarters of all internet users! That’s a pretty big market share. Of course, not everyone surfing the net is going to be interested in your product. But with the right market research and localization management tool, you can reach significantly more customers.

Here are just some of the advantages of localization for your business:


Increase Market Share

The right localization management service, website localization tool, or app localization tool will help you target more customers around the world. This will increase your market share with relatively low investment.

Just think about Airbnb. The company that began in its founders’ apartment is now in over 190 countries around the world. Through effective software translation and localization management, the company was able to go from a value of zero to north of approx. $40 billion today.


Grow Revenue

Localizing your content isn’t cheap, especially when you invest in a quality localization management service. However, localization should never be seen as a cost but always an investment. As your share of the market dramatically increases with each country you enter, so do your revenue streams.

There may be no one-size-fits-all localization ROI model for each company. But we do know that Fortune 500 companies that invest in localization report higher revenue.


Gain a Competitive Advantage

In the cutthroat world of business, chances are you’re operating in a competitive market. One fast, effective, and simple way to gain a competitive advantage is through website and app localization.

Remember that 60 percent of users who never buy from an English-only website? If your website is translated and localized to cater to local tastes, you’ll be leagues ahead of your competition still trying to force English onto Spanish-speaking buyers.


Strengthen Cultural Awareness and Be Truly Credible

When you localize your content for your customers you treat everyone as if they’re first-class citizens. Rather than offering a weakly translated version of your original content, you show your customers that you understand and care about their problems, needs, and wishes.

In simple words? You speak their language. You know what products they like and how to communicate them. Imagine trying to promote your winter line of wooly scarves to people living in the Southern hemisphere in a heatwave in summer! With effective localization management, you can become a respected global player.


Boost Global Presence

Just as your market share and revenue grows, so does your global presence. More people become aware of your brand when you reach new markets, strengthening your position. Facebook, for example, reports user saturation in its home market. But India now makes up its fastest-growing user group!

Why Does Software Translation Matter for Business Success?

Every business seeking international growth will be faced with the question if it is worth to translate their software or not. Here are some clear indicators that show why software translation is critical for business success:




Ability to Break into New Markets Faster

As the global business landscape is getting more and more competitive, any time that can be shaved off the time-to-market could lead to a critical advantage. The ultimate benefit of internationalizing software is that the localization can be accomplished in less time. Launching in a new market becomes a no-brainer when all processes are already streamlined. 




Increased Return on Investment (ROI)

Thanks to internationalization, localization can also be done with less effort and costs involved. As entering a new market is always an investment decision, decreasing the overall cost can turn the expected ROI positive and make the expansion feasible in the first place. 




Improved User Experience 

Optimized user experience has become a basic requirement for every software. Nowadays, users expect a seamless experience and are not afraid to abandon an app immediately if their expectations are not fulfilled. That is why every aspect of software needs to be perfectly adapted to the local preferences of a new target market.

Time to Get Started with Phrase

Easy to set up. Free 14-Day Trial. Buy or cancel at any time.

Try for Free

Time to Get Started with Phrase

Easy to set up. Free 14-Day Trial. Buy or cancel at any time.

Time to Get Started with Phrase

Easy to set up. Free 14-Day Trial. Buy or cancel at any time.

Try for Free

Time to Get Started with Phrase

Easy to set up. Free 14-Day Trial. Buy or cancel at any time.