Delivering business applications on time and on budget? 4 best practices

It is the role of the CIO to lead the change and accompany the transformation of the organization. This continuous innovation has to be equipped with new business-specific applications, less expensive to develop and more effective. We share 4 best practices to overcome this challenge.

The role of the CIO is to guarantee the efficiency of the information system while respecting the general strategy of the company. An efficient information system is a system in the service of the business and profitable. The CIO logically tries to rationalize business processes. But it is the role of the CIO to be the mainspring of the change to accompany the transformation of the organization with the aim of the next competitive, technical or statutory challenges. This continuous innovation has to be equipped with new business-specific applications, less expensive to develop and more effective for the company business.

Agile method (s)?

Today, the agile methods do not guarantee to obtain a result. The technologies being used are not often adapted to the method or did not allow to take advantage of the method, the stumbling block of the incomprehension between business and technique, of which one of the main objectives is to avoid. If the technical project occurs, human problems remain : the resistance to change and the difficulties of adoption bound to a not mastered technology or an ergonomics not reflected upstream of the project. If these challenges are considerable, they are amplified even more as the budget shrinks and as it is not possible to subcontract every piece of a project to a specialist of the domain anymore. The big projects over several years are not the standards anymore and neither are the budgets. It is on good terms with these difficulties which the CIO sees summoning to innovate, even of disrupter, now.

While every CIO would like to release even more quickly applications which modernize business processes, we notice that best practices are not always applied, adding difficulty to the initial challenge.

Good practice, a software package

If the business process is standardized and if there are no specifics there, then why simply taking a software package? If the latter is planned for the business and there are no specificity required then you should not hesitate. Unfortunately, from one company to the other, for the same business, it will be rare that the specificities of the workflow or simply the way of managing and of displaying the information will be very different. Obviously, in the distance it would seem so, but if you look closely … This piece of advice will then almost exclusively apply for CRM software package, accountability and CAD softwares.

Good practice, specific applications

Developing a specific application is the best way to make sure that it will correspond to the business expectations : a specific application is a custom-made, personalized and thus adapted to business rules, workflow and way of displaying the information. Furthermore, it can be easy to modify and to adapt to the changes with which the company will be confronted, if it was planned upstream during the design. The strength of a specific application lies in its capacity to accelerate the data processing and thus to facilitate the implementation of business process.

Best practice, using the Open source

Developing an Open source application has numerous advantages, both on the financial and functional aspects. Without being free, Open source is the guarantee to be able to freely use the application, to integrate it in the existing information system and to modify it without constraints. Open source technologies are often widely used which makes their implementation fast thanks to numerous knowledgeable individuals.

Best practice, avoiding heavy integration

To make sure that the CIO expenses match in the expected result, it is necessary to avoid most of the integration difficulties. Indeed, as soon as the application is complex, the risk of being pulled in a heavy integration process is high. This risk ends by allowing budget on technical tasks in the uncertain outcome.

For example, most of the workflow engines take into account a single type of flow : the data flow or the human activities flow. Yet, it often happens that a business-specific application has to manage at the same time data and human activities. There lies the risk of heavy integration: the major difficulty of the project relies on the tools integration (ECM and BPM) which allows to take into account both types of flow in the same application. The initial need to increase the performance of the business process by the modernization of the business-specific application is then completely striked-out.

Reduce at the most the technical constraints with Anakeen Platform which allows you to dedicate yourself to the business needs, on both information management and leading activities workflow, is a good way to focus the budget on innovation.