Monday, February 13, 2012

The Benefits of a Business-Centric Approach to Application Development

In this age of exciting technological advances, it is all too easy for IT groups developing enterprise applications to become preoccupied with technology considerations, and in the process, neglect core business priorities.
While it is undoubtedly important to try to harness the power of cutting-edge technology for enterprise applications, such as CRM or ERP systems, a technocentric approach can have serious drawbacks.
Here are some important considerations to bear in mind when defining an approach to application development:



1. Avoiding the Chase-Your-Tail Syndrome
The criterion for choosing development tools and methodology should be based on what’s most appropriate for business needs, not what’s the latest technology on the market. When the IT group is intent on implementing the latest technology, it runs the risk of chasing its own tail, never quite able to catch up with the latest software versions. This can result in spiraling costs and slower time-to-market.


2. Optimizing Resources

When the IT group doesn’t need to be expert in multiple programming languages, coding methods, and platform technology, it can focus on developing the best applications for business needs, without getting bogged down in complex procedures. By choosing a single development platform that can deploy applications to many output formats, the IT group can get the most out of its resources. There is no need to spend precious resources on training and retraining staff each time a new technology comes into fashion, nor is it necessary to recruit multiple development teams to cope with the different technologies being used.


3. Thinking of the Long-Term Future
Focusing primarily on the technology of a solution, however ‘futuristic’ it might seem, can paradoxically shorten the shelf-life of applications. Any reliance on a specific technology, by definition, limits the flexibility and adaptability of applications, whereas using a technology-agnostic platform ensures the future-proof nature of a solution. No-one knows for certain what lies ahead in the world of business and technology. IT groups need to think about how their applications will be used in the future, and they need the ability to deploy on multiple platforms, including on-premise, mobile, cloud, and beyond.


4. Developing the Business
In a business-centric approach, project leaders are business-minded executors, not techies, who, however talented they might be, do not necessarily understand the real-world, business implications of the work they are doing. The business-focused project leaders see the bigger picture, and can make sure that no time is wasted on developing features that are not required for a specific project. They can ensure that customer requirements don’t get lost in translation when handled by developers who are more concerned with how to implement technological capabilities than with what the customer actually needs.

To learn about Magic Software’s code-free, metadata-driven application platform, which provides an intuitive and easy-to-use environment for developing business applications, visit www.magicsoftware.com.