Application development has spread beyond responsibility and control of CIOs to multiple business units, including marketing, product development and operations. It’s nothing new to say applications can aid business processes, improve intra- and inter-departmental collaboration and create better access to information for improved decision making. However, there is something to be said about the way we build applications and ensure they are helping more than hurting…

Here are the basic steps to take in order to ensure your application development success:

  1. Create a Digital Strategy
    Apply DevOps practices to understand your business processes and IT ecosystem and how they interact. Organizations need to understand that IT and applications are useless or even detrimental if they do not improve the business. They need to look at their current state, create a strategic future state, and create a roadmap of how they are going to get there.
  2.  Application Execution
    After understanding where you currently are and how to improve, building out your applications doesn’t always mean custom development. Companies typically have 4 approaches to their application environment to satisfy the desired digital ecosystem:
    •    Purge – remove unnecessary applications or those altered through shadow IT
    •    Extend – build out functionality with currently used, valuable applications
    •    Buy – many times a plug-and-play application is the answer to a specific need
    •    Build – custom design and development from scratch when necessary
  3. Systems Integration
    So you have your strategy, you have built out your applications, now it’s time to integrate them with your organization. When we say integrate, we don’t just mean turning on a switch. These applications were built to serve the business, so companies need to ensure they fit in seamlessly with the workflow and are understood and utilized by employees.
  4. Application Management
    Once applications are built, the architecture is set and processes are running smoothly as they should, organizations must ensure ongoing value. If not managed, monitored, supported and updated, applications run haywire and employees start doing things “their own way” (which may be efficient to one but inefficient to all). Continuous improvement and data & content management are essential to ensure the environment continues to serve the business.

Grand cost savings, efficiency, collaboration, business intelligence and agility can be realized through business applications. However, they must work together, connect employees and improve processes. When an organization does this, they can truly become LeanDigital.
If you would like to learn how EKI-Digital can make this happen, contact us at info@eki-digital.com.