Breaking the code
Tailored web-based services, mobile applications, sophisticated back-end systems, full stack, UI/UX and all other services, acronyms and other forms of digitalization provide immense opportunities to boost any organization’s business, in a wide variety of ways and from more angles than perhaps anyone can spontaneously fathom. As new solutions pour in and the ability to perceive very element’s role in the infrastructure, getting blinded by the sheer speed is understandable.
The big risk in the constantly evolving digitalization is that the organization loses the control of development. This results very quickly in inefficient, if not entirely needless investments in solutions which fail bring in the required return.
“Every day, many needless features are made, and many needless systems are created”, Ville Komulainen, Co-founder & CEO at Wunderdog declares. “Instead of making a fancy execution a value in itself, the thinking should begin at the fundamentals – added value creation for the client and best return for the client’s investment.”
Wunderdog is a company specializing in IT consulting and digital solutions, but Komulainen does not shy away from ruffling the feathers of the industry that provides livelihood to himself and Wunderdog’s well over 100 employees. At the end of the day, the best overall long-term solution works best for both the client and the consultants – even if that means that today, no code will be hacked in.
“In the long run, clients appreciate tailored solutions that are created and developed for the needs of their business and users”, Komulainen agrees. “Collaboration that is based on the client’s business strategy is the only way to provide added value and return on investment.”
One size does not fit all
As companies look for ways to further strengthen their competitiveness and to get back on track after the times of extreme turbulence, digital strategy and infrastructure are at the core of their development work. However, with difficult times behind and uncertain ones ahead, everyone is paying an extremely close attention to every investment. Purposeful solutions take care of every necessary detail that benefits the client but leave out everything that is needless: providing the best return for the client they also ensure that the solution provider is able to complete the project in a way that keeps the costs in control.
“Long-term profitability for both parties is more important than a one-off design."
This is where creative outside-the-box thinking is required. Long-term profitability for both parties is more important than a one-off design and develpoment project that might not even be ideal in the first place.
“On the contrary to what many believe, technology is not the hardest part in a challenging project”, Ville Komulainen points out. “Understanding the business and user goals, finding the problem worth solving – and creating the ideal solution to it is where true expertise counts.”
In finding that core, experience often turns out to be an irreplaceable asset. The ability to see the forest for the trees and understand the entire business environment helps avoid the common pitfalls and perceive what works under which conditions, and – even more importantly – what does not. Close collaboration with the client enables efficient exchange of ideas and fruitful, constructive challenging of each other. Exchanging experiences and sharing best practices with colleagues can save a significant amount of time. Continuous iteration takes ideas further as the best ones are being screened by strict criteria.
Validating the business case and prototyping it with users provides confidence in the chosen solution, and that can be further strengthened with pilot releases that can already tell if everything works as planned, supporting the client’s strategy the best possible way. As the work continues, the issue of cost-efficiency becomes more significant.
“Cost-efficiency often comes down to two contributors”, Ville Komulainen explains. “First of all, we must be rigorous in scoping the project right - size is of essence. Then, we have to be very careful in harnessing just the right kind of team for the implementation.”
“Close collaboration with the client enables efficient exchange of ideas and fruitful, constructive challenging."
With the latter, Komulainen refers to both the seniority and location of the people involved. While the earlier phases typically require more experienced professionals – albeit not that many – that are located close and able to work together with the client, other requirements become more relevant as we get closer to implementation. Ability to create high-quality code is not directly related to seniority, and coding can be done more or less anywhere in the world.
It all comes down to what kind of resources a company has, and how efficiently it is able to harness those resources to work for the benefit of the client.
A matter of trust
When it comes to state-of-the-art digital presence, we obviously speak about high-technology solutions – but that is only a part of the truth when it comes to making the most of the vast opportunities that can become within reach as a result of a thoroughly designed, superiorly implemented project.
Everyone should understand and respect the fact that the client is making a significant investment and expects a fair return to it. This alone should make it evident that outcome-based approach is the only way to achieve the right kind of results.
The importance of the project also brings up the importance of trust. Trust can only be established between people, no matter how sophisticated the outcome of the project ends up. People design and implement everything, and trust is essential. Not only because of the significant investment, but also because of open, seamless communication which is required for the best possible flow – and, hence, the best possible results.
That is why the project should include the right kind of people. People that understand the situation at hand, with all the pain points included. People that have fresh ideas and ability to put them in perspective, to challenge and develop them up to the point where they can count on the idea’s ability to solve the challenge at hand.
Then, people who can make that happen in an efficient, purposeful manner.
People who the client trusts and wants to work with. Or, as Ville Komulainen puts it:
“Old dogs that are able to continuously learn new tricks. That’s like bringing the best of both worlds to the table.”