In complete silence, I was just watching the traffic from 12th floor meeting room at Nariman-point, Mumbai. It was moving like shining toys silently and systematically. In that silence, Dr. Jason sitting calmly, watching me with his standard smile, expecting me to release him from the current deadlock. It is always tough to advice brilliant CIOs, particularly, Dr. Jason. His LCC has been doing great and they are increasing their Y-O-Y market share by 2.5% which made him, as one of the star performer, in the IT leader’s community of aviation Industry.
The problem is simple. He wants to revamp their Customer Portal because it is just serving like a simple booking site, today. Now, customer expectations are multi-folded though his airlines kept the ‘Number of Products’ to the minimum to play the role of LCC. Jason received quotes from larger, medium and even from few start-ups with ‘several promises’ to build an e-commerce portal with the investments worth of ‘few thousands’ to ‘few Millions’.
All big promises, Dr. Jason was worried about ‘short-life cycle’ of his ‘portal’ because his customers, competitors will be driving for a change on its pattern due to market dynamics in future. Also, none of the proposal reflected a holistic way of connecting the customer by enabling a device-agnostic solution. He expected a solution with a shorter turnaround-time, Of course.
He was sharing all the bid details received from several companies and asked my views and recommendations. I too, felt there was nothing disruptive or simple to adopt methodologies from the proposals received though the services are charged at premium by the respective vendors.
After a long silence, I have given my views and that is what the post is all about;
The age-old belief on the gap between Business and IT alignment is narrowing down, irrespective of the industry. We moved from Bureaucracy to ‘Techno-crazy’. In Simple, the major challenges are now shifted to IT on its deliverables and sustenance due to fast changing technology innovations. (It is very common nowadays even business experiences the same). So the traditional model of IT delivery has to be completely revisited while accepting or delivering IT Based solutions. Conventional IT deliveries are;
- Over dependent on Technology
- Software Inconsistency due to factors depending on experience of the resource, time to deliver, capability of the resources)
- Portability issues or current solution never focus on device-agnostic solutions by default
- More time to deliver
- High documentation dependency
- Out-dated SDLC Processes creates Time-to-Market a big challenge
Alright. What is the solution? I continued…. Any IT Solution provider/sourcing company need to consider few important aspects before providing/sourcing the solution. According to me Model driven development is very disruptive way of providing IT Solutions. However the solution need to bring down the cost, Increase quality, manage agility, Avoid redundancy apart from being Device-agnostics. So we need suitable tool supports MDD based solution. Let me explain in detail:
Model-Driven Development – The way ahead
Model-Driven Development is an agile-centric approach – using Model to create a product – can address the issue faced by the business and IT due to unprecedented changes. This approach makes, on the system architecture level, a flexible system that can respond quickly on frequent changes both in technology and in business requirements which makes it one of the most disruptive development methodology till date.
Near-perfect explanation on MDD revolves around,
- Simplification and formalization of the various activities and tasks that comprise the software system life cycle, through the raised level of abstraction at which the software is developed and evolved.
- Accelerated development, which is achieved by the centralized architecture and automatic generations.
- Separations of concerns both on technical and business aspects, making the system architecture flexible for the changes.
The MDD’s intent is to improve software quality, reduce complexity and improve reuse through the work at the higher levels of abstractions cleared from the unnecessary details.
Advantage of MDD
- Cost-effective [Minimum of 40% savings because there is NO development effort]
- Application behavior can be assessed by understanding the high-level models.
- Increased standard/quality because- machine-generated
- Latest MDD tools are providing lot of advantages like
- MDD as its core
- Support for Multi-Channel, Multi-Device to provide Device-agnostic solutions
- Social Media Integration by default
- Quicker Cloud Deployment
- Centralized Agile Governance
- Enterprise Integration
The following table provides the real-time POCs performed under standard development environment VS MDD based tools for various industries. We can safely conclude the effort variance of average 40% is worth considering while looking at future developments using Model-Driven Development.
Dr. Jason was completely surprised and asked me how to evaluate such a tool and the ownership of such tools; is it Solution provider’s responsibility or the customers. I said – both because it is a revolution that IT Team brings into their enterprise. He agreed. I have added in detail on what I was briefing him on the MDD tools should have, the features as part of its built-in capability to deliver the true Model-driven development. Dr. Jason being a quick-witted understood that he has to co-author the success script along with software solution provider who is going to develop/maintain the solution.
There are several advanced MDD platforms available today like Mendix, IBM Rational, APPPOINT etc., I said in my opinion the selection should not be a challenge as long as we understand what we wanted for our enterprise. Dr. Jason got excited as he understood that MDD can bring-down the cost close to 40-45 percent with disruptive IT Model it can offer all in one go. With that sign-off, we went ahead with our dinner to say a goodbye for the day.
Note: Close to 3 months after the above meeting, I happened to meet Dr. Jason at Chennai Airport Lounge. He claimed that his team has done a portal release in 30 days’ time from the date he finalized the vendor who offered MDD based solution. I could see a big relief on his face and I was very delighted with his great attitude on expressing his gratitude. No surprises, why Dr. Jason is exceptional among the segment.
All the best, Dr. Jason. Take care.