The “Build or Buy” problem
IT Department in organizations have moved up the value chain to become business enabling functions. This means IT has to align with Business by providing quick (faster time to market) solutions along with being flexible. Having said that the standard ghosts that effect IT teams like bespoke application development taking too much time, evolving requirements, tight budgets etc have not changed much. For all we know, they have gone from bad to worse with fast changing technology and additional demands from IT applications.
So, as an obvious choice, organizations are inclining towards off-the-shelf products compared to bespoke application development. This obvious choice however comes with its own disadvantages. Most of the products do not fit 100% of the needs. Every organization is different by design, hence there are always ~20% of requirements which are very organization specific. These specific requirements could be there right at day one or could evolve as the product is being used.
The choice of going with a product makes it difficult for the organizations to get those “20% specific requirements” implemented owing to feasibility issues or high costs involved.
So what is WYWIWYG?
What if, organizations get products which bring the 80% of the functionality (in a WYSIWYG way) which is more or less the standard requirement of the software and then allow the remaining 20% of the (organization specific) requirements in a standard services model. Sounds good, isn’t it?
This is what I would like to refer as “What You WANT Is What You Get” philosophy.
For example, most organizations are using SharePoint today primarily for Collaboration. Let’s say, they have a need for an Idea management system. There are many Idea management products in the market. However, no product would fit 100% as every organization has specific requirements, “the ~20% gap”, that’s not available in these products.
In this case:
Business users want these 20% features on top of what the product has to offer at a reasonable price,
IT team would prefer to use SharePoint as it is an existing platform for Collaboration.
This is where software companies who can offer pre-built Idea Management Solution on SharePoint and have the flexibility to easily add the organization specific requirements can deliver the best value.
The above scenario is the best example of WYWIWYG in action.
Finding the right WYWIWYG partner
Now that we understand what the need is and what the solution proposition is, it is very important to understand which organizations provides this kind of execution model.
Successful services companies often build their own frameworks, reusable components and case studies. An efficient ‘knowledge management’ backed with long and rich experience of execution will ensure organizations have these in place. However, this does not guarantee that the services company can offer ‘WYWIWYG’ Option. The key characteristics that the services organization have to have to ensure they are able to offer this proposition are:
– Niche – The company should clearly have a Niche area of expertise both functionally and technically. This comes thru vast experience of successful execution of similar projects.
– Conviction – Services organizations’ conviction to pre-build “Solutions” is the most important and impactful characteristic out of all. Organizations typically have a “Solutions Lab” where they build and maintain these products. This division requires investment and the right mind set or shall we say ‘WYWIWYG’ mind set.
– Execution Methodology – Organizations should have strong methodology in this kind of implementation. Clearly defined rules of engagement with respect to IP management, Support, Execution framework, Feature Definition etc.
Customer will have very tangible gains with this philosophy.
– Much Guaranteed successful Projects – Customers would have already seen the core functionality working and hence that risk is addressed. Business users are not constrained with what the product have to offer only and they can see their ‘wishful’ list in the final implementation and this ensures adoption. Sum total, successful projects.
– Quicker Time to Market – Applications can still be launched much ahead of time (in comparison to the build way) thereby keeping business happy. Remember, the core 80% requirements are already in place.
– Better Leverage of current IT landscape – Buying a product often means that it comes with its own technology stack and might not be aligned to the IT roadmap of the organization. In the WYWIWYG option, you can choose solutions built on the platform strategically chosen by IT and then build the missing specific requirements. This in-turn ensures savings in additional license costs, decreases overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Acuvate have precisely set their vision to solve this problem of our customers. Acuvate has built a catalogue of Solutions that can readily address the 80% of the standards requirements. Being a services company, it is able to offer the build option for the remaining 20% of the requirements.
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