First Line Software is a premier provider of software engineering, software enablement, and digital transformation services. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the global staff of 400 technical experts serve clients across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
One of the most pressing initiatives for many companies today is the digitalization of their business. In fact, Gartner reports that 64% of CIOs & CMOs expect to transform to digital business by the end of 2017. What does that mean for your company?
It’s highly likely that your known competitors are already at some stage of digitalization and you don’t want to be playing catch-up. Plus there may be new entrants to your market – i.e. competitors – in the form of startups or companies from adjacent industries that may be primed for disrupting your industry.
What’s not necessarily clear to executives is how they can achieve the desired result of emerging as a more formidable competitor that is faster and more responsive to today’s sophisticated customers in digital world. And how will they digitalize their business operations without negatively impacting day-to-day operations? Time-to-market is critical.
Managing Digitalization Risk – Go Agile and Adopt Bimodal IT
As more companies enter this new territory of Digitalization, employing Agile methodologies and adopting a Bimodal IT model are being recognized as critical factors for managing risk and accelerating digital transformation. What’s ideal about Agile is the intense collaboration and iterative process of short development cycles that allow companies to review completed work at intermediate milestones and make any necessary adjustments – rather than waiting until the project is completed.
When companies implement Bimodal IT, a practice coined by research firm Gartner, IT delivery is split into two distinct functions with dedicated resources for each. Maintenance of existing traditional IT operations and systems is performed by one group while a second group uses Agile methodologies to accelerate the build-out of their digital technology infrastructure. Bimodal IT has been validated by Gartner as providing the critical balance of stability with agility and speed.
When companies embark on business digitalization it’s critical to ensure they are truly transforming their products, services and operations. Working in close partnerships with external providers opens up opportunities for out-of-the-box thinking that comes from looking at other industries and discovering technologies, processes and best practices that can be adapted for disruption within their own industry. This can include employing technologies developed for the Internet of Things and mobile platforms to create exciting new products and solutions, enhance the customer experience, and improve workforce efficiency.
Relying on a partner for these external sources of insight combined with a company’s deep knowledge of their business creates an ideal collaborative environment for designing and building innovative solutions and making the most of their digitalization efforts. The final phase of Intellectual Integration is to integrate these new solutions with existing internal systems to ensure fluid operations and stability.
What does an ideal partner look like?
When a company is seeking external expertise, it’s important to make sure the provider not only has deep experience in Agile; but also has the ability to educate and transfer Agile knowledge to customer teams. It’s also valuable for the provider to possess experience across multiple industries and demonstrate deep knowledge of existing and emerging technologies. Finally, a technology partner with flexible partnership models offers the ability to establish a relationship that is based on the client’s specific digitalization requirements, existing resources, and any gaps in technology expertise.
First Line Software – Beyond Custom Software Development
Historically businesses have relied on custom software development companies to create and build software designed to meet their specific requirements. Today the nature of work performed by custom software development companies has changed due to the proliferation of off-the-shelf (OTS) products and solutions that have reduced the overall need for custom software.
What many companies require today is customization of the off-the-shelf software and integration with existing systems. As a result, First Line has expanded its core service offering to include Intellectual Integration, which is a natural extension of our custom software development capabilities. While the trend is to implement off-the-shelf software whenever possible, there will always be a need for custom software development. And, with certain digitalization projects, businesses may decide that a combination of off-the-shelf and custom software will deliver the best results. With our expanded services, First Line Software is equipped to work with companies whether the projects require a combination of Intellectual Integration and elements of custom software development to full custom software development of a product or solution.
First Line was also an early adopter of Agile and has 20+ years of Agile experience. In fact, we were recognized by the co-creator of Scrum, Jeff Sutherland and his organization, Scrum, Inc. with the first ever Scrum Capability Medallion by Scrum award. Our clients rely on us to share our knowledge of Agile with their team and help implement this approach.
Finally, we have a history of working with clients using engagement models that range from Dedicated Software Engineering Centers (DSEC) to partnerships and joint ventures.
Partnering with First Line Software for Intellectual Integration and Digitalization offers the potential to increase the value of your digitalization transformation and create a distinct competitive advantage, while helping you manage the risks.
Contact Us today to discuss your vision for digitalization.