How LCCs can leverage Model-Driven Development (‘MDD’) for most cost-efficient IT Solutions

mdd_lcc_headIn 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;

  1. Over dependent on Technology
  2. Software Inconsistency due to factors depending on experience of the resource, time to deliver, capability of the resources)
  3. Portability issues or current solution never focus on device-agnostic solutions by default
  4. More time to deliver
  5. High documentation dependency
  6. 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.

Model Driven Development Cycle - Eliminated Components from regular SDLC

Model Driven Development Cycle – Eliminated Components from regular SDLC

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.

Proof of Concept - Tested, Deployed, Average arrived

Proof of Concept – Tested, Deployed, Average arrived

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.

Two business men shaking hands

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.



  • Bala Vedagiri May 26, 2016 Reply

    Very crisp but relevant details on MDD made simple Baskar. Good attempt. Very happy to see you taking the blog route to share your opinions

  • Jayaprakash Bandu May 26, 2016 Reply

    Awesome writing. Great concept. MDD simplified.

  • Ravi R May 26, 2016 Reply

    Nicely written article Baskar.

  • Arif May 26, 2016 Reply

    Nicely written with a short story. Good one Baskar looking forward to visit this space for another post.keep going ??

  • Anant Kolhar May 26, 2016 Reply

    Excellent blog…. brings out good amount of details from personal experience of using MDD and moreover good story to explain the story. The shift is from technology to domain and quicker solutions to business problems in hand …

  • Santosh Srinath May 26, 2016 Reply

    Stories are etched in memories forever…A Brilliant one and simple way to express the Magic possibilities of MDD. Good one Basky 😉

  • Jags May 26, 2016 Reply

    Good one Baskar.

  • John Prasad Thomas May 26, 2016 Reply

    Very nice narration Baskar. I like to understand whether BPM product suites(e.g Pega, IBM Blueworks, Intallio) having MDD capability in-built it it?

  • Hemalatha S May 27, 2016 Reply

    very crisp and to the point write-up Baskar..

  • Mathan Raj Prabhu B May 27, 2016 Reply

    Great story telling Baskar, very nice one! Thanks for sharing and kindling our thoughts.

  • Mohan Chandar May 27, 2016 Reply

    Good Article on MDD to start this Blog Baskar. All the best, and I look forward to reading and learning more from your posts.

  • Jeff May 27, 2016 Reply

    Hi Baskarji,

    Nice informative post. Looking forward to see more posts. Your narration is simple, and keeps the reader interested to read the blog.

  • Akila. May 27, 2016 Reply

    The MDD concept is expressed in the simplified way by keeping the reader interested in this blog.

  • Mahalingam May 28, 2016 Reply

    Excellent!!! Strong concept of MDD narrated in a simple story….Congrats Baskar for your new Blog and keep posting 🙂

  • Kulwant Yadav May 28, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for putting it so succinctly.. Short time to market coupled with 40% savings is truly awesome.. Is it suitable for large and complex implementations as well?

  • Madhavan May 30, 2016 Reply

    A very nice write-up, short and sweet..

  • Sakthi May 30, 2016 Reply

    MDD in a nutshell… covered with a story to understand… stylish and very informative. excellent one Baskar!!!

  • Vijayakumar June 15, 2016 Reply

    Too late start. But No deviation on perfection. Congrats..miles to go

  • Damu June 18, 2016 Reply

    Great story telling Baskar ! Your blog beautifully articulates the power of MDD and how it can address the top most concern of any Business Leader, in simple language. MDD is a disruptive change to the IT world and you are doing a great job in spreading its relevance. Well done !

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