Coactive: What is the true ROI for Digital Transformation and how do you make sure you deliver on this for your clients?
Jacklyn A. Karceski, PresidentA prevalent buzzword and notion in the enterprise IT space today is “digital transformation.” But with it comes several challenges for every business. “For me, digital transformation is no longer a discussion at enterprise level only,” comments Jacklyn A. Karceski, President of Indiana-based software application development company, Coactive. “Digital Transformation has long been a target for multinationals and enterprises with a broader set of assets to invest in it. Every CIO wants to drive this transformation across their business. But costly initial investments and a (currently) unclear ROI, mean that small to medium businesses have been trailing behind” Karceski adds.
Despite the emergence of Low Code / No Code solutions, there are many organizations that choose to ignore the imperativeness of digital transformation, and, as a result, put themselves at risk of significant drawbacks. “CIOs for small to medium companies know that their ability to be agile and innovative is often easier than at the enterprise level. They can respond to market conditions more quickly, but digital transformation is one of their biggest challenges, simply because of the high investment vs. unclear ROI. At Coactive, we are seeing more and more small to medium companies opening themselves up to the conversation now, simply because we are in a position to help them better determine what their ROI would look like and what the threats are when they do not transform themselves in the digital world” states Karceski.
Ignoring digital transformation is no longer an option if you want to remain in business within the next decade. Not only do companies miss out on keeping pace with the competitive marketplace, they are also unable to fully understand user needs and behaviours. While Low code/No code developers may be in abundance on the market, there are still two key trends that, according to Karceski, seem to ensure a sustainable business model: (1) develop a niche and (2) offer added value to customers.
So, what is Coactive’s niche? Well, they specialize in making standard business processes outstanding through customized, cloud-based business applications which are built on their proprietary platform. But, critically, they also offer their clients decades of business management insight and experience, which is the added-value component; Coactive support their clients with building ROI assessments, business proposals and management buy-in discussions prior to even discussing wireframes. Most software developers simply don’t dig that deep into the business operations of their clients. That’s what makes Coactive unique; their ability to not only understand but to predict the business needs before the software is built. This creates a proactive approach, instead of reactive, and it also means there is less ‘fixing and adjustments’ required after delivery. That is why they have become a trusted partner to their clients and their repeat program of business continues to grow.
Automating legacy technology and removing manual processes in people-intensive tasks typically yields the highest ROIs, whether in small-to-medium businesses or multinational enterprises. For larger organizations, digital transformation can mean the development of complex enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, while for small- to medium-sized companies, the story is often more straightforward. Whatever the size of the company, adopting a digital approach can be as simple as moving away from locally stored spreadsheets or databases to business software applications that are cloud-based and mobile-friendly. Thanks to Low Code / No Code platforms like Coactive, business software apps have become increasingly economical and quick to build, putting customized solutions within the reach of companies, whatever their sector, level of technological expertise, size or budget.
As a CIO you must be as close as possible to the customer but achieve it all through technology
“It used to be that building a strong vision and strategy was one of the key drivers for business. But nowadays this doesn’t hold true. One of the key challenges CIOs face today is the way customers have become the key driver. They are redefining all aspects of the business from service, platforms, products, communications, operations and even sustainability. It now means that as a CIO you must be as close as possible to the customer but achieve it all through technology” adds Karceski. Low Code / No Code has built in tremendous efficiencies and gathered massive amounts of customer data that inform the CIOs and drive their strategies. But another key challenge is that digital transformation cannot happen overnight and building a future proof strategy is like shooting at a moving target thanks to the fast-paced innovation in the market today. “The other biggest obstacle for many CIOs is the challenge of managing legacy systems. Adapting existing infrastructure can be incredibly costly and high-risk. Low Code / No Code platforms like the Coactive platform allow CIOs to efficiently build the future proof system they need, without breaking the budget but still getting total customization. Our platform allows for legacy system integrations, but our platform can also successfully rebuild the legacy system into an application that can stand the test of time and sustainably scale up together with the business needs” notes Karceski.
To sum up, Karceski concludes “most companies are operating in a hyper-competitive environment, striving to gain revenue share in an already crowded marketplace. Not surprisingly, when exploring their business software app options, the burning question for many is ‘how much will it cost?’. But we also all know that the more customized your business application is, the more you gain a competitive edge in your market, the more responsive you are to market conditions and the more efficient and economical your operations will be.”
Coactive supports all their clients by taking a deep dive into their business before they start to build the application. They ask fundamental questions that address what the critical needs are and what the ROI might look like, for example:
o What, on a very basic level, should the app do? Is it intended for accounting or customer relationship management? Tracking performance or supply levels? Is one app required or a suite of them, working together to provide an integrated overview?
o Who will use the app? This covers not only user numbers but the department(s) or team(s) that will depend on the app. Who will have access and how do their needs differ?
o What are the features required? Organizations should think about the level of complexity needed – and remember that just because a feature is easy to use, that doesn’t always mean it’s simple to build. Capturing the full range of features is important; what is obvious to an organization familiar with its own clientele, business, market, and structure, may not be immediately clear to a developer but by thinking ahead, companies can keep risk to a minimum.
o What will success look like? Setting measurable goals and KPIs around what the app should deliver will help organizations identify the steps required to reach that point.