Software developers are at risk of letting technology taking over their lives. You spend hours upon hours, days, weeks, months, even years working to solve a complex technical problem.
Then, when it finally works: Euphoria! You come up for air, look around at the real world for a day or two, and then grab the next technical issue on your to-do list. So you go “heads down” again; to further refine your favorite technical domain. To gain time you borrow code from an open source project. Unfortunately, it was not as well tested as you thought and suddenly you are involved in yet another time-consuming activity.
What’s wrong with this approach? Apart from its possibly negative impact on social life, it risks directing your creative energy away from the real reason we’re using technology. You may be so occupied with the technicalities that you don’t notice if your work will have positive business impact. And if it hasn’t, it’s wasted work.
Wouldn’t it be a lot smarter to figure out what is good for business in advance? It is not enough that sales and business consultants believe they know what your customer wants. As no supply chain is stronger than its weakest link should the knowledge of customer wants be connected and aligned all the way through conceptualization, design, programming, and use.
Every thriving business software provider must choose an area of expertise and have an up-to-date plan where its roadmap is thoroughly explained with the purpose of developing applications that creates successful customer outcomes. That is how you make technology work for business instead of the other way around.
To align an organization for delivering successful customer outcomes we need to establish a set of common principles and priorities. If they are too complicated, they will not work. What customers want – on an overall level – is the starting pont. If these criteria are not satisfactory fulfilled, the measuring of fulfillment levels of underlying criteria become more or less meaningless.
Customers ask for software that is packaged, easy to use, and affordable. Easy to use applications are primarily achieved through a user interface that is intuitive, fast and available everywhere. To achieve that it must possess qualities such as Web, mobility, extensive configuration capabilities, searching, filtering and Excel integration. We must never forget that from the user’s perspective the user interface is the application and therefore a centerpiece of making technology work for business.